When I decided to move to Madison, Wisconsin, from Southern California, I asked the real estate broker who had successfully managed the sale of my California home (Mathew) to find me his counterpart in Madison. My intention was to retire in Madison if I could find the right house. Mathew had been a wonderful person and a great agent with whom to deal, and I was hoping that he could locate someone equally as competent 2,000 miles away! Within a couple of days, after going through the broker information channels at his disposal, Mathew came back with only one name: Michael Schuster. Although they had never met, Mathew assured me that Michael had the requisite years of professional experience, advanced training and proven track that I needed. He proved to be absolutely correct!
After exchanging several emails with Michael and having several long distance phone calls, he and I were able to fairly quickly establish the parameters of the size home I wanted, the location I felt was most appropriate for me (close to the UW Campus), and a price range within which we could negotiate. I also provided Michael with random comments about the “character” of the house I ideally wanted, as well as the kind of neighborhood in which I would feel most comfortable. Michael is such a skilled listener that within 48 hours of arriving in Madison by plane from Los Angeles, we submitted an offer on one of houses he had carefully selected for me to view!
Michael’s knowledge of the area – its neighborhoods and its communities – was truly impressive. He could not have found me a better home. In the process of working through the list of properties he had prepared, I also came to appreciate another of Michael’s skills: he feels that it is his responsibility to show a client houses and/or neighborhoods which do not quite fit the client’s initial description of their ideal house, particularly if they are new to the area. When asked “Why do you want me to see this particular house?”, Michael would first go back to things I had said on the phone or put in one of my emails. Then he would explain the reasons for each specific property. He would be very articulate in answering the “why” question, and I quickly realized he was actually educating me about what was actually available in his market. Now that I have been here in Madison for almost three years, I still remember some of his comments, and I would agree with almost everything he had to say about the area and why he steered me to the home I bought.
Finally I wish to add that Michael has all the skills a client could possibly want in an agent in addition to being a terrific listener: knowledge of financing, broad contacts among local professionals who could help with initial inspections as well as immediate repairs, and an impressive knowledge of the agents on the other side of the transaction. Michael is also a wonderful person and has a wonderful manner of dealing with all sorts of characters and the small problems that almost inevitably arise in real estate transactions. He is patient, remains calm, and treats everyone in the process with respect – particularly when thorny or difficult issues arise in negotiations. He manages, in his own way as a gentleman, to both keep everything on track and on time, building rapport along the way with everyone involved, on both sides of the table. The other members of his team operate in much the same way and are very reliable in terms of assisting Michael.
Michael earned my trust very quickly and I would not hesitate to use his services again. In fact, I still consult him about house improvement and restoration issues, and the advice I receive is always sound and wise. I find myself recommending him to other people I know, almost reflexively, whenever they discuss real estate issues or problems. My solution: “You need a second opinion. Get the advice of Michael Schuster! Let me give you his number.”