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La Pointe, WI Real Estate News

By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Professionals Share Their Knowledge - Amateurs Hoard What Little They Know   A couple days ago, I was sitting in my Madeline Island real estate office at the computer when I noticed that one of my area competitors was standing outside our building, staring at our property listing sheets on display.  She spent quite a long time there and in particular it looked like she was gazing at our property flyers (with multiple large color photos). I waited quite awhile, then stuck my head out the door and asked if I could help her.  She walked into the office and asked me, point blank, "how do you take those big color photos?" She deserves credit for asking.  And I was glad to give her some pointers about wide-angle photography.  She said "I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on cameras a...
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By Jean Hedren, Northwest Wisconsin
Since I’m currently listing a luxury lake home on the north shore of Madeline Island, I thought this might be a good time to tell you a little more about the Island.  Even if you’re not interested in this particular home, Bayfield and Madeline Island might be a fun destination for your next vacation—or even just a weekend getaway. View Madeline Island, WI in a larger map Located in Lake Superior just off Wisconsin’s North Coast, Madeline Island is a popular tourist destination.  The largest of the 22 Apostle Islands, it’s 14 miles long and 3 miles wide.  It’s the only one of the islands with commercial development or permanent habitations. You’ll be on the island’s rugged northern shore, a quiet, secluded part of the island that’s rarely seen by tourists. Most visitors tend to spend the...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  ISLAND MARKET IS A VITAL PART OF THE MADELINE ISLAND COMMUNITY   Ed and Marilyn Hartig operate the "Island Market" across the street from our Madeline Island real estate office at 809 Main Street in downtown LaPointe, Wisconsin.  And it's safe to say that the Island would not be what it is without their contribution to tourism and to the quality of life here. The Island Market is more than a mere grocery store.  It's a butcher shop, a produce specialty store, a place where shoppers can get ready-to-eat barbecued ribs, cooked chickens, brown-sugar cured smoked trout, fresh Lake Superior fish, Ed's "Island Potatoes", fresh berries and the best custom-cut meat (aged beef, rack of lamb, thick center-cut pork chops and so on) available in northwest Wisconsin.  It's also the place where you...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  THE INVISIBLE LISTING - AND THE SELLER WHO PUTS UP WITH BEING INVISIBLE     Yesterday, a prospective buyer walked into our Madeline Island real estate office to inquire about a vacant land property not far from downtown. She asked me if I could provide information on that particular property.  When I did a Google Search for the address, I realized that she had the fire number (same as a house number here on Madeline Island) wrong, but at least she was close.  After searching for quite awhile, I was finally able to locate the property, which happens to be listed by a competitor.   And when I looked at the Google Search results for the specific street address of that competitor's listing, I found a total of two entries.   That's right, only TWO search results in three pages of ten resul...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  BEFORE You List Your Vacation Home for Sale, Make Sure the House is Clean and Ready to be Shown   When a prospective seller contacts us about listing their Madeline Island home or cottage, one of the first things we do is to preview the property.  And that first visit usually tells us whether marketing their property is going to be relatively simple or a huge challenge. Here are the top problem areas we often encounter with photographing and marketing a new listing-- Yardwork - The lawn needs to be mowed, overgrown brush blocks or detracts from a view of the home, dead trees are down in the yard, saplings and brush obscure a prospective buyer's view of Lake Superior.  You'll need somebody with a chainsaw and a trailer to cut and haul downed trees or large limbs. House needs cleaning -...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  ASK US ABOUT ANY MADELINE ISLAND PROPERTY YOU LIKE, BUT WRITE DOWN THE FIRE NUMBER FIRST   Honestly, this seems to happen to us every year. A fellow walks into our Madeline Island office and asks for detailed information about a property he's spotted while driving around the Island.  He says, "what can you tell me about the cute little house right on the road, just up this way? (he points vaguely in a direction somewhere north of our downtown LaPointe office). I asked him if he noticed the Fire Number (usually on a small green or brown metal plaque on the front of the property).  On Madeline Island, the Fire Number is part of your street address.  For example, we have the fire number "809" on the front of our office building, which means that our street address is 809 Main Street, La ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
VIOLATIONS OF THE REALTOR® CODE OF ETHICS - FOR SALE SIGNS WHICH FAIL TO IDENTIFY THE LISTING AGENT OR BROKERAGE   The real estate "for sale" signs below were both placed on properties in zip code 54850 during the past nine months.  The phone numbers on both signs belonged to two separate real estate brokerages with property listings in this zip code area.  One of the signs was placed by a broker/owner, the other by an agent with a local real estate firm.  Both of these signs violate the Realtor Code of Ethics and the Wisconsin Administrative Code. [This sign looks like it was made by someone's nine-year old.] [The sign reads "Lot Available", followed by a phone number..no agent name, no company name.  And as of today, August 20, it's still on the property!] The comments below were mad...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  SNOW ON THE GROUND ON MADELINE ISLAND?  IN AUGUST??   Last week I set aside a minute to look up a particular local listing last week on the Web.  And to my surprise, the first photo that popped up when I searched the listing agent’s name using Google search was one where the house and lawn were both covered with snow. Most area Multiple Listing Services will routinely fine or discipline an agent for leaving a “snow photo” on MLS for more than thirty days after the last snowfall in Spring.  For one thing, snow photos don’t show a property to best advantage.  Moreover, the listing looks awfully stale once spring and summer have arrived. This photo appeared on an agent’s company Website, not on MLS.  But it still speaks volumes about the agent. Here's what a property listing photo taken ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  IF YOU WANT RELIABLE INFORMATION ON THE LOCAL REAL ESTATE MARKET, CALL A REALTOR   A Madeline Island property owner came into our LaPointe, Wisconsin office today, asking what the chances would be that he’d be able to sell his Island home if he listed his property for sale at this time. After sharing with him the way that we price and market our listings and discussing the state of the current real estate marketplace here, he informed us that a local fellow (who is also a member of our business community) had discouraged him on the idea of listing his property, saying “nothing has been selling here in the past year”. The remark was disturbing.  Telling property owners (or for that matter, people visiting the Island) that “nothing” has been selling is completely false. In our own offic...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  SELLERS AND RENTERS - WHAT'S YOUR HOME'S ACCESSIBILITY SCORE?   I often get a phone call or an email from one of my Madeline Island clients, asking me what they can do to make their rental property more appealing.  And once in awhile, a prospective seller will ask what they can do to make their home sell faster or at a higher price. Lately, I tell people, "why not consider doing something to make your home more accessible to disabled people?" Seniors and the disabled are a growing and underserved segment of the home-buying public.  "Baby Boomers" have already begun to dominate the housing market as they approach retirement and they will have an impact on housing for the next thirty years or more.  Simply consider the growing number of people who have undergone hip replacement, knee re...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  UNDERSTANDING ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES IN HOUSING   The Wisconsin Realtors Association has put together a handy guide to determining the presence of Accessibility Features (often referred to as "Universal Design" features) in homes. Here's a sample of questions that an agent might ask the seller at the time a home is listed for sale:   If grab bars are not in place,, are the walls reinforced forthe installation of grab bars? Are skylights or solar tubes installed anywhere in the home? Are motion sensors installed for lights or faucets? Are light and other switches rocker-type switches or illuminated type? Is there an anti-scald valve installed for the hot water line?  Or is the home's domestic hot water heater set to a safe maximum temperature? Are there other features that make this ho...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS REPORT - AVERAGE REALTOR NATIONWIDE COMPLETES SEVEN TRANSACTIONS PER YEAR Consumers, listen up.   According to a 2010 NAR study, the average residential sales agent completed just seven transactions per year, an average of around one closed sale every two months. In Northwest Wisconsin, that average appears to be lower, perhaps much lower.  I know area agents who haven't made a closed sale in six months or more.  There are even some real estate licensees in our area who haven't made a sale in the past two years. What does this mean to the buyer or seller who requires the services of a real estate agent? The agent who just isn't selling is, in some respects, a hobbyist.  That's an unfortunate reality, but there is merit to the argument that an agent who ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  WHAT'S WRONG WITH LOOKING AT PROPERTIES FOR SALE WITH THE LISTING AGENT?   Nothing, as long as the listing agent first asks you if you are already working with another agent.   Nothing, if the listing agent doesn't tell you "you really don't need to have a home inspection" or "you don't really need any contingencies in your offer".   Nothing, if the listing agent doesn't try to talk you out of working with your own buyer's agent who would represent you and not the seller in the transaction.   As long as you remember who represents who in a real estate transaction, everything is fine.  But remember that the listing agent represents the seller, not YOU.  So before you walk into an "open house" to view a property with a listing agent, remember that you have the right to choose your own a...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  MODULAR HOME BUILDERS ARE A STEP AHEAD IN OFFERING ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES   It looks like builders of manufactured homes and modular homes are doing a better job of moving into the future when it comes to addressing accessibility issues.   The Home Store, one of the largest builders of custom modular homes in the eastern United States, now offers an impressive list of Universal Design/Accessibility features as part of its available modular home options.   [Note, these Universal Design homes and features are available in Wisconsin]   The list includes: Lever-type door handles and locksets (exterior and interior) 36-inch wide exterior and interior doors Hallways that are 42 inches wide Raised electrical outlets Rocker-type light switches and top-position ground plugs in outlets Height-a...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  HERE'S THE NUMBER ONE REASON TO GOOGLE YOUR ADDRESS IF YOU WANT TO SELL YOUR MADELINE ISLAND HOME   Today, Trulia published a post in its "Real Estate Reality Check" blog, entitled "6 Reasons You Should Google Your Address".  The suggested reasons were all sound ones.  For example, the article proposes searching for area crime data or finding out the price of a nearby property which sold recently..all good reasons, of course.  But the best reason for a homeowner to Google their address, especially for a property owner whose home is currently on the market, is to answer this simple question:   Can potential buyers find your home for sale on the Web?   And if you can't locate your own listed property on the Web, that begs another question, If you can't find your own home or listed prope...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  WISCONSIN REALTOR ERIC KODNER NAMED 2012 CHAIR OF WISCONSIN REALTORS ASSOCIATION EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN HOUSING COMMITTEE   Madison, Wisconsin (July 9, 2011) – Realtor Eric Kodner with Madeline Island Realty  in LaPointe, Wisconsin and with Wayzata Lakes Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota has been named 2012 Chair of the Wisconsin Realtors Association Equal Opportunity in Housing Committee by WRA Chair-Elect Robert Keefe.   A real estate broker in Wisconsin and Minnesota, Kodner becomes the first Madeline Island real estate licensee to chair a WRA State Committee.  He has served on the WRA Equal Opportunity in Housing Committee since the beginning of 2009.  Kodner also currently serves on the National Association of Realtors Equal Opportunity – Cultural Diversity Committee and on the Coun...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
BROKER ROBERT KRON JOINS THE SALES TEAM AT MADELINE ISLAND REALTY   We're pleased to announce that Bob Kron, formerly Broker with Madeline Isle Brokers in LaPointe, Wisconsin has come to work with us as a Broker Associate at Madeline Island Realty. Bob has a long history of serving buyers and sellers on Madeline Island.  He is a true Madeline Islander, born here and engaged as a real estate professional, builder and developer for over four decades.  Bob Kron is intimately familiar with Madeline Island real estate, and with the Island community.  He knows the property development process and he knows how to get clients through the process seamlessly, with the least amount of stress.  Stop by our office at 809 Main Street in downtown LaPointe, Wisconsin and chat with Bob about your real ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  WILL YOUR AGENT DRIVE 250 MILES TO WRITE YOUR OFFER ON A MADELINE ISLAND HOME?   We do this all the time. Last week, I drove four and a half hours, from Madeline Island to Minneapolis, to write an offer on a Madeline Island home. Sure, this could have been done over the phone or by email, or by fax. But the crafting of an offer that accurately reflects a buyer's wishes takes time and is best done in person. So I caught a 4:30 pm ferry from La Pointe to Bayfield, Wisconsin and finally rolled into downtown Minneapolis around 9:15 pm. I met the buyer at his condo in Uptown, where we spent a fair amount of time discussing the property and carefully drafting an offer. By the time we were done, it was after eleven, but I wanted to scan and send the offer to the listing agent before midnight...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  MADELINE ISLAND REAL ESTATE BROKER ERIC KODNER HONORED BY MINNEAPOLIS AREA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS   Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 20, 2011 -- Realtor Eric Kodner with Madeline Island Realty of LaPointe, Wisconsin was honored last Wednesday by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR).  At the MAAR annual awards ceremony, Kodner received the Association's 2010 "Exceptional Service Award".     Also recognized at the awards luncheon were Minneapolis area Realtors Mike Hoffman (2010 Realtor of the Year), Nobu Hata (President's Award Recipient) and Dave Philp (NAR Good Neighbor Award).  Realtors Cheryl Eastbourne, Mary Thorpe Mease and Dave Philp received the MAAR Community Involvement Award. Kodner has served on the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) Equal Opportunity in Hous...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  MADELINE ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORT - 2010 SUMMARY   The Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) just published its 2010 year end housing sales summary, concluding that Wisconsin home sales declined in 2010 while prices remained stable. By contrast to the State median price figures and number of solds, Ashland County experienced a 5.3% drop in median sold prices and a 2.3% increase in the number of homes sold during 2010. These statewide sales figures were skewed somewhat, especially during the first half of 2010, when buyers scrambled to qualify for the Federal homebuyer tax credit program and to get those purchases closed by the June 30 deadline. Ashland County reported a total of 134 homes sold in 2010, up from 131 in 2009.  The median sold price in Ashland County was $90,000 in...
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