Real Estate “Beneficials”

From the gardening world.


From what I remember, beneficials are bugs, spiders, butterflies, etc. that you WANT around.

They help other things.

Pollinating for instance. Or eating the “bad-guys.” Plus other stuff that my green-thumbed friends could tell me.

In the end your garden is better for having them around.

You want ‘beneficials’ around when you’re buying or selling your Mauston home, or your Castle Rock Lake waterfront home.

Everyone needs ‘beneficials.’ Yes, even you.

Below are three beneficials if you’re buying or selling a home.


  • Newer appliances
  • Immaculate walls
  • Home should be warm in winter, cool in summer


  • Be pre-approved
  • Base your offer around facts, not opinions
  • Understand motivation of seller

Why newer appliances?

They make buyers wonder what else isn’t updated when your appliances (or cabinets or whatever) look like they’re from the 80′s.

Buyers don’t like old. Old looks like it’s ready to breakdown. Inefficient.

They’re like an uncooked red onion to one of the judges on ‘Chopped.’ Not good.

Makes it difficult to look at the good things your home has to offer. It leaves a bad taste.

The fewer bad tastes your home puts in the mouths of potential buyers…the better.

When purchasing a home, why should you care about the motivation of the seller?

Can you know for sure what the sellers motivation is? No, absolutely not. But a low offer three weeks into their listing will probably put one of those bad tastes into the sellers mouth.

Nothing makes for little to no movement on price in a counter offer than an owner who wants to say ‘screw you’ to any potential buyer. And unfortunately, the only way they can is to not move on price.

Which is bad for you, Mr. or Ms. Buyer.

As Yoda might say: “Much going on. Smart, must be.”

And when you’re ready to hire a smart Mauston Realtor, contact Adam at (608) 542-0178 or holberga [at] firstweber [dot] com.


Changing the Price of Your Home — What Not To Do

For real?

Do you see what they’re doing?

There’s reasons for decreasing the list price of your home.

But, every day?

Maybe it’s the rain this morning…but I kind of want to write daily low-ball offers because there wasting mine and many buyers time this week…

(I’m going to make my mom proud right now…)

The last $1000 reduction changed the list price by .18%.

Not 18%, and not even 1%…but .18%.


That’s not how I’d recommend gaining attention for your home sale.

If you’d like to know how I’d push eyeballs to your listing you can reach me at (608) 542-0178 or holberga[at]firstweber[dot]com.

Earning Attention


Should you even care?

I know I have introverted tendencies…

But your home needs to be an extrovert. No more going with the flow. It needs to find its ‘new car smell.’

It needs to crave attention….

…for all the right reasons.

There’s a reason why homes that sell are on the market 100 fewer days than the average home.

It doesn’t matter which area, or price point you look at.

Homes that sell, sell significantly faster and are on the market for far fewer days than “average” homes currently for sale.

What I’m trying to say:

  • On average, a home that sold in Mauston in the past year was for sale for 145 days.
  • The average number of days all other Mauston homes have been for sale (as of 4/20/2012) is 280.

That’s a 4 1/2 month difference. The summer buying season doesn’t last that long.

How do homes that sell ‘earn attention?’

A Mauston Realtor notices the home when it shows up on the MLS. A buyer receives an automatic email when the home came onto the market. Or a buyer notices the home when they were searching online. Or they noticed it when driving through the neighborhood after work one day.

Is it the curb appeal? The quality of pictures? The way the home is described in the description? The amenities match an advanced search? The price?

It’s different for everyone.

Which is why your agent must leave no stone unturned.

Everyone’s time is valuable. Yours, mine, the home owners and prospective buyers.

If a home doesn’t or can’t grab a persons attention, it’s guaranteed to sit.

Until the price comes down (and it looks better compared to similarly priced homes) or the condition comes up.

Or you get very, very lucky.

But with fewer buyers than 6 years ago, being ‘lucky’ is even more lucky now than it was in 2006… If that makes sense, which I *think* it does.

You can reach the most thoroughly prepared area Realtor by calling (608) 542-0178 or sending an email to holberga[at]firstweber[dot]com.

If you call, the person on the other end of the line will answer to Adam, but odds are he’ll answer to just about anything else as well. ;-)


Do You Have a Plan?

Raise your hand for Adam

…I mean, REALLY have a plan?

I talk with a lot of people.

Many are very serious about buying or selling a home. Some like the idea of a new home.

That’s great. You won’t get any pressure from me. I have a few things you can do while you’re deciding what’s best for you.

But when you raise your hand and sign your name it’s important to realize that you’ll be asked to make a decision–

  • Do you want to purchase this home?
  • Will you accept this offer?

And I know that life throws more curve balls than batting practice fastballs. I’ve seen my fair share…


Lets back up. I’m working with a buyer who’s moving back to the area from Milwaukee. Her lease expires at the end of May. She started to casually look for a home in March. Seriously began to look the beginning of April.

Unfortunately her first choice went to another buyer.

That was frustrating and a little sad. But, after a couple days she was ready to go again.

And, a new home was listed that had even more amenities that were important to her than the previous home.

Offer made the morning after she saw the home.

Fast forward 5 days…

And the owners are nowhere closer to making a counter offer than they were the day I sent the offer to the listing agent.

Having a ready, willing and able buyer is HUGE.

So often you’ll hear, “It only takes one.” But what if you don’t take advantage of “the one?”

How long until the next one comes along?

As of today, the average Juneau County home’s been on the market for almost 9 months…

And twice as many homes will go unsold then sell over the course of a year in each of our cities…

Something to think about.

If you need help making a decision, Adam can be reached at (608) 542-0178 or holberga [at] firstweber [dot] com.

We Spend the Most $$$ on Housing

What do you think of the data?

Do you need a change?

Maybe something smaller? More rural? Closer to work? A different school district for your children? Want to take advantage of the record low interest rates?

What could you do with a few thousand extra dollars in your pocket every year?

Any way you slice it, I know a guy.

And that guy can tell you what your home is worth in today’s market.

Read the super technical article.

South Central Wisconsin Absorption Rates

First quarter 2012 is already over.

Time flies when you’re having fun! And real estate has been fun the past few months. Which is good for everyone. You, me, your neighbor.

Today I thought I’d dig deeper into our real estate stats and revisit an old favorite of mine, absorption rates.

And for those who are new, or have forgotten, the absorption rate refers to how long it will take all properties currently for sale to sell if no other homes came onto the market.


I find the total number of homes that have sold in the particular area in the past year (in this case each county), divide that number by 12, which tells me how many homes have sold per month, then divide that number by the number of homes currently for sale.

And voila, you have how long it would take to sell all the homes currently on the market, or absorbed.

The number we’re shooting for is 6 months. Anything less than 6 months is referred to a ‘sellers market’ and over 6 is a ‘buyers market.’

Individual communities within each county can have a very different absorption rate. Especially when comparing rural vs. residential areas.

Adams County–27 months
Columbia County–14 months
Juneau County–26 months
Richland County–16 months
Sauk County–16 months

As you can see each county is significantly over the six month goal.

Meaning that we’re still in a buyers market. That it’s easier for a buyer to get ‘a deal’ than a seller.

Longer time on market…means more desparate sellers. At least the logic goes.

On the plus side, buyers are purchasing homes. And at a pace we haven’t seen in awhile. Stay tuned for that data.

Any questions?

If you’re in the market for a new home when summer hits contact Adam now at either (608) 542-0178 or holberga[at]firstweber[dot]com to start your home search.

How to Advertise Your Home, Without ‘Advertising’ Your Home

I grabbed this image from a copywriting blog that I read.

This ties in very well with the ‘how to write your listing description’ article I wrote last week. Anything I write, post, publish, mail, etc. about your home is done with the purpose of ‘advertising’ your home to potential buyers.

But advertising for advertising’s sake doesn’t get it done in today’s real estate world. People know when they’re being ‘sold’ to. And it doesn’t feel very good. I don’t like. You don’t like it. Your mom doesn’t like it.

So everything I do is done in an attempt to be entertaining (this website, the stuff I mail out) and informative (the marketing for your home).

I write to peak a potential buyers interest. To make your home interesting. To make them want to see it, to walk through it.

As I pushed ‘publish’ on this post this morning Copyblogger ran the perfect article describing what my goal is.

You’ve read poor listing descriptions before. You’ve seen even worse pictures. Does that endear you to that home? Does it make you want to take an hour out of your day and look at it in person? Or does it feel like you’ve already seen enough after you see it on the internet?

I think I know the answer…

Here’s an actual listing description (it’s an old one):

Very nice and spacious 5 bedroom home in the Village of Hustler, waiting for you to move in. Home has many possibilities that you have to see!! Sellers are extremely motivated and will entertain any offer!

Um, all we’re told is the home has 5 bedrooms, that it’s located in Hustler, and the owners want you to submit a low-ball offer.


To say the least…

Anyways, check out the graphic and ask yourself if this is how you’d like your Realtor to go about selling your home.

And if your answer is YES, call me at (608) 542-0178 or send me a quick email at holberga[at]firstweber[dot]com.

The More Informative Your Content ...
Like this graphic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

If You Want Someone to Love Your Home, You Need to Love Your Home First

So often we expect things to happen without much effort.

“I’ll graduate college” a 17 year old senior high school student says.

And then drops out after one semester because they failed to do much, if any work. But they could tell you where all the good Thursday night parties were…

Or the newlyweds who believe their marriage will last forever, but then they each live like they’re single, without learning to compromise with each other…

I *almost* took a part-time job a few years ago packing boxes at Lands End. There was a quota that you had to complete every 40 minutes. All shift long.

Success involves “showing up.”

Doing the work necessary.

I used to coach freshmen basketball a few years ago in Mauston. It was the work we did on Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays that allowed us to be successful on Tuesday and Friday.

I always told my players that the effort they put in during the week at practice allowed us to put on a show when it was time to play a game.

And we did.

Practice wasn’t always glamorous, and it usually wasn’t easy or fun. But it had to be done.

So we could do what we wanted to do. Put on a show. Play our best game ever.

I know you want your home sold.

I know it probably needs to be sold yesterday too…

I get that.

But what have you been doing to love your home before today?

Have you been updating your home every little while?

Have you looked at your paint choices? That purple you love, might not be very high on the list of a prospective buyer that comes through your home next week.

Have your children been decorating their bedroom walls with posters, pictures, writing etc.? What will a buyer think about that?

How’s the outside look? It seems like we may never have snow again, so how will you hide the overgrown flower beds?

Have you checked out other Mauston homes currently for sale? Or the city where you live. Use the search box to the right.

It’s easy to learn to ‘live with’ stuff. We overlook it. And probably never actually see it.

The majority of my home doesn’t have trim. It NEEDS trim before I could ever put my home up for sale. I have tile that needs to be cleaned. Ugh, my soffit and fascia need to be replaced as well…

I know I have to start taking care of these issues this year so I’m ready next year or the year after. I have a hobby farm waiting for me.

What do you have waiting for you?

But in order to reach that goal, take an honest look now. Before you call your favorite First Weber real estate agent.

But if you’ve done your homework and you know your home’s ready, you can call me at (608)542-0178 or send me an email at holberga[at]firstweber[dot]com.

You can reach your goal. I can help.


The Top 5 Most Expensive Waterfront Homes For Sale

It’s 75 degrees, sunny.

A perfect weekend to spend at the lake.

Just over an hour from Madison. A couple hours from Milwaukee. We’re close.

And we have some pretty sweet Wisconsin waterfront homes for sale.

Below are the top 5 most expensive waterfront homes currently for sale as of April ’12.

#5: Lake Redstone Waterfront Home

S855 Dolata Court — La Valle, WI

Currently listed at $629,900.

[Read more...]

Why First Weber? Our Customer Service Center


This is the first of many posts designed to help you choose the best real estate brokerage (and Realtor) to sell your home.

How long have you been getting your home ready to sell? How much money went into getting your home ‘just right?’

I bet it’s enough that once your home is listed you want your home shown as often as necessary to get an acceptable offer.


But buyers are finicky. They’re looking through Craigslist at work during down time. Then at home they head to

Quickly scanning possible homes.

And we have seconds, maybe a minute or two, once they find a home they like to make contact before there back on Facebook or helping their kids with homework.

Life never stops.

And if we don’t contact a potential buyer when they’re thinking about real estate…there’s a very good chance we lost them…forever.

Which is why First Weber cares so much about customer service and how long it takes to follow up with someone who would like to see a home.

First Weber’s customer service center is located in Madison and there job is to get showings scheduled for your property in under 1 minute from the time a buyer in Mauston says they’d like to see your home.

The customer representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 9 pm–Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm.

When people are looking for a new home…

First Weber’s customer service center also:

  • Answers questions internet users have about homes
  • Schedules over 40,000 property showings per year
  • Confirms each property showing with you, the seller
  • Immediately notifies your First Weber agent of each confirmed showing for your home
  • Automatically forwards property feedback surveys to any agent who shows your property
  • Provides consistent professional, courteous and friendly service
  • Quickly passes internet requests and inquiries on to First Weber agents resulting in prompt customer response

No doubt you’ve heard the saying, ‘Location, location, location’ when referring to selling a home.

Now with our attention spans shrinking. With our consumption of thousands of small pieces of information daily…our minds bounce from topic to topic.

First Weber interrupts that need by making contact with a potential buyer in seconds.


Every time.

Which other real estate brokerage can say that?

Oh, and www.First is a pretty busy website with over 3 million unique visitors every year. So we’re pretty popular with local home buyers.

Contact Adam if you’d like to know more about how First Weber will get your home sold.