Mad City Dream Homes Real Estate Blog, Madison WI

They're known for their Swiss roots, and Spotted Cow beer. And this weekend, New Glarus will be celebrating both at the annual Oktoberfest. The community is located just 30 minutes southwest of Madison, and is a must see for anyone looking for a unique variety of shops, restaurants and festivals. 

Oktoberfest events kick off Friday night with live music by Pink Houses and the ceremonial Tap of the Wooden Keg at 9 p.m. At that time, award winning beer Staghorn Octoberfest, created by New Glarus Brewing Co., will be available at the Oktoberfest tent. Admission to the tent is free, and commemorative Oktoberfest Bier Steins will be available for purchase.

The next morning, the day starts with the Glenda K. Scott 5K/10K run  or 2 mile walk through New

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We've covered previously how you and your real estate agent can use creative techniques to find and buy an unlisted property. These strategies include calling and sending letters to home owners in your preferred locations. Done in the right way, both methods work extremely well. Both afford you the opportunity to find the right property, negotiate with the owner, and close on your new home without any competition from other buyers. In this market of low inventory and high demand, both strategies give you a big advantage over the competition. Not only that, buying an unlisted home is a bit of an adventure and can be a lot of fun

A good old-fashioned postcard offers another creative avenue for finding and buying an unlisted property. A strategically

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The market for single family homes in Verona certainly favors sellers over buyers. On the surface this doesn't appear to be the case when you look at the number of homes sold in July. After all, there were only 23 homes sold in July, compared to 37 in July of 2014 and 28 in July of 2013. What these numbers don't show is that the supply of MLS listings is historically low. Although the demand for Verona real estate is very strong, a dearth of inventory is putting a cap on sales and driving prices higher. 


The graph below shows how the July average Verona home price has been trending over time. Excluding the outlier month of July 2006 (when a few luxury sales drove the average price higher), July home prices reached an all-time high in 2015. 

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Planning and preparation are critical to any successful endeavor. The same goes with selling a home. If you're like most successful sellers, your preparation will begin several months before your home is listed on the open market. It can be a lot of work, but it all becomes very manageable when you have a knowledgeable real estate agent, a professional home stager, and a professional photographer helping you execute your home selling plan.

Below we offer 4 key steps you can take right now to prepare for your successful sale. Even if your plan is to sell in 2016, now is the perfect time to start laying the foundation for a killer listing.

Step 1: Consult with a Professional Home Stager

Your most fundamental step is to consult with a

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In our last post we covered how the MLS limits the listing description to 512 characters of text. The MLS has a similar limitation in place for photos: all listings are limited to a max of 25 pictures.

For many properties, 25 photos is more than sufficient to show the entire home. But for some properties, 25 is not enough. For example, consider the home that sits on a wonderfully-landscaped lot with a variety of perennials in bloom throughout the seasons. One great way to market this home is to show buyers the beauty of the yard in the Spring, Summer and Fall. A proactive listing agent will hire a photographer to produce dozens of high-quality exterior photos, so when the home is ready to list all of the exterior photos are ready for publication.

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There is an old joke in the real estate business about the "three P's of selling a home". The first P is put a sign in the yard. The second P is place the listing on the MLS. The third P is pray another agent sells it.

Praying can't hurt, but a yard sign and the MLS are proven tools for marketing a home. A yard sign lets all passersby know your home is for sale. The MLS syndicates your listing to thousands of websites across the globe. However, a solid home-selling plan does much more than rely on a yard sign and MLS syndication. A solid marketing plan takes a much more comprehensive approach by selling the many benefits of your home.

One Big Drawback of the MLS

One big drawback of MLS syndication is the limit placed on descriptive text. The MLS

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Maybe it's the long winters that make Madison a huge city for summer swimming. Or perhaps it's the many lakes that create a love for all things water. But for years, the city has made it onto Speedo's top 10 list for swim cities. This year, Madison is ranked number 6 on Speedo's list. Speedo includes Madison because it has at least 24 pools available for water recreation- that's more than double the number found in other similar size places. In addition, the city boasts one of the largest outdoor swim meets in the nation: All City Swim and Dive. Thirteen area pools participate in this meet, while providing a sense of community, family recreation and competition for budding swimmers.

All City Swim and Dive takes place again this year, July 27-August 1.

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This weekend at the Dane County Farmer's Market, watch for hundreds of racers, in costume, as they carry watercraft from one lake to another. Or, if you're brave enough, sign up and join the fun at the 36th annual Paddle and Portage, sponsored by Isthmus.

With Lake Mendota sitting to the north, and Lake Monona to the south, you couldn't find a better course for such an event. Paddlers race through one lake, carry their watercraft across downtown Madison, and then race through the other. Costumed contestants, parent/child combinations and hard core racers all make their way to Paddle and Portage. The spectacle of so many costumed racers is worth the trip downtown, as is the live music, food, craft beers and vendors at Olin Park.

This year, the event

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You can have a luxury listing without having a luxury home. All you need is the right team of professionals and a solid marketing plan backing you every step of the way. At Mad City Dream Homes, we offer you the expertise of our professional stager. Our stager guides you through your home preparations until your property is camera-ready. When your staging is complete, we bring in our professional photographer to shoot your listing photos. The end result is magazine-quality photos like the ones below.

The pictures below come from a variety of listings we've sold over the last few years. These photos represent properties that sold for less than $100,000 to well over $1,000,000. Whether you're selling a small condo, a luxury home on the lake, or a

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Staging your home is the single best investment you can make prior to putting your property up for sale. Professional staging enhances your listing photos, your listing video, and your showing activity. It leads to better first impressions - both online and in-person. All of this leads to more offers, a quicker sale, and a higher selling price for your home. 

We hire a professional stager to consult with each client well before each listing hits the open market. As you will see from the "before" and "after" photos below, the results are truly amazing. These real-life examples come courtesy of home stager extraordinaire, Ronna Nyman.

Ronna met with our clients and developed a detailed staging plan for their home. Our clients took Ronna's advice to

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