Home & Leisure



Information Drives Home Sales Progress

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: As a former real estate agent, you don't have any idea what you're talking about. Yep, there are good and bad agents, but all listings are on the internet. I don't know where you get your info or what experience you have, but you're spreading totally off-base information. As far as commissions, the listing agent pays for all of the...Read more

The 6 Indiscernible Flaws in Real Estate Agency Law

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: You believe that agency law does not work. All 50 states have agency laws for real estate. Several of your articles, including "Is Real Estate Agency Law Working?" suggest the real estate agency does not work. What is the problem with real estate agency law?

Monty's Answer: In Wisconsin, 238 businesses require a license, far more ...Read more

Options When Dealing With a New Home Defect

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: What should I do if my new house has a defect or foundation issue? Our brand-new built house started to have flooding in our garage. With heavy rains in the state I live in, this brand-new garage started to flood. Water was seeping through the cracks in the foundation. We think it's a foundation issue. We feel that this house is ...Read more

Consider Options When Exposing Fraud in a Divorce

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: What could someone do to hide the source of funds used to purchase a house with cash? They are potentially breaking the law. My ex-husband declares no income, avoids maintenance and bought a million-dollar home with cash with his new wife. He could claim it is her money, but I know that is false. Is there a way he could get away ...Read more

7 Reasons To Be Wary of MLS

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: Our home is for sale. Our agent called to set a co-broker appointment. At the appointed time, the doorbell rings, and the buyer is at the door with no agent. I invited them in to wait. We quickly determined they would not buy our house. They needed a large lot, and we had a small backyard. About 20 minutes after they left, the ...Read more

Preparing for Real Estate Photos

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We are planning on selling our home soon. We want to hire a professional photographer to create a virtual presentation. Do you have any tips for preparing a home for the photographer?

Monty's Answer: A widely accepted theory is that using professional photographers specializing in home sales is the best way to increase showings. ...Read more

9 Reasons Selling a Home Is Easy

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We are selling our home in 2024. We know of your involvement in PropBox. You state that selling a home with PropBox is easy. A real estate agent has argued that selling our home on our own is complicated and risky without a real estate agent. Having control and saving money sounds good, but what does the word "easy" mean? What ...Read more

Plan For Closing Surprises When Negotiating

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: Our contract called for the buyer to move in on the closing day. It is two weeks before closing, and they want to move the closing up five days. We scheduled the movers for the day before closing and could not move the date. Now, they are threatening to back out. Any advice would be appreciated.

Monty's Answer: An attorney's ...Read more

Will Real Estate Agents Adapt to Technological Evolution?

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: I have been a real estate agent for 15 years. I may decide to leave the industry like several agents I know. It is the long and irregular hours, arguing with agents about who "owns" the customer, unethical tricks, incompetence and more. Consumers don't see the dark side of real estate. I have seen nothing that makes me believe ...Read more

Who Regulates Real Estate Agents?

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We have a significant problem with a real estate transaction. We ran across a state agency called a "real estate commission." When we researched the commission, we discovered the commissioners are all real estate agents. We are reluctant to contact them. It seems like having a fox guarding a chicken coop. Do you have any ...Read more

Dealing With Home Health Hazards and Unsafe Conditions

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We are renting a house with moisture issues. The walls are wet in parts of the house, literally down to the floor where water collects. The basement has a dirt floor and smells dankish and musky. The house has gaps where the walls meet the floor. We also have problems with spiders, gnats and numerous other insects, and now, during ...Read more

Four Tips to Make Informed Price Reductions

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Reader Question: My agent wants me to lower my price. The home has been on the market for less than a month for $349,900. She wants it to be $339,900. I cannot go any lower because I have a mortgage and a home equity loan of $260,000. What should I do?

Monty's Answer: Pricing a home can be a challenging task. The hyperlocal market is ...Read more

The Evolution of Home Sales Is Here

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Readers: I recently listened to Zillow's third-quarter investor call. At the end of the call, Rich Barton, the CEO of Zillow, had a comment to share with investors and reporters. It struck me when I heard it, as I have a different opinion. Barton's final comments reflect many of the beliefs that have been part of the decadeslong ...Read more



Carpe Diem Doonesbury Adam Zyglis Gary Markstein Darrin Bell Bob Englehart