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January 2015

There are 8 blog entries for January 2015.

Frostiball 2015 Madison WIWhether it’s the grace of a dance troupe, the beauty of an orchestra’s music filling the air, an innovative story told by a theater group or the complexity of local art, Madison enjoys a vibrant arts scene.

But did you know that this collection of artists and entertainers are improving the city’s economic health?

Overture Center for the Arts brings world-renown artists to Madison, contributing to the city’s entertainment prospects, and its bottom line. It’s estimated that $10 million dollars enters the city annually as a direct result of people attending Overture’s programs. “The city benefits from an artistic scene. It’s one reason people choose to live here. It gives employers another tool for recruiting employees, and adds the “creative class” to

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listing agent interview questionsGetting ready to sell your home? If you're like many home owners, you want to hire a real estate agent who has the experience that comes with selling many properties. Experience is important. Results are important, too. When it comes to results there are three key questions you can ask during the interview process:

  1. What are the odds your home will sell?
  2. How long will it take to sell your home?
  3. How close will your selling price be to your list price? 

We recently dug into these questions by reviewing listing data from the South Central Wisconsin MLS. We focused our review on the top 26 listing agents in South Central Wisconsin (based on 2014 sold listing volume). Our analysis covered listings for single family homes. To keep the data

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Could pulling a sled help you with your fitness goals? What about an obstacle course? It’s no secret that our nation faces an obesity epidemic, and kids are included in the latest statistics. It’s with this in mind that Physicians Plus, Meriter and Madison Moms blog have joined forces. They created the Polar Dash- an annual event designed to encourage kids and their families to be active, even in the cold. On January 24, the 8th Annual Polar Dash will take place at the Meriter Monona Clinic (6408 Copps Avenue, Monona).  Kids, ages 12 and under, are invited to participate in a race, where they pull a sled (or perhaps a wagon, if the snow is melted), carrying a plush polar bear. Outdoor hula hooping, an obstacle course and bean bag toss create additional

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are zestimates accurateZillow is a tremendously popular website with a ton of bells and whistles. One of the more popular features of the site is the "Zestimate", which Zillow uses to approximate a home's market value. We speak to many sellers every year about the market value of their property, and very often they are well aware of their Zestimate. People ask, "Is my Zestimate accurate?" Very often the answer is no, because the Zestimates are grossly overstated (see our data toward the bottom of this post).

Another common discussion point with sellers is their property's assessed value. We're all aware of our own property's assessment. It's used to calculate our annual tax bill. But is there any relationship between a property's assessed value and it's true market value?

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top listing mistakesPlanning to sell your home? As a home seller most of your success is due to the planning and preparation that you put into your listing well before it ever hits the MLS. Consult with a trusted real estate agent several months in advance of your anticipated sale. Get a solid game plan in place for your pricing, staging, and marketing. Your advanced planning and preparation will pay off big-time when your home hits the open market. 

Eight Seller Mistakes

This list is inspired by Massachusetts REALTOR Bill Gassett's excellent post on top home seller mistakes. Check out his article for more advice. Stop the sabotage, and avoid these common listing mistakes.

1. Advertising your pets

Many of us are pet lovers, but that doesn't mean we love other

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madison outdoor ice skatingImagine music, lights, disco balls and glow sticks. Put all of this on ice, and you have a fun and free family event every weekend at Madison Parks. Called “Groove and Glide,” the ice skating event travels from park to park throughout the winter. This year skaters can even join Bucky and the UW Women's Hockey Team at one of the events. Groove and Glide makes stops at Vilas, Tenney, Elver and Westmorland parks. Enjoy a few laps around the rink, and warm up with hot chocolate or a cappuccino. Concessions are available for purchase at every location except Westmorland, and skate rentals can be obtained for $6 for adults and $3 for skaters under age 14. After the first hour, skate rentals can be extended for $2.

The current schedule includes:

Friday,

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Buyer Phone Call CampaignWe recently posted on how you and your buyer agent can collaborate to find an off-market property before the general public knows it's available for sale. Blanketing a neighborhood (or condo development) with a personal letter is an excellent strategy for beating the competition to a great home in a popular location. 

Another effective method is to ask your agent to call the households in your preferred neighborhood. Similar to the personal letter, an effective phone call campaign allows you to connect with property owners who are planning to sell in the near future. Here are a few tips for a successful phone call campaign, which we've learned through trial, error, and on-the-job education.

Five Tips for an Effective Phone Call Campaign

  1. Your
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Best Time to Sell Madison WIWhen is the best time to put your home on the market? Here's the short answer: by March 1st.

Each year the Madison real estate market quickly shifts from a buyer's market (in November and December) to a seller's market (in late winter and early spring). The graph below, which shows buyer activity by month, makes this abundantly clear. Although many local homes and condos sell each month, the house-hunting frenzy is strongest during the months of March, April and May. Now that we've made our way through the holiday season the market in early January is already heating up. We're seeing more showing activity right now than we did a month ago.

Madison Accepted Offers by Month - Homes and Condos

 

Why March 1st is a Great Time to List your Home

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