Last night I read an interview with a luxury home sales agent in Southern California.

The part of the piece that really jumped out at me was when the agent told the interviewer about how she marketed a particular luxury home by placing an ad in an in-flight magazine, “. . . which I paid for myself . . .”

Now, why would that line in particular catch my attention?

Because I was appalled.

Who else did she expect to pay for it? She was hired to market a home and, especially since it’s a luxury home, she’ll be paid a hefty sum for doing so.

Unfortunately, this is how some real estate agents think.

If they even have a marketing budget, they’ll cut corners in it wherever and whenever they can. They may even expect you, the homeowner, to…

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February 2

Dublin Irish Dance – “Stepping Out”

You gotta love the fancy footwork of Irish dance and few do it better than Dublin Irish Dance.  "Stepping Out" takes you on a journey through pre-famine Ireland, “through the Great Hunger and crossing the Atlantic Ocean to arrive at Ellis Island.” The show starts at 8 p.m. at Wisconsin Union Theater. Get details and ticket information online at union.wisc.edu.

 

February 2 through February 4

Frozen Assets Festival

It’s the fourth annual outdoor winter festival on Lake Mendota! You’re invited to participate in a weekend-long party, including sleigh rides, ice skating, pond hockey and more. Get the details online at cleanlakesalliance.org.

 

February 2, 3, 7, 18 and 21

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Homes in Madison spend an average of 30 days on the market, according to the latest statistics. It is, by the way, the least amount of time homes have spent on the market in our MLS’ history.

Well-maintained, staged homes, in desirable areas, can sell within weeks, sometimes quicker. Luxury homes naturally take longer.

Let’s take a look at the answers to the most common question I receive from my home selling clients

The local economy' impact on home sales

Real estate is sensitive to the economic cycle and, when the economy slows down, so does the real estate market. Remember, real estate is local, so not only is it affected by the national economy (food prices, etc.) but on local economic factors as well.

When an area sheds jobs, for…

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At Lake & City Homes we absolutely believe that homebuyers should create a list of the key features they want in a home. It not only helps them remain focused, but it helps us, as their agents, narrow down the choices of homes to tour.

The problem with the wish list is that too many buyers use it as a recipe for their perfect home – assuming that there is a home out there with all of the ingredients necessary.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, with the depleted inventory of Madison homes we are currently experiencing (and have for the past seven years), our best advice to home shoppers is to replace your middle name with the word “compromise.”

In-demand Madison home features

The most popular features among the available…

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A seller’s market is when there is less than six months of inventory on the market. In the Madison area we have been facing a severe shortage of inventory for the last seven (!) years. What are the reasons for these market conditions and why are they persisting?

Perhaps more importantly, what can a good real estate agent do to increase your chances of landing a great property in a multiple bidding situation.

The first reason we’re in a seller’s market is obvious: there is precious little inventory for sale. The question on everybody’s mind however, is why?

Why is there so little inventory?

What are the forces that have caused inventory to dry up to levels not seen in more than a decade? Why is it becoming more and more difficult for…

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January 2 through January 7

RENT

It’s the 20th anniversary tour of this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning musical and it’s heading for the Overture Center’s stage. If you haven’t seen it yet, this event is a must-attend. Get the details and buy tickets online at overture.org.

 

January 5, 2018 to January 7, 2018

Madison Home Expo

If 2018 is the year you plan on sprucing up the old homestead, get to the Madison Home Expo for ideas, advice and inspiration. Enjoy roofing, home security, flooring, insulation, landscaping tips and bathroom and kitchen remodeling topics. It’s happening at the Monona Terrace Convention Center - Exhibition Hall and Ballroom. Admission for adults is $5 and kids under 18 get in free. Check…

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Do you realize that in just more than one week, the kids will be out of school for winter break? Yikes! What will you do with them this year? Time for a pre-holiday day trip to let off some steam? Or maybe just stick close to home. Read on for some ideas.

Get out of town

How about a day (or a stay) at Boulder Junction? The Winter Celebration is happening on December 30, with even more fun things for the family to enjoy. These include a guided cross-country ski adventure (equipment will be available), sledding, ice skating, wagon rides, music, fireworks and, best of all, complimentary hot cocoa and chili.

If you want to stay for a night or two, check out these lodging ideas. Boulder Junction is about 3.5 hours north of Madison.

Eagle River…

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Young, growing families eventually get to the point where they outgrow their current digs. At this point they know they need to move up to a larger home but hesitate because of current market conditions.

Sure, it’ll be a snap to sell the current home; starter homes are in great demand right now. But, then what? Competition is keen in most price ranges in Madison, causing many would-be move-up buyers to hesitate.

The question of the season is: “Should we sell now while the market is hot and then rent until it cools off?”

The answer is: “Are you nuts? Have you any idea how much rents are increasing?”

Although rent prices are down on a year-to-year basis, they’re up on a month-to-month basis. In fact, the rent on a one-bedroom apartment…

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