Buying Tips

Buying a Home in Madison & South Central Wisconsin: Real Estate Buying Tips

Found 86 blog entries about Buying Tips.

If we were to choose one word to describe the spring real estate market, it would be "over-heated". The spring selling season has been full of bidding wars and huge price increases. If you know anyone who's bought or sold this spring, no doubt you've heard a few interesting stories about our crazy market. 

But real estate is all about the seasons, and right now our over-heated spring market is giving way to a more balanced summer market. As the graph below shows, buyer activity decreases in June from the peak months of March, April and May. Plenty of real estate gets bought and sold in the summertime, but at a slower pace compared to the spring season. 

Summer Real Estate Market in Madison WI

How does this shift affect buyers and sellers?

If you're still planning to buy or sell in

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In a real estate market that proves to be highly competitive, we encourage our clients to work with lenders that provide high quality service and efficient results. One of our favorite lenders is Patrick Averill of Thompson Kane. Averill has proven himself as a lender who consistently puts his clients' needs first, and who ensures they understand the lending process from start to finish.

"I take what I do very seriously. This is my clients' largest purchase, and often their largest asset. I do everything I can to make the process go as smoothly and stress-free as possible," he says. Averill is familiar with the competition many buyers face to get their offers accepted. He educates his clients on their financial options, their approved purchase range,

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Many buyers are getting sticker shock in this year's hot real estate market. They're realizing they can't get the home they were hoping for within their original budget. Some buyers are dropping out due to rising prices. Others are adjusting their expectations about the market and moving forward with their home-buying plan. They're doing this by "living in their payment, not their mortgage". 

Living in your Payment

"Living in your payment" refers to looking at your purchase in terms of your monthly payment, not the purchase price of your home. For example, suppose your original budget for buying a home was $300,000, but due to rising prices you're considering increasing your budget in order to find the right property. The chart below shows for every

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Competitive Market for Home BuyersHere's an example that demonstrates how competitive the Madison area real estate market has become for home and condo buyers...We recently listed a home for sale in a neighborhood with less than a month of supply. Seventy-five percent of the listings in this neighborhood were under contract and scheduled to close soon. This home was also positioned in a very popular price point. Everything we knew about this listing suggested the response to this home would be very strong. 

As it turned out this property had 30 private showings in 4 days as well as another 30 parties who attended the Sunday open house. By the end of the fourth day six offers were on the table.

Every offer was strong

  • Six of six offers were for above the full list price. The
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Madison area home buyers are experiencing a competitive market right now. It will become even more competitive in the months of April, May and June. Take a look at the graph below from the 2016 calendar year. It shows the percent of Madison single family home listings that received competing offers month-by-month. 

Most Competitive Months for Madison Home Buyers

As the numbers above show, April, May and June are the most competitive months for home buyers in the Madison market. These are the months when buyers are most likely to experience bidding wars, escalation clauses, and missed opportunities. 

"Go Against the Grain and Avoid the Pain"

Conventional wisdom says you should buy your home in the spring or summer when listings are most plentiful. The numbers suggest going against the grain

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In this competitive market the lender you choose can actually impact whether or not your offer gets accepted. How is this possible? Well, let's suppose you've found the perfect home, and as your buyer agent is getting ready to draft your offer she learns one competing offer is in and 4 more offers are expected to arrive soon. You want to do everything you can to get your offer accepted, so your agent calls your local lender and asks her a favor. 

Next, your lender immediately emails the listing agent to explain that you're a rock solid buyer with verified income, assets, and credit. Then your lender calls the listing agent to relay the same message.

In the end, your offer is the one that gets accepted. The listing agent confides it was the

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These days finding the right property is about much more than putting a search in place on the MLS. In this low inventory environment, it pays to have a hard-working team of buyer agents in your corner. Here are 10 different ways your buyer agent team can go the extra mile to help you find and buy your dream home. 

10 Creative Property Search Strategies

  1. Contact households of previously expired MLS listings in your target location. 
  2. Identify "coming soon" listings that are in withheld/delayed status on the MLS. 
  3. Monitor listings on Zillow, FSBO websites, and craigslist. 
  4. Contact real estate agents who are active in your preferred location. 
  5. Call property owners in select neighborhoods and condo communities in order to find the right 
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how to buy and sell a home at the same timeDo you need to sell your current home in order to buy another? Are you wondering how you can compete against other buyers who don't have a home sale contingency? Do you feel overwhelmed by the tasks in front of you?

Whether your goal is to "down-size" or "up-size", you and your agent can make it happen by putting a proactive plan in place. Read on to learn our seven tips for selling and buying at the same time. By following these tips you'll be taking the necessary steps that will get you into your dream home. 

7 Tips for Selling and Buying at the Same Time

Tip 1: Work proactively with your real estate agent so you're ready to sell your home as soon as you find the home you'd like to buy. This means getting your home staged and having your

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selling and buying at the same timeIn the month of December our real estate team helped 3 different clients sell their home and buy a new home on the same day. As you'll see below, each client took a unique approach to making their home purchase happen. The common element among all 3 clients was each one worked proactively to implement a specific, well-thought-out plan. See below to learn how each client sold one home in order to buy another.  

Client One: Creating a Plan A and Plan B

Our clients Jeff and Patsy wished to sell their home in Waunakee in order to buy a new construction home in Madison. We were confident we could accomplish this by selling their current home quickly and scheduling it to close on the same day as their purchase. Just in case, Jeff and Patsy put a

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It goes against convention, but the month of December is an excellent time to buy a home. Why? There are far fewer buyers to compete with in the wintertime, and sellers tend to be more motivated during the holiday season. This means the deals are better in December and January. If you're looking to get a fair deal on a nice home or condo, the winter season is an excellent time to buy. Of course every situation is different. Feel free to contact us to discuss your individual situation. 

Here are more specifics on why right now is an excellent time to buy in Madison and the surrounding Dane County area. 

Buyers Have Less Competition in December

It's much easier to get an offer accepted in December because there are fewer competing buyers. The MLS

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