Sunday, August 14, 2016

What's Your Criteria??

All buyer’s have certain criteria when they purchase a new home.  It might be location, or price, or amenities and usually a combination of several things; a “must have” list, so to speak.  My job is to find them the house that meets all of their parameters, or at the least as many as I can.

I worked with one client, whom I now call a friend, for more than a year.  She had very clear goals.  She wanted a house with charm and character, she wanted at least 1600 square feet, a garage, 1 ½ baths but preferably 2 full baths and no corner lots.  We looked at hundreds of homes (no kidding!) in Middleton and Madison and she even considered new construction.  We even wrote offers on a few that didn’t work out and in hindsight were not the right properties for her. 

We both were aware of a house that was for sale on Madison’s west side that was darling.  Talk about curb appeal!  She liked the exterior so much that she sat in front of it and called me to see it. But, and here’s the big “but”, it didn’t meet all her criteria.  So, we passed on it.

Fast forward a few days while we were looking at another property with a friend of hers and the house in question came up.  Her friend encouraged her to look at it.  So we did.  And she liked the interior as much as the exterior, but what about her “must have” list?  She thought long and hard about what to do and we talked…and talked and talked.  We eventually wrote an offer.  After some negotiating, the offer was accepted and she has since closed and moved in.

She made some concessions.  The house is 1300 square feet.  It has only 1 bathroom.  It’s on a corner lot.  What??  Yep!  But it is darling, it has charm and she will work her magic to make it spectacular!  I think she’s happy and I know she loves the neighborhood.  And, she was a joy to work with! 

The moral of the story is that it’s important to have criteria, but flexibility is key!  Be sure to look at EVERYTHING!  You never know, it might be the house you’ve been waiting for.  If you know someone looking for the house of their dreams (or close to it!) have them give me a call.  As always, I’m happy to help.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Temperatures Up, Inventory Down

A strange thing seems to happen every summer. The days – from sunup to sundown – are longer, and yet they fly by so fast! In a way, the same thing can be said of our current real estate market. Property is selling at an accelerated pace, and yet there is a shortage of properties to sell. It makes for quite a conundrum and, as you've surely witnessed, price aberrations occur within the marketplace.

Existing-home sales sprang ahead in May to their highest pace in almost a decade, while the uptick in demand this spring amidst lagging supply levels pushed the median sales price to an all-time high, according to the National Association of Realtors. In the Madison area demand is far exceeding the supply-thus competition among buyers is intense. Advantages exist for home buyers too. Mortgage rates, which are at three-year lows, allow qualified buyers to be well funded.

Home prices are increasing because of low inventory, but buyers are focused on getting as much house as possible while interest rates are so low. In short, this means encouraging those who are interested in selling to do so; the sooner the better!

Enjoy your summer. If a real estate move is part of your summer plans, I'm here!  Just give me a call or shoot me a test.  As always, I'm happy to help!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

First Impressions Matter

Buyer's typically know the minute they walk into a home whether it will suit them.  So, like a firm handshake, first impressions matter.  I will also say, that a good agent that knows their client well, will also know fairly quickly if a house will appeal to their buyer.  There are a few inexpensive tricks that homeowner's can do to make that first impression meaningful and won't break the bank.
  • Add a wreath to the front door
  • Hang a flag
  • Add a hanging basket or a few potted plants near the front door and a bench or chair if there is space
  • Look at the front of your house as a picture.  What else could you add?  A pair of garden boots, a watering can, a croquet set or perhaps a small sculpture or fountain.  The sound of a fountain can be very soothing.
It's hard to pin down an exact return on investment for landscaping when it comes to selling a house.  I do know that it does create value, depending on the extent of the landscaping, I have seen figures as high as 80% ROI. Not bad for a little curb appeal!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dollhouse in Sunset Village

WOW! Adjacent to a small, quiet, city park stands a simply darling cape cod in the heart of Sunset Village. Beautiful hardwood floors throughout, woodburning fireplace and an inviting bay window bathes the living room in sunlight. A quaint family room has views of the lush, professionally landscaped gardens and the park beyond. This dollhouse is in a family friendly neighborhood close to busline, coffee shops, restaurants, Hilldale, Glenway Golf Course and Sequoya Commons. Give me a call for your private showing.  Hurry home to Sunset Village!

Monday, July 11, 2016

May 2016 Home Sales

May 2016 home sales on the west side of Madison are in the books!  Scroll down to see if any of the houses in your neighborhood have sold!

It's a seller's market, so if you are thinking of listing your house for sale, now is the time.  Give me a call and let's talk.

Monday, July 4, 2016

HaPpY 4th of July

I hope you have the opportunity today to:

  • Hang a flag
  • Attend a parade
  • Wear Red, White and Blue
  • Light a Sparkler
  • Spend time with your Family
  • See some fireworks
  • Sing the Star Spangled Banner (or hum it if you prefer!)
  • Thank a Veteran
  • Attend a picnic
  • Enjoy the freedoms that allow you to do whatever your please!

HaPpY, hApPy 4th of July!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Why Won't My House Sell??

It's hard to believe that in this Real Estate market, there are houses that aren't selling.  It happens.  People buy houses using three criteria; Location, Price and Condition.  Seller's can't change the location, but they can control the price and condition.  Here are a few tips to make a house more appealing to more buyer's:

  • Declutter, declutter, declutter.  When you are finished decluttering, declutter some more!  It helps to have a friend with a fresh eye help with this.
  • Finish the project.  Put up that trim that you never got around to installing. Paint that wall that you were going to paint.  Take down that wallpaper you thought was hideous when you moved in.  Buyer's won't look past those things that you can overlook.
  • Consider putting large pieces of furniture in storage if the room is "overstuffed".  It's always good to have furniture in the house so buyer's can gage the scale of the room, but too much can be overwhelming.
  • Please remove personal belongings and family photos, if possible.  Buyer's can't see themselves in your house if everywhere they turn they see photos of "Jane and Johnny".
Don't get discouraged.  Have faith!  There is a buyer out there for your house.  You only need to find one!  Please give me a call, I'm happy to help!