How to Survive and Thrive in this Year's Spring Market

Posted by Dan Miller, REALTOR on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 at 5:15pm.

It's only February, but the hot Spring market has already arrived in Madison. This year's single family home and condo markets are already chaotic with buyers fighting over a limited supply of properties.

Sellers will enjoy 2016. Buyers will need a solid game plan for finding the right home at the right price. Below are a few quick real estate stats which show why 2016 is already proving to be a hot seller's market. We also offer some tips for making your real estate goals happen in 2016. 

Current Trends: The Madison Condo Market

The $250,000 and under price category is the hottest segment in the Madison condo market. As of this post there are only 1.6 months of supply available for sale in this price range. An amazing 46% of the listings in this price category already have accepted offers. To put this another way, if you are browsing Zillow or Trulia, 46% of the condo listings you see are already spoken for and scheduled to close soon. This is one reason why any serious buyer should hire a buyer agent. A good buyer agent will save you time by helping you focus on the properties that are truly available for sale. The slideshow below provides more info on the latest trends in the local condo market. 


Current Trends: Madison Single Family Homes

The single family home market is also very hot, especially in the $350,000 and under price category. As of this post there are only 1.2 months of inventory available for sale in this price range. Over 40% of the single family listings in this price category have an accepted offer and are scheduled to close soon. 

6 Tips for Buyers in the 2016 Spring Market

Here are six tips for finding and buying the right home this Spring. 

  1. Get your mortgage pre-approval ASAP. Submit your pre-approval letter with your offer so your seller knows you're a serious and legitimate buyer. Your letter will help you compete against other buyers in a multiple offer situation. 
  2. Hire a good buyer agent. A good buyer agent will help you focus on the listings that are truly available for sale. Your buyer agent will also protect your best interests while helping you be the one to come out on top in this ultra-competitive market. 
  3. Ask your buyer agent for instant listing notifications. Make sure you receive an email whenever a new listing or price reduction matching your criteria is posted to the MLS. Then act quickly if an appealing listing hits the market. Don't wait for the weekend open house. Schedule your showing right away and be prepared to write your offer immediately if you've found the right property. 
  4. Write an offer that appeals to your seller's needs. Very often getting your offer accepted is about more than just price. Learn up front when your seller wants to close. Then do whatever you can to accommodate her preferred closing date.
  5. Submit a personal letter with your offer. For example, we recently listed a home which received 13 competing offers. Only 3 of the buyers chose to write a letter. It's no surprise the sellers ended up accepting an offer which came from one of these three. A personal letter helps you establish a connection with the seller. Submit a letter anytime you're in a multiple offer situation. 
  6. Expand your search to include off-market properties. There are several ways to go about this. A good buyer agent can help you identify a few unlisted properties before anyone else knows they're available for sale. This gives you the opportunity to make an offer without any competing buyers - a true luxury in this year's hot real estate market. 

4 Tips for Sellers in the 2016 Spring Market

Follow these tips for making the most of this year's Spring market. 

  1. List your home in the early spring. Contrary to popular opinion, market dynamics are better for sellers in March than they are in May or June. Don't wait for the late spring or summer to list your home. For more information, check out our article, When is the best time to sell your home?
  2. Know your market inside and out. The spring market is all about momentum. Your market analysis should not only focus on the recent sales in your area, it should also zero in on what is happening in your market right now. For example, is there are an abundance or a shortage of supply in your neighborhood? What percent of the current listings in your area have an accepted offer? How long were each of these listings on the market before the offer was accepted? The answers to these questions will help you select a good price which takes into account the latest dynamics in your neighborhood. 
  3. Protect against a low appraisal. You have two audiences when you market your home: 1) buyers, and 2) appraisers. For this reason you should document the improvements and upgrades that you've invested into your home. This documentation will help you justify your price if a buyer or appraiser should question it. 
  4. Practice the "5 P's" of marketing a home: 1) Price your home correctly from the start. 2) Consult with a professional home stager. 3) Use only professional photos. 4) Use professional video for your virtual tour. 5) Publish supplemental materials which document the upgrades and improvements you've made in your home. By following the 5 P's you'll generate a tremendous amount of interest in your listing when buyers are most active - during the spring market.

Give us a call anytime you have a question about Madison area real estate. We have answers. 

This article is published courtesy of:
Dan Miller, REALTOR
Mad City Dream Homes & RE/MAX Preferred
1619 Monroe Street #1, Madison, WI, 53711

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