Madison WI Real Estate Blog

FSBO in Madison - Maybe? Not for this guy

When I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal, I had to laugh at the irony.  I'm sure that many other hard working real estate agents in the world also had a good chuckle. 

"Colby Sambrotto, a founder and former chief operating officer of, a large website for owner sales, spent six months trying to sell his condominium himself through online listings and classified ads, before turning over the listing of the 2,000-square-foot apartment to a broker at Bond New York in November."

During this downturn in the economy and the real estate market, many people that may have opted to sell on their own in the past, are now requesting the help of a Realtor.

“Looking to move his family to the suburbs, [Mr. Sambrotto] said he carefully staged his apartment for sale himself, and put it on the market. But after using a mix of websites to publicize his apartment, he said he had only ‘middling success’ and switched to a broker because many buyers were so reliant on brokers.”

Lesson to learn here is that just being on the internet alone does not guarantee a successful sale. Clearly, the internet has revolutionized how many home buyers first start searching for a new home, but ultimately buying a house is a lot different than buying some books on amazon or a used sweater on ebay. In a buyer's market, selling a home can definitely be more of a challenge. Even in Dane County, the odds of selling a home in 2010 were only 47.9% (according to south central Wisconsin multiple listing database). Thus, having a top agent that can understand how to best position your home makes good sense in today's real estate market.


Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Programs for Madison

My office recently had Linette Rhodes come visit from the Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development. She works as the grants administrator for the city of Madison and was able to share some information about the funds available for down payment assistance and closing costs.

Dane County Housing Authority

Designed to assist first time homebuyers at or below 80% Dane County Median Income who wish to purchase a home in Dane County outside the City of Madison.

City of Madison- American Dream Downpayment Initiative

Down Payment program available in the City of Madison to households at or below 80% Dane County Median Income. Property to be purchased must be located within the City of Madison.

City of Madison- Home Buy and Homebuyer Rehabilitation Assistance

The Home Buy loan is available for downpayment and closing cost assistance to first time home buyers purchasing in Dane County. Households must be at or below 80% County Median Income. The Homebuyer Rehabilitation Assistance loan is for downpayment assistance and rehabilitation for a home purchase within the City of Madison.

Movin Out

A non-profit organization designed to help households at 80% County Median Income and with a family member with a permanent disability.

Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development

The Partnership is a private nonprofit corporation working to expand affordable housing opportunity through innovation in housing development, consulting, finance and advocacy.