Madison WI Real Estate Blog

Selling Homes - It's a Team Effort

One of my core values as a Realtor in Madison is "Team". When buying or selling a home, there are often a number of people involved. One person might put up a sign, another helps with marketing, a home inspector looks for defects in the property, other professionals make repairs, home staging people rearrange furniture, photographers make the home show it's best, and other real estate agents are often involved in a successful home sale. In many successful real estate offices, you'll instantly notice that teamwork is in place. This is nothing new. You probably already know the acronym, "Together Everyone Achieves More". In the real estate business, this applies as well.

My team is fairly small at the moment, but given my success in 2011 among the top 10% of all agents in the Madison area, I'm looking to expand my team in 2012. Currently I am the primary agent involved in both listing and selling homes. I work with Jessica Fox as my business coach, have Jim Peetz to assist with marketing and administration details, and a couple other agents in my office to assist with my clients as well. I have a number of other business people that I am currently working with to help with marketing, graphic design, website maintenance, home inspections, photography, mortgage pre-approvals, sign installation, training, and more.

Ultimately, the success of any team is the interaction of all the members. As the main ring leader, it's my job to make sure everyone works well together and in the end the customer has a great experience. One thing that I love about Keller Williams is that there are 80,000 other associates across North America that also recognize the value of teamwork. As the saying goes, "nobody succeeds alone".

If you know of someone that might make a great fit for my team, please have them contact me.


How much are closing costs in Wisconsin?

One common question that I get from home buyers and sellers is, "How much are closing costs?" Well, that really depends. There are a number of costs involved when buying or selling a home, aside from the final actual sale price.

Buyer's closing costs

As a home buyer, you're probably already aware that you'll need to come up with some money in order to be able to buy a house. Typically you will need money for a down payment, closing costs, and other surprise expenses. Most home buyer's today need at least a 3.5% down payment to qualify for a mortgage with FHA (Federal Housing Authority). There are other programs available that allow other down payment amounts, such as 5%, 10%, or the standard 20%. If you decide to put down at least 20% on your home mortgage, then typically you will save some money every month because you will not have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance (also called PMI). Depending on the size of the loan, your PMI could be $80 a month or $180 a month. The amount varies based on the estimated value of the home and your down payment.

Other closing costs for a home buyer include lender fees, appraisal fees, credit fee, flood certification fee, document preparation fee, deed recording fee, prepaid taxes, mortgage insurance premium, origination fees, and title insurance. Many of these charges vary based on where you decide to obtain a loan or if you're paying cash for a property. These costs will vary dramatically depending on the loan program you choose. A good loan officer will review all the best loan programs that fit your situation and go over all of the estimated charges in a document called a "Good Faith Estimate". For example, an FHA loan has an up front mortgage insurance premium of around 2%, that is often added to the loan amount. Conventional programs may not have...

Big Life Changes - The Family Grows

There are a handful of times in life with big time game changing events. You know, the one's that have a tremendous impact on everything else. Going to college, starting a new job, moving to a new town, getting married, and buying a new home. This past week, I had the wonderful opportunity to have one of those big time events. My wife and I became parents as our new son Tyler joined the world on October 5th.

Our lives will be forever changed as we enter this new chapter of life.

What a blessing!

I know this blog is primarily related to real estate matters in the Madison area, but I had to share this big event in my life. Here's my best attempt to relate directly to real estate: when families grow, your housing needs may change and that's when I can help.