FREE Market Analysis

Get educated on your home's market value. We'll estimate your home's value in our current market and provide you with a customized marketing plan. Please call Dan at 608-852-7071 to get started or fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you promptly. Thanks!
Please provide a valid email address.
Your Home's
Market Value

Buying Tips

Buying a Home in Madison & Dane County WI: Real Estate Buying Tips & Advice

There are currently 68 blog entries related to this category.

When you think about home improvements, it's common to think of the aesthetic work. Many times, the first upgrades are adding solid surface counter tops, wood flooring, or updated paint colors. These changes are all significant, and add value to your home. But while they make a beautiful impact, they will not save you money. Your monthly bills will see the greatest reduction by making changes to the energy efficiency of your home. 

Focus on Energy partners with 108 participating statewide utilities to make these cost savings possible. Their programs include simple things like swapping out old light bulbs for energy efficient models, providing incentives for the purchase of a Smart Thermostat, and they also include more significant projects, like adding

140 Views, 0 Comments.

Although many price points and locations in the Madison area have become long-term seller's markets, the month of July offers a good window of opportunity if you're still looking for the right home or condo in 2018. The reason is buyer competition decreases predictably in July, as the graph below shows. 

 

In fact, buyer activity will be much more subdued for the rest of the year compared to the feverish pace we experienced this Spring. Many families will be focused on their summer vacation, the coming school year, and the holiday season before their attention returns to real estate. Then buyer demand will rise predictably again in early 2019. 

More balance means more opportunity for buyers

A more balanced market means there will be fewer

588 Views, 0 Comments.

If you follow conventional thinking the best time to buy a home in Madison is in the springtime, when many new listings traditionally enter the market. Times have changed, however. The Madison area has evolved into a perpetual seller's market, one that is especially challenging for buyers during the spring season.

To illustrate this point, take a look at our 2017 market data below. It shows multiple offers are most common in the months of March, April and May - which is a typical pattern for the Madison area. In our market more offers are rejected in the springtime than in any other season of the year. 

Is the springtime really the best time to buy a home?  

According to our data, the answer is "no". Your odds of having your offer accepted

319 Views, 0 Comments.

Although there are many good reasons to sign a buyer agency agreement, we generally advise buyers to take their time before they commit to an agent and sign a contract. Instead, we encourage customers to "test-drive" their agent before committing to a buyer agency relationship. 

Why you shouldn't rush into signing a buyer agency contract

The last thing you want is to be locked into working with an agent who's the wrong fit for your needs. As an example, two different buyers recently contacted us saying they wanted to hire our team as their buyer representative. Both buyers said they were unhappy with their current agent and wanted to work with us instead. Unfortunately, we couldn't help either buyer. They had already signed a buyer agency

266 Views, 0 Comments.

In the age of online everything, home buyers may be tempted to use online lenders. These lenders offer online mortgage applications and approvals, and claim to offer the best rates for your home purchase. But they may not be your best option. Karen Wedvick, a mortgage lender at Johnson Bank, explains why local lenders are best equipped to help you with your home purchase. "When buying the biggest purchase of your life, you might want some local advice. There are lots of things that kill deals besides your credit rating and interest rates," she says. Wedvick suggests buyers consider the advantages of a local lender:

1. Local Decision Making. A lender at a local bank is well-versed on the local market. They often approve their own loans (or have

282 Views, 0 Comments.

This year's real estate market is the most challenging market we've seen for Madison area buyers. And yet we're helping more clients successfully buy in 2018 compared to any other year. Below we share a few reasons why so many of our clients are getting their offers accepted in this year's low inventory market. 

How our buyers are getting their offers accepted in 2018

#1: They're educating themselves on the market.

Our most successful buyers are meeting with us before they begin their search and asking questions about the home-buying process. They're learning up-front what it takes to successfully buy a home in this year's low inventory market.   

#2: They're submitting a personal letter with their offer. 

As listing agents we see only

344 Views, 0 Comments.

Finding the right home is only part of your real estate success.  Making sure your home is protected by proper coverage can be equally important.  Alex Wodarczyk of Liberty Mutual Insurance enjoys finding the proper protection for his clients. He offers this advice to homeowners seeking home insurance:

1. Know the difference between your replacement cost and actual cash value.  Ask your insurance provider to clarify what they are providing in your policy. Replacement costs can be calculated by removing the cost of your lot, and determining the cost to replace every part of your home, at 100% of the typical cost for the building and supplies.  Actual cash value is a different measurement of value. The cash value determines the cost of rebuilding your

255 Views, 0 Comments.

If you snooze, you lose. Remember these words if you're serious about buying in 2018. 

Competition for Madison area real estate is fierce this year. Inventory is extremely tight right now, and it will become even tighter in April and May. 

When a promising new listing comes along you and your buyer agent should be first in line to see it. Don't wait until the next day or the Sunday open house to view it in person. Schedule your showing immediately.

If you delay your showing you run the risk of missing out on your dream home. Ask the many buyers out in the market right now who are learning the hard way: Open houses are being canceled left and right because properties are selling in a flash. 

It Helps to Work with a Team in a Hot Market

We

858 Views, 0 Comments.

These days we're using technology to get just about anything we want. When we feel the need to buy, we shop online at Amazon and have our purchase shipped directly to our door. When we have a question, we turn to Google where the world of information is at our finger tips. And when we feel the need to connect, we use social media to reach out to our friends online.

But when it comes to the world of real estate, can we expect to buy a home in the same way?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. The truth is there is no easy button for buying in this market. As many consumers are learning, there's a lot more that goes into buying a home than casually searching for properties online. Shopping with your Zillow app just isn't good enough - because half of

865 Views, 0 Comments.

15 ways to write a winning offerIf you're buying in 2018, your offer to purchase will likely be up against offers from other motivated buyers. Below are 15 ways you can make your offer stand out from the competition and be the one that gets accepted. Toward the end of this article we've added 3 new bonus tips which will help you get your offer accepted in a competitive situation. Of course the strategies you use will depend a lot on the type and condition of the property, your level of motivation, and how much competition you have from other parties. 

15 Ways to Write a Winning Offer

#1: Submit your mortgage pre-approval from a reputable, local lender. A pre-approval from an out-of-town or big box lender can create doubt in the mind of a seller. For example, we've seen sellers

2,583 Views, 0 Comments.