When you put your home on the market, one of the decisions it’s easy to overlook is whether to engage a Lake Geneva home stager.
Especially if you know you have a good eye for décor or have experience in the visual arts, it may not seem necessary to call in a heavy-duty home staging pro to get your place in shape to sell.
It’s certainly not a requirement for listing, but using a professional home staging company can be invaluable for a number of practical reasons:
Your home is lived-in
That does give it a warm, comfortable feeling, but that’s seldom as saleable as a home that presents itself as open and slightly under-furnished. Prospective buyers react favorably when they can easily picture their own belongings in the living spaces. A Lake Geneva home stager is expert at knowing how to achieve a clean, less lived-in atmosphere with a minimum of disruption.
Save on unnecessary repairs and renovations
Most are necessarily so close to the product (their home) that it’s next to impossible to see it with fresh eyes—the way the prospects will. One of the costly fallouts can be decisions to make repairs and renovations that don’t increase the home’s value by as much as they cost. Some such improvements (like over-painting interior or exterior areas) actually comprise décor choices best left to the future owners. A professional stager has field experience and a good sense for which updates are cost-efficient—and which could be counter-productive.
You stand to earn back more than you spend
Engaging a Lake Geneva home stager can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. That might seem like an iffy decision since you can’t know that it will ultimately pay off…but it’s tempting when you realize that successful pros are in business because of their track record of making lake front houses look great—great enough t become worth more money to buyers!
Using a professional Lake Geneva home stager is just one of the ways we create successful home sales. If you are looking to list your Lake Geneva home in the New Year, do give me a call to get started!
As Lake Geneva Realtors, the Melges’ share their in-depth knowledge and experience around Geneva Lake with their clients and customers. Listening to what your goals are, Hans and Michalene will help you formulate a specific marketing plan to get your home sold. When you work with the Melges Team, it’s more than just another real estate transaction, they work to build your trust and confidence as your trusted real estate advisor for life. Contact the Melges Team at (262) 745-3738 for real estate advice and to help your family make the best decision for your move!
“My business is built on trust and transparency. My goal is to assist families in acquiring properties that create memories that will last for a lifetime; when a client calls, I drop everything and they become my focus. I insulate myself with experts, I work with people that I know and trust, and only those who will roll their sleeves up and work,” says Michalene Melges, REALTOR with Keefe Real Estate, Inc in Lake Geneva, WI.
For Michalene, the insistence upon working with experts is rooted in her expertise of the community. “My parents bought our home on the Lake when we were kids, it has created some of the best memories my sisters and I have of growing up, in addition to creating my passion for this entire area. Lake Geneva became our home. It was the place that we felt more grounded than anywhere else in the world, ” she adds.
Michalene Melges loves Lake Geneva. In fact, it is precisely her love of the lake that led her into real estate. “My family has been in the area for almost 30 years,” she says. As the result, Michalene is driven to be the premier information source and real estate advisor on Lake Geneva. “I feel fortunate to be able to live at the Lake and work on the lakefront that I have known every season of my life. I love the rich traditions and make it a priority to watch market trends that enable me to produce the results that my clients expect, based on facts.”
Her ingrained knowledge of Lake Geneva, is supported by her no-nonsense approach to problem-solving. “I work only with buyers who are ready to buy and sellers who are ready to sell,” Michalene says. “I believe in facing the facts of the current market and educating my client so that they make the decision as to whether or not hey are going to participate in the current market.”
For example, Michalene is steadfast in her approach to positioning a home, allowing the customer to set competitive pricing and create a predictable result. “I don’t eliminate emotion entirely, but I use precision working with current facts and numbers. I will not compromise the success rate of my client’s goal based on hopes of a higher profit margin or market trend. I deal with the truth,” she says.
Michalene says her refusal to succumb to seemingly impossible obstacles occasionally requires that she enlist dozens of colleagues with the goal of “working in unison to create the predictable result of an offer to purchase prior to listing a property or getting our files from escrow to closing successfully. We have very old estates here that require patience, persistence and problem solving.”
Michalene’s can-do approach to helping clients buy and sell properties has led her clients to rave about her. “Knowing the difficult process of a real estate transaction, I commend you for your established network of other brokers, attorneys, third party services and other necessary connections needed to make a smooth transition is second to absolutely none. Each and every person in that network jumped through hoops for us as a direct result of the respect they have for you. Because of you and your intangibles our family has the opportunity to create the greatest of memories that will last for a lifetime, “said her client Louis Schriber III.
For Michalene, the dedication to helping clients to enjoy the incredible quality of life that owning a home on Lake Geneva provides, is born of experience. “I lived in Florence, Italy and have had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. Yet, Lake Geneva trumps every place I’ve visited,” she says.
Her results serve as a clear reflection of her devotion to helping others enjoy the beauty as well. As the #1 agent in her company and in Walworth County in 2013, Michalene closed nearly $30 million in transactions, and her listings averaged just 80 days on the market.
Michalene loves this Lake. Music on the Lake at George Williams College, magnificent cocktail parties on the lawn, the Driehaus Summer Party, 4th of July Fireworks and most importantly, family pier time watching beautiful sunsets ensure that the future of lake Geneva looks brighter and brighter.
“The beautiful Lake is steeped in history, and I am honored to be a steward of its tradition,” she says. To truly understand the lifestyle of Lake Geneva, Michalene knows it is best to see it from the water. “There is a magic about this place when you live on the lake. It’s not something you can explain but once you are here for a summer, you won’t miss another one. At that point, it’s your lake too.”
Luxury, elegance and stunning lakefront views
Exquisite lakefront home on 105 ft. of premium lake frontage. This beautiful open floor plan home is located on the South Shore of Lake Geneva. With custom built 4 bedroom, 4 bath home, sweeping East to West views with year round panoramic lake views from all rooms in this 5,000 square foot home this home is the epitome of excellence and Lake view living.
Inside you’ll find a professional gourmet kitchen, majestic 20 foot ceilings in great room, oak floors throughout, radiant floor heat, a first floor master bedroom, spacious bedrooms and a sky lit ‘bunk room’ and a newly custom designed built staircase that leads to the loft and the 5th bedroom/bonus room.
If the well-designed and luxury of the home weren’t enough, the large 65′ double canopied pier with awning covered sitting area and canopy and side curtained boat slip awaits friends and family for a summer of fun!
Beautiful pictures do not do this home justice. Make an appointment today to see the warmth and grandeur of this turnkey lakefront home in person.
Michalene Melges loves Lake Geneva. Her ingrained knowledge and dedication to helping clients to enjoy the incredible quality of life that owning a home on Lake Geneva shows in her interaction with her clients.
She ensures that not only that you’ll find the home that you love but that you are familiar with all the wonderful amenities in the communities surrounding the lake.
Michalene’s can-do approach to helping clients buy and sell properties has led her clients to rave about her. Her results serve as a clear reflection of her devotion to helping others. She was named the #1 agent in her company and in Walworth County in 2013. Call or text Michalene at (262) 745-3738.
If you own a luxury home in Lake Geneva, this will be good to know: according to researchers at DataQuick, the number of homes sold at more than $1 million rose nationally by 37% in the first half of 2013.
Last Friday, the Wall St. Journal headed its Mansion section with “the recovery in high-end real estate,” and Bloomberg reports that luxury home prices in the biggest four cities that had fallen nearly 46% during the downturn have now more than doubled.
If the formerly-missing luxury home buyers have been buoyed by record-breaking Wall St. returns, it’s not surprising that they’re now ready to come out of hiding.
For some owners of luxury homes in Lake Geneva, that’s what they’ve been waiting for.
Of course, marketing a luxury home in our neck of the woods takes a deft hand. Selling any product in the luxury category requires some familiar skills: since the price tags are top-tier, the buyers require service and goods to match. The ‘customer’ is a successful person; someone whose time is important; who is likely well-schooled in discerning quality that goes beneath the surface and who won’t hesitate when it comes to making important decisions.
To appeal to discriminating prospects, you need first class marketing. Briefly, here are some of the technical points I advise my clients to keep in mind when I list their luxury homes:
We will be targeting a very narrow segment of the population.
Our advertisements need to be placed on websites and in luxury publications that those buyers frequent. It’s important to realize that placement in elite publications will enhance a property’s perceived value by association.
When people purchase a luxury property in Lake Geneva, they aren’t just buying a house, they are reinforcing a preferred way of life. That means the community should be a prime selling point. You have insider knowledge of your community—knowledge that I as your agent can use in marketing. When potential buyers have a sense of being in the know, it allows them to more confidently picture life in their new community.
Successful people usually regard themselves as standouts because, well…they are! It’s hard to find the luxury home buyer who wouldn’t choose a distinctive property over one that, even though luxurious, isn’t special in some way.
That’s why we carefully identify the points that make a luxury home in Lake Geneva unique—then tell that story!
If you are preparing to sell your Lake Front luxury property, it’s also important to team with a Realtor® with the contacts and networks that keyed to that segment. For a completely confidential property evaluation, contact me today to see what your luxury home might be worth in today’s market!
Hans and Michalene Melges are both REALTORS with Keefe Real Estate – Lake Geneva. Their passion for Lake Geneva both on and off the water shows in everything they do. From teaching their sons to sail and supporting local businesses to sharing their knowledge about the communities and subdivisions that surround Geneva Lake, the Melges team is happy to answer any questions you have about Lake Geneva.
If there is one question that homeowners and prospective shoppers have in common in the New Year, it’s about the direction of Lake Geneva real estate values in 2014.
Small wonder: the financial market meltdown of the last decade had such a profound impact on all forms of real estate that it still has many people looking nervously over their shoulders. How likely is another tumble in the coming 12 months? Will real estate values in Lake Geneva continue to rise? Knowing the answer could make a big difference to anyone planning to buy or sell a lake front home in Lake Geneva this year.
Of course, absolute certainty on that score is not possible for anyone without a time machine in their basement.
But, as we look back over last year, we might gain a little bit more confidence by hearing from the experts who got it right in 2013.
Foremost among them was Dr. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®. Last year, he was dead-on.
Dr. Yun is calling for a continued rise in prices—pretty much in line with the past year’s gains. To compensate for expected mortgage interest rate gains—the likely effect of the Federal Reserve’s easing of policies that fueled 2013’s financial markets—he suspects that lending institutions will ease borrowing strictures. That’s something we can all applaud!
Overall, if Lake Geneva real estate values in 2014 follow the NAR’s national prognostications, we would expect real estate value increases either like the Wall Street Journal’s quoted prediction of 6%, or of Dr. Yun’s 5%. Either would not be surprising, given last year’s Lake Geneva real estate values numbers. What the NAR experts and the Journal also agree upon is a flattening of residential housing sales volume in line with 2013 levels.
How much credence can we give to what the seers predict? Perhaps a little more than usual. “The NAR forecast could be viewed as restrained in light of the housing market’s gains in the past two years,” says the Journal; and “…other 2014 forecasts are fairly close to Mr. Yun’s predictions.”
There is no doubt that the housing market is coming back nicely. What, if anything, could slow down the current momentum? We believe it may be sellers’ over exuberance when it comes to pricing. There is little doubt that house prices have appreciated over the last twelve months in most regions of the country. However, with both the inventory of homes for sale and interest rates increasing, we have to be careful to not over judge what the market can bear.
Trulia just reported that asking priceshave jumped dramatically and the increase is accelerating:
- Year-Over-Year prices jumped 10.7%
- Quarter-Over-Quarter prices jumped 4.1% (16.4% annualized)
- Month-Over-Month prices jumped 1.5% (18% annualized)
No expert is expecting home prices to shoot up 18% in the next twelve months. If anything, price appreciation may slow as rates and inventories increase. Investors will begin to slow their purchases and the first-time buyers expected to take their place will be working within a pre-set budget in many cases.
Buyers’ Purchasing Power
Let’s look at an example: A young couple is looking for a home and have predetermined that their budget will only allow them to spend $1,000 a month on a mortgage. At today’s mortgage rate of 4.5%, they could afford a $200,000 mortgage ($1,013 principal & interest). However, if rates jump to 5%, they would have to lower their mortgage amount to $190,000 in order to keep their monthly payment where they need it ($1,020). At 5.5%, the mortgage would need to be no more than $180,000 ($1,022).
The Impact on Prices
This decrease in buyers’ purchasing power will have an impact on home values going forward. We do not believe it will cause a decrease in prices. However, we do believe it will likely cause current rates of appreciation to slow.
If you are thinking about selling your home, don’t get carried away with current headlines about home price increases that have taken place over the last twelve months. Instead, call a local real estate professional. They will be best prepared to explain where prices are headed over the next six months.