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Mad City Dream Homes Real Estate Blog, Madison WI

As the holiday season begins and the snow starts falling, South Central Wisconsin is full of places to go to enjoy a night out.

Holiday Light Show in Janesville

Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville is just a short drive from Madison, but offers one of the largest light displays around.  The gardens include 20 acres of beautiful scenery and, beginning this weekend, they will light it all up for evening enjoyment. This year's display will include more than 500,000 lights, a record for the gardens. Walk through the paths, enjoy more than 100 lit archways, search for the decorated evergreens (there are more than 100!), see decorated garden obelisks, and all kinds of individual displays. Santa occasionally makes a stop at the Rotary Gardens, and is

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We've been asked this question a lot lately.

The flooding we experienced in August and September has negatively impacted single family home sales this fall, but overall sales activity remains strong for this time of year. Inventory remains low, and we expect it to stay low for the foreseeable future. As Dane County's population continues to grow, new homes and condos aren't being built fast enough to keep pace with demand, and prices continue to rise. 

Mortgage rates have risen slightly this year and are expected to rise more in 2019. For this reason we expect prices to increase at a more subdued pace in the coming year. Stay tuned for our upcoming predictions for the 2019 real estate market, which we'll be releasing soon. In the meantime, here's a

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Recently a Madison-area home owner contacted us and asked us to assist her with her sale. Her previous listing with another brokerage had expired without selling, and she was looking for some new ideas, more showings, and a quick offer.

When we visited with her at her home, we saw some opportunities to improve her listing and help her accomplish her goals. The "before and after" photos below demonstrate why we were able to help our client move forward with a successful sale. 

Master bedroom: before and after photos

This listing photo shows the master bedroom after we helped our client prepare her home for showings. 

 

This photo shows the master bedroom before we began the staging process. 

  

The results

We spent two weeks

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Who you hire as your buyer agent can make all the difference between success and failure in Madison's low inventory real estate market. Here are 6 ways a skilled buyer agent (or buyer agent team) can help you succeed in the months ahead.  

How a skilled buyer agent helps you succeed in a competitive market

1) Your buyer agent connects you with a reliable, local lender who goes the extra mile. For example, some local lenders will contact the listing agent and vouch for your financial stability when you're submitting a competing offer. Lenders who deliver personal service like this are worth their weight in gold.

2) Your agent finds properties before they hit the market. A good buyer agent will identify "coming soon" listings before they hit

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Unlike many 12 year olds who spent their summers watching cartoons and playing sports, Stephen Meyer helped his dad clean carpets. In the years since then, he's worked for other companies and started his own, picking up tons of tricks and techniques -- not to mention stains -- along the way.

Stephen's enthusiasm for his craft and care for his clients is embedded into every fiber of his being. When his father was in the hospital and realized he could no longer continue Affordable Carpet Care in Sun Prairie, it was the relationships he built with customers that came to mind. Stephen recalls him saying, "It's not the carpet -- it's always the people."

To ensure clients received the very best service, Stephen launched his own business six years ago,

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One of our core team values is a commitment to daily learning, which is one of the reasons why we participate in business coaching and encourage everyone on the team to work on their own personal growth and development. In this real estate careers post, we've assembled 10 of our favorite podcasts from The Brian Buffini Show. Most of these podcasts are about 30 minutes long, and each one has plenty of practical, actionable advice. These are great podcasts for anyone who's contemplating a career in real estate, or for that matter, anyone who's seeking a more fulfilling career within their chosen field. 

Podcasts from the Brian Buffini Show

Here are 10 of our favorite episodes from The Brian Buffini Show. 

Rise up to Serve

In this podcast,

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Here's a new spin on trick-or-treating- Cave of the Mounds is encouraging guests to bring their costumes underground. This weekend, through Wednesday, October 31, all ages are invited to explore the hidden treasures that sit beneath Blue Mounds.Cave of the Mounds is located roughly 30 minutes southwest of Madison. The cave was first discovered by accident in 1939, when miners blasted through the limestone hiding it. Since then, the cave was designated a National Natural Landmark, and areas of the cave were opened for visitors to tour and explore the magnificent paths underground.  Today, visitors can tour the cave, study the fossils found inside, and enjoy biking and hiking trails surrounding the cave's entrance. 

This weekend, visitors will enjoy

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At Mad City Dream Homes we create a customized marketing plan for each home-selling client. A key part our marketing is the staging plan that we develop for each new listing. As you'll see from the 5 recent listings below, we customize our approach according to the needs of each individual property. 

Success story #1: staging an occupied home by Debbie Lea

This listing was prepped for sale by home staging extraordinaire, Debbie Lea. Debbie's staging plan helped our seller receive multiple offers and a record sales price for this condo association. 

Success story #2: staging a luxury property with rented furniture

For this luxury listing, Debbie Lea collaborated with Brook Furniture Rental by selecting the furniture, artwork and accessories

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This year has been the most competitive real estate market we've ever witnessed in Madison. Due to persistently low inventory, many buyers have missed out on their dream home and are still searching for the right property, in the right location, and at the right price.

Fortunately the upcoming holiday season offers a window of opportunity for buyers who stay engaged with their search. That's because the market slows noticeably during the holidays, as fewer offers are written in November and December than in any other month of the year. Over the years we've identified two other market trends which show the opportunities available during the holiday season. For more information, read on below... 

1) Competing offers are less common during the

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As the seasons change from summer to fall, be sure to catch the leaves turn into their brilliant red, orange, and yellow hues. Check back for updates using the fall color report map at TravelWisconsin.com, which estimates that the Madison area will reach peak in mid-October. There are several spots throughout our Dane County Parks that we recommend for autumn color viewing, but these three stand out for their elevated, expansive views of the tree-filled landscape.


Lake View Hill Park

1202 Northport Dr., Madison: This park is home to the highest point on Madison's north side with gorgeous views of Lake Mendota and downtown. After meandering around the Dane County Human Services building (the former sanatorium) and checking out the newly restored

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