Selling Tips

Selling Real Estate in Madison & South Central Wisconsin: Property Selling Tips

Found 141 blog entries about Selling Tips.

Our weather may be cold and snowy right now, but the Madison real estate market is heating up. Right now a huge window of opportunity is opening up for local home sellers. In fact, this spring promises to be one of the best sellers markets we've seen in many years. Sellers who take advantage of this opportunity and who also do the right things will be rewarded with a quick sale and a high market price. Below we cover why the time is right for home sellers. We also cover a few things sellers can do to properly prepare for a successful listing. 

A Time of Opportunity for Home Sellers

In real estate timing can be everything, and right now a perfect storm is forming to the benefit of many Madison area home sellers. Here are 4 key reasons why this spring

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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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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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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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If you spend any amount of time looking for properties on the internet, it won't take long before you stumble across a few listings with some really suspect photos. Even in this day and age, there are plenty of listings out there which break many of the rules for good real estate photography. So much so that there is a website that is devoted entirely to the subject of terrible listing photos.

Check out the 3 sample listing photos below. How many rules does each of these pictures break? 

Bad Photo #1: Family Room

This photo was produced by an amateur using amateur equipment. The lighting is poor and the image is not crisp. The room is not professionally staged. It's full of holiday decorations and clutter. And is that Fido's chew toy on the

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What does the new year hold in store for Madison, Wisconsin real estate? Based on our review of objective market data, we expect the 2014 Madison real estate market to be another good year for local home and condo sellers. Read on for more info:

2014 Madison Real Estate Predictions

  1. Madison home and condo sales will continue at strong levels, but will decrease from the levels of 2013. The 2013 real estate market was a perfect storm for local sellers. Low prices, rock bottom mortgage rates, and several years of pent up demand combined to create a huge influx of buyers in 2013. These market forces are still at play in 2014, but not to the extent of the previous year. Our pending home sales data suggests strong but moderating sales in the months
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Our Ballpark Estimator is a free tool you can use to estimate the market value of your Madison area home or condo. In fact it offers one of several ways you can use our website to learn more about the real estate market in your neighborhood. How does it work? The tool itself is very simple. 

Ballpark Estimator: How it works

  1. You enter the address of your Madison area home or condo, as well as the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and the finished square footage. 
  2. The Estimator then presents you with a list of 12 recent sales in your area. 
  3. You select 3 of the 12 properties that are most similar to yours. 
  4. The tool then presents you with a "ballpark price". The ballpark price is based on the price per finished square foot of your 3
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We've been working to create a website that provides you with the very best view of the Madison real estate market at the local and neighborhood level. We've added many improvements to over the last few weeks, including many enhancements to our detailed property views. Our newest feature is the addition of neighborhood market information, which includes a summary of recent sales, active listings, and active listings with accepted offers. 

Take a look at the example below which shows a neighborhood market summary for a home in the Hill Farms neighborhood on Madison's near west side.

  • The blue home icons represent current listings in the area with an accepted offer (this status is assigned by the listing brokerage within the
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One of our team goals for 2013 has been to create a second real estate website that you will value for years to come. Our first website,, is recognized as a great local resource for no-spin information on the Madison area home and condo markets. Our focus for has been to create a Madison real estate resource with the best available view of the properties for sale at the local and neighborhood levels. We have more work to do, but we're well on our way toward achieving our goal. Here's a quick update on our plans for building you a better website for Madison Wisconsin real estate.  

5 Steps to a Better Real Estate Website

  1. Create Madison property guides that provide an in-depth view of homes and condos at
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