All Blog Entries by Sara Ifert

Found 25 blog entries published by Sara Ifert.

Thanksgiving plans this year have changed for many people, but that doesn't mean you still can't celebrate the holiday! Here are 8 non-traditional ways to celebrate Thanksgiving this year at home. Some of them may even become part of your regular holiday tradition!

8 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving at Home in the Madison area

Thanksgiving 2020 Ideas

  1. Get outside. Many local races are going virtual this year. The Berbee Derby and Turkey Trot are both still happening, and are a great way to support your community and get some exercise. Running not your thing? Visit one of Dane County’s many parks and take a Thanksgiving Day hike, or take an extra long stroll in a new neighborhood. Depending on the weather, wearing layers will help make the time outside more comfortable. Spending a little extra time

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Many buyers have a preferred neighborhood or condo community in mind when they start searching for a home. However, there are not always homes for sale on the market that match their criteria. How do you find an unlisted home in that oh-so-perfect neighborhood or condo community? Our agents have been successful in helping our clients discover these properties with letter writing campaigns. A letter writing campaign is a targeted marketing strategy that can connect buyers with their ideal home - before it comes on the market. Read on for tips from Maureen Moran and Dan Miller on how to leverage this strategy.

Why do letter campaigns work? They often provide a benefit to both the buyer and seller, and lead to an easier sale.

Maureen Moran

Maureen: Receiving

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The home inspection is an important milestone in the home buying and selling process, and sometimes it can be a big sticking point. It’s not uncommon for a home inspection to reveal a few issues that buyers feel need to be addressed and the sellers say, “no way.” How can buyers and sellers work through this apparent impasse? A few of our realtors share some of the strategies they have used to help buyers navigate their inspection contingency - without jeopardizing the sale.

Five ways we help buyers navigate tricky inspections

Five ways we help buyers navigate tricky inspections

1. Be professional

Sometimes inspections bring forth issues that sellers weren’t aware of, or disagree with. Sellers can even be offended by the results. We help by focusing the conversation on issues that negatively

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Falling in love is part of the home buying process for many. You walk into a home and you just know it’s the one. Interestingly enough, a “love letter” can sometimes seal the deal for prospective buyers. In the context of real estate, a love letter is a letter penned from the buyer to the current owner of their dream home. Not all sellers are swayed by these letters, but in some situations a love letter can tip the scales in the favor of that buyer. Even when there are multiple offers. In this article, our team of Realtors share their insights about love letters, and how they can help you buy your dream home.

Chris Venden

Chris Venden has often encouraged buyers to write love letters to sellers since she got into real estate 15 years ago. “I think it helps

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A recent listing in Middleton was located on a quiet cul de sac on a large lot that backed up to a wooded conservancy. It was a perfect backdrop for a cozy and inviting home. However, the home was somewhat sparsely furnished. It needed additional furniture and decor to help it show to its full potential. This is a scenario where staging can make a huge difference.

REALTOR Shelley Lazzareschi worked with the seller to develop a staging plan that worked best for them and their budget. The seller decided to hire Brook Furniture Rental to provide furniture and decor while the home was on the market. Brook Furniture delivered and set up the furniture - they even hung the artwork! Debbie Lea of Showcase Home Stagers worked alongside with Shelley to finish

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Making your way around the Lake Edge neighborhood, you’ll find businesses adorned with beautiful murals, homes being renovated, and new businesses opening their doors. The community is close to everything on the east side of Madison, plus Lake Monona. Lake Edge is a community with a lot to offer for homeowners and visitors alike. 

The Lake Edge neighborhood has a surprisingly natural feel for being located right within the city. Mature trees provide a peaceful canopy over the community, and large lots give homeowners room to spread out. Most of the homes in this community are ranch or bungalow style, built between 1940 and 1960. Mad City Dream Homes Realtor Ann Raschein lives in the neighborhood. “I love so much about the Lake Edge

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Heading to an apple orchard in the fall is a great tradition held by many in the Dane County area. It’s a great opportunity to get outside on a beautiful fall weekend. COVID-19 is affecting the way many apple orchards are doing business, but they are still open and excited to welcome visitors. Since policies may change at any time, be sure to check the orchard’s website or Facebook page before your visit to familiarize yourself with their protocols.

Appleberry Farm, Cross Plains

Appleberry Farm small family-owned orchard in Cross Plains. They will be open to the public beginning in September. In order to limit the number of visitors at a time and to allow for physical distancing, they will be using a sign-up form on their website for visitors to

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The real estate market continues to be competitive for buyers in Dane County. With low inventory and low interest rates, there are plenty of buyers looking to buy their dream home. Our full time Real Estate Agents have time-tested strategies to help their clients stand out from the competition. Mad City Dream Homes REALTORs Ann Raschein and Maureen Moran share a few of their favorite tips and tricks to get their buyer clients into a new home.

Strategy 1: Personalized Outreach

Sometimes a well-crafted letter to the right potential seller can lead to a perfect real estate match. Maureen and Ann have both used this strategy, either to find a yet-to-be-listed property or to augment an offer.

Maureen Moran

Maureen: I have had buyers know exactly which condo

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The home inspection is an important step in the process of buying and selling a home. It can also seem like a stressful event for buyers and sellers alike. Read below for tips from Al Gindt of BPG Inspections on having a smooth inspection. Al also shares how inspections have changed during the pandemic to keep both buyers and sellers safe.

What can buyers and sellers expect from an inspection?

Al Gindt, BPG InspectionsA home inspection's first priority is to determine if there are any safety-related issues with a property. The second priority is to educate buyers on their new investment. “I try to emphasize to buyers that we’re not looking for specific issues as much as we're looking for what is going on in this home,” said Al. “Our goal with the inspection is to

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You may be thinking it would be great to buy a new home. Perhaps you could use more space. Or, maybe it’s time to downsize from a two-story to a ranch-style home or condo. The catch is, you have to sell your current home first! Our team of full-time real estate agents helps clients with this scenario all the time. In this article, we'll share a few tips to consider that can help make the process less stressful. Coordination and some additional planning can go a long way to helping you sell and buy at the same time.

couple searching for their new home

Tip 1: Focus on your home-selling plans first. It may be tempting to start looking for your dream home before you have prepared your home for sale. However, you risk finding the perfect home and being unable to write an offer because

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