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 64 blog entries related to this category.

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

76 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

154 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

158 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

785 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

719 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

2,200 Views, 0 Comments.

In a hot real estate market, making a strong offer to purchase is the key to success. If you include a contingency to sell, it can be enough to prevent you from obtaining an accepted offer. Because there are a limited number of properties available this spring, we encourage our buyers to do everything they can to avoid having a sale contingency on their offer.

Karen Wedvick, of Johnson Bank, offers a few suggestions to help buyers have a good offer ready, without selling first.

1. Get a Home Equity Line of Credit BEFORE you List your Home.  A line of credit allows you to use your home equity to work for you, including the option to use it for a down payment. This option can be appealing, because it typically allows you to access 90% of your current

409 Views, 0 Comments.

A few days ago a prospective out-of-town buyer contacted our team about buying a home in the Madison area. He had been researching properties online and created a list of 20 homes he wanted to visit in person. We quickly checked on the status of each property and determined 18 of the listings already had an accepted offer. In other words, 90% of the properties on this buyer's list were already under contract and scheduled to close with another party.  

Accepted Offers in Madison WI

Mr Buyer was surprised to learn that so many of the properties on his list would be selling to other people. It was tough news for him to swallow, but a good example for others on how competitive the Madison real estate market has become.

Our advice for buyers in 2018

If you'd like to avoid the

342 Views, 0 Comments.

It's a jungle out there for buyers in this year's real estate market. Madison area home and condo listings are at historically low levels, and we fully expect this to be the "new normal" for the next several years. Consequently some buyers are struggling in 2018 because they don't have the right tools, the right mindset, or the right agent to effectively compete. If you're planning to buy this year, here are 4 steps you should take right now to effectively compete in our low inventory market. 

4 steps for buying in a low inventory market

#1: Write down your goal and commit to it. For example, "By June 30th, purchase a 4-bedroom home for under $500,000 in the Middleton School District." Then re-visit your goal and work on it everyday. You're much

436 Views, 0 Comments.

Buying a home is a several step process, and it begins before you even look at potential properties. Laurie Ellis-Mcleod, president of AERIE Preferred Financial Group, offers 6 tips to prepare you to buy this spring:

1. Don't dip into your retirement funds.  "You can't finance retirement. You need to rethink your plan to buy if you have to dip into your IRA or 401K to make it happen," says Laurie.

2. Watch your spending.  You don't want to hurt your credit during this crucial time. Avoid the temptation to close an account, open a new one, or make a large purchase. Your lender will be looking at all of these things, and any one of them could negatively impact your credit score.

3. Make sure you understand the full cost of ownership. Talk with your

437 Views, 0 Comments.