You love your quaint home in downtown Appleton, but you’ve been saving up to buy a few acres out in the country with space for a garden. Or you’ve had one Wisconsin winter too many, and the Florida sunshine is calling your name. In any case, you need to sell your house fast in Appleton, WI.
The city’s easily accessible parks and trails and low crime rates consistently attract families with kids while the low cost of living and vibrant arts scene draw in millennials. And with that, Appleton home prices are rising.
According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, the median sale price of Outagamie County homes has risen from $175,000 in 2018 to $233,000 in 2021. While that leap is nice for sellers in Appleton, this area remains incredibly affordable when you compare it to cities like Madison and Chicago, keeping buyer demand high.
Find out how to sell your house fast in Appleton with these tips to refresh your interior where it may be out-of-date, spruce up your outdoor space so buyers can imagine glorious Midwest evenings, and identify any issues that might be lurking beneath your Appleton home’s surface.
1. Highlight outdoor areas to appeal to Appleton’s summer shoppers
While Appleton is known for its cold, snowy winters, its summers are dreamy. With average July highs in the low 80s, Appleton residents love to enjoy the warm weather while it lasts. To help buyers see your home’s outdoor potential, let them envision how they could enjoy the space and highlight any of your home’s al fresco areas for eating or relaxing in your property listing.
“Outdoor living spaces are a big deal because people want to spend more time outside,” says Kim Batterman, a top Appleton real estate agent who has sold over 300 single-family homes. “So fire pits are really popular here and so are patios or decks.”
If you don’t have a patio or deck, you can still make your outdoor space more inviting. To increase the value of your backyard, add a fire pit surrounded by a bench or couch or hang outdoor string lights or lanterns to create ambiance.
2. Work with one of Appleton’s top real estate agents
Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, you don’t want to necessarily work with the first real estate agent you hear about. With 829 real estate agents in Appleton, there’s a huge range in the quality of service you’ll receive.
According to HomeLight’s internal transaction data, the top 3% of Appleton real estate agents sell homes 41 days faster than average agents. If you’re thinking these agents decrease home prices to drive quick sales, think again. Our data also shows that sellers who work with top Appleton agents can make up to 5.9% more on their home sale.
So if top agents don’t rely on low prices, how do they sell homes so quickly? Put simply, they know the ins and outs of the Appleton real estate market. They will be savvy with the details that make your Appleton listing stand out, whether it be the fenced-in yard, mature trees, or close proximity to Downtown Appleton and the Fox Valley Mall.
A great local agent can also help you figure out whether it’s worth refinishing or refacing your dark and dreary kitchen cabinets in order to compete with new homes near Apple Creek. If you don’t know where to find a great Appleton real estate agent, HomeLight can help. Just provide some basic information and we’ll match you with one of Appleton’s top real estate agents.
3. Got an Appleton fixer-upper? Say so!
Not every house in Appleton is 100% move-in ready, and that’s OK. There’s a buyer for every home, so long as the price is right. If your house is a fixer-upper, be honest about its condition and market it as a great deal for someone with the capital to fix it up. Investors are particularly interested in homes in the Oshkos and Sheboygan areas of Appelton to buy and rehab.
To speed up the process, you could also request a cash offer from HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform. Our Simple Sale program provides cash offers for homes in almost any condition with the ability to close in as few as 10 days. Tell us a bit about how much work your home needs and your selling timeline, and we’ll send over a cash offer within 48 hours.
4. Refresh your dated interior to compete with newer homes going up in Appleton
Take a drive through Appleton, and you’ll see newly constructed condos near Sunset Point Park and century-old homes in City Park Historic District. However, the majority of homes in the area fall somewhere in between. Since the median Appleton home is 48 years old and 65% of homes were built before 1980, your home may have a dated interior.
Fortunately, there are some relatively quick and inexpensive ways to modernize many Appleton homes.
- Paint wood paneling cool gray. While outdated wood paneling is a turnoff for many buyers, a quick coat of paint will allow you to keep the texture while providing a fresh look. Choose a color like Fast as the Wind from Behr. If you don’t have the time or skills to paint, you can find a local house painter to complete the work.
- Ditch the mini blinds and tie-up valances. While mini blinds work in a pinch, they can give your home a cheap look. And we probably don’t need to tell you, heavy, tie-up valances are out of style. Replace these features with wooden blinds or cellular shades then add some earth-toned curtains.
- Open up spaces. Appleton buyers prefer an open floor plan as opposed to individual rooms. However, if you have a separate kitchen, living room, and dining room, you don’t necessarily have to remove a wall. Adding a pass-through to a wall can improve flow and give your home the illusion of an open floor plan. If you hire out this project, expect to pay between $500 and $1,000.
5. Appeal to millennial homebuyers with low-maintenance exteriors and interiors
According to the National Association of Realtors®, more than one-third of Appleton home buyers are between the ages of 25 and 34, and Batterman notes that around 40% of
Appleton homebuyers are millennials. These include Appleton natives as well as people leaving coastal cities for Appleton’s small city charm and safety. Millennial stereotypes aside, many of these buyers are looking to purchase low-maintenance homes.
With visions of pets and kids running through the house, many Appleton buyers tend to dislike carpeted living areas and entryways — but carpeted bedrooms get the thumbs up as long as the carpet isn’t dirty or from another decade. When it comes time to replace carpet, opt for water-resistant engineered hardwood or durable luxury vinyl planks.
While traditional wood decks and patios require regular sealing and staining, composite wood removes this workload. So if you’re adding on a small patio before you move, opt for this easy-care option.
When it comes to landscaping, skip out on annuals that homeowners will need to replant each year as well as shrubs that require regular pruning. Instead, opt for low-maintenance perennials like yarrow, veronica, and weigela.
6. Mention proximity to these Appleton highlights
When buyers evaluate whether a home is right for them, they look at the surrounding location in addition to the property itself. If your home boasts proximity to any of these in-demand parts of Appleton, be sure to add that to your property description:
- Steps away from City Park
- Close to College Ave
- Access to Downtown Appleton amenities such as the farmer’s market, coffee, restaurants, and shops
- Lucrative Airbnb opportunity
- Minutes from Highway 41
- Close to North High School
- Views of Little Lake Butte des Morts
- Location in North Appleton
7. Take advantage of warmer weather, but don’t write off listing in winter
According to HomeLight’s Best Time to Sell Calculator, October is the best time to quickly close an Appleton home. Since homes typically take a few months to close, August and September are considered the best time to list your home if you’re looking to make a quick sale.
However, if you list your home in the winter, you’ll be dealing with less competition. Batterman says lots of people don’t want to deal with the hassle of listing a home during the darker days. Additionally, lots of Appleton real estate agents head to warmer areas during the winter, making them unavailable to list properties.
However, people are still looking to purchase homes. While some people may be willing to wait until they find their dream home, others are looking to move ASAP. So if your house is one of the few on the market, there’s a good chance it will sell.
8. Pre-inspect your Appleton home to fix minor issues ahead of time
Rather than wait for a buyer to schedule an inspection, you can opt for a pre-listing home inspection, recommends Dale Pynenberg, a home inspector with RightWay Home Inspection in Appleton. This will give buyers peace of mind while also providing you with an opportunity to fix minor issues such as malfunctioning GFCI outlets, burnt-out lightbulbs, and flexible rather than rigid dryer vents.
A pre-inspection will also alert you to larger problems like plumbing and electrical issues. Pynenberg said these issues are often caused by DIY projects gone wrong. To fix these problems, you might need to call on the expertise of carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other skilled tradespeople. The problem is that these people are booked out weeks or even months in advance!
By finding these issues before you list your house, you can find a qualified professional and have them complete the work. That way, you won’t have to worry about any unexpected fixes slowing down your home’s sale. Trust us, you don’t want your home to be part of the 10% of homes that experience contract delays due to inspection issues.
It’s a lot easier to find big problems out before listing than when you’re under the eye of a potential buyer.
Get ready to sell your Appleton home in a snap
By updating your interiors, highlighting your patio or backyard, and scheduling a pre-inspection, you’ll position your home as an Appleton gem. But don’t stop there! When you work with a top real estate agent you’ll have the expertise and guidance you need to help you sell your home in Appleton faster than you imagined.
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