An Exciting Message From Dar Walden & Wes Madden




Wes Madden and Dar Walden are together today for a special announcement.

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You might be wondering why I'm joined by my colleague Wes Madden in today's video. We actually have some exciting news to share: The Dar Walden Team and Madden Real Estate, two of the top real estate teams in Alaska, are merging!

To put that into perspective, last year we served a combined 778 clients with almost $200 million in sales volume. The best part is that Madden Real Estate will be part of the Keller Williams group, the world's largest franchise that has more than 150,000 agents and 800 offices around the world.

We teamed up so that we could provide our clients with true statewide service, making us the only team that serves all of Alaska. Our website is actually your only broker-owned source for all Alaska MLS listings. 

We also have a worldwide referral network. If you're moving out of state, we can take care of any and all of your needs thanks to our network of 150,000 worldwide agents. 



The merger also adds even more horsepower to our proven marketing systems.


The merger also adds even more horsepower to our proven marketing systems. You might already know that we have some of the most progressive and exciting marketing strategies, and our merger will let us have synergy between all of our ideas and campaigns. We also share many of the same endorsements, including Barbara Corcoran, Glenn Beck, and Gary LeVox from Rascal Flatts. 

We also share a lot of core values; this whole deal simply wouldn't work if we didn't. Having a team with two people that carry the same belief system is truly an amazing thing.

So if you're interested in buying or selling a home here in Alaska or you're interested in a career in real estate, just give us a call or send us an email. We'd love to hear from you!

We’ve Merged With One of the Top Real Estate Teams in Alaska



Madden Real Estate has merged with the Dar Walden Team. This merger benefits our present and future clients in several ways.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Today I’m very excited to announce that Madden Real Estate has merged with the Dar Walden Team out of Anchorage. What does this merger mean?

To put it into perspective, in 2016 our two teams served a combined 778 clients for almost $200 million worth of sales production. This also means our team will join the Keller Williams network. Keller Williams is the world’s largest real estate franchise, with more than 150,000 agents worldwide in 800 different offices. This expansive network was something that I saw great value in, and there were several reasons we decided to join it. 

First, it gives us true statewide coverage for our clients. We are now the only team who has ever served all of Alaska, and we can help any client who has to move all the way across the state. This capability is something I’ve been particularly excited about, and I’m glad we’ve finally been able to realize it. 

This merger also gives us more horsepower for our proven marketing system. Now that we’re connected to 150,000 other agents, we can use this new referral network to create even more buyer demand for our clients’ properties. Also, if you’re a seller and you have to leave the state, we’ll be able to pair you with a top-notch agent in whatever market you’re moving into. 

By the way, Dar Walden is also endorsed by Barbara Corcoran. I can’t wait to have some fun shooting some TV commercials with her! 



With this merger, we’ll be able to service our clients even better.



Last but not least, our teams share the same core values. I’ve known Dar and Ed for a long time, and I can’t think of two better people to be in business with. It’s one thing to be in business with someone; it’s another thing to share the same business ethos with them. That was very important to me in continuing the Madden Real Estate legacy. 

I will still serve as the CEO of Madden Real Estate for the foreseeable future, so you can rest assured that you will still receive the same extraordinary service from us that you’ve grown accustomed to. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be glad to help.

How we helped Mike Dixon by going above and beyond


"Well, so far it's been quite positive. I signed the contract for them to list my home, and one week later I had an offer. They never took pictures of it. They never put a sign on it. They showed it one time, and I had an offer on it. Everything they're doing, they're going above and beyond. I had it listed with another Realtor and it sat for six weeks. They had three people look at it, and for them to have an offer within a week, I think that just goes to show they went above and beyond with everything they're doing."
      Mike Dixon, Home Seller

Do Appraised & Assessed Values Impact Market Value?



What is the difference between assessed and appraised values? How do they impact the market value of your home? I’ll go over everything you need to know today.


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Our VIP client Daniel sent in a great question that I would like to answer today: “What is the difference between assessed and appraised values? Do those values have an impact on the market value of your home?” 

Thanks for your question, Daniel! A $25 gift certificate is coming your way. 

Now, there are three different types of values in real estate: assessed value, appraised value, and market value. 

The assessed value is used by your bureau, county, or municipality to determine your property taxes. The assessor uses common appraisal tactics such as neighborhood drive-bys, recorded sales (although sales price is not on the public record in Alaska—we use voluntary sales information), and property tours. 

In Alaska, you will get a notice in the mail asking you what you paid for the house and what kind of financing you used. This is voluntary information; you don’t need to fill out the form and you don’t need to invite the assessor into your house. However, if you think your assessed value is too high, it can help to have established communication with the tax assessor. 

The assessor takes that value, multiplies it by the mill rate for your area, and subtracts any tax exemptions in order to determine your tax obligation. 

The appraised value comes into play when you finance your home purchase through a mortgage. The lender will hire a third-party appraiser to determine the value of the property. The appraiser is the eyes and ears for the mortgage lender; they mitigate the risk for the lender and justify the contract sales price for the loan. 

Since the Dodd-Frank Act, there have been many changes in this process and a push to make those appraisals more conservative. As a result, appraisals rely more on an equation rather than local market knowledge; that math problem doesn’t always work because you might be comparing apples to oranges. 

The market value of your home is dictated by market conditions like supply and demand and the condition of your home. The market value also depends on your listing agent’s negotiation skills. 

Both the assessed and appraised values have impact on the market value. However, the appraisal has much more bearing on market value, especially since 90% of home sales are financed by a lender. 



The appraised value has more of an impact on your market value.


If an appraisal comes in low, the buyer has the ability and leverage to negotiate the sales price to a lower value. In many cases, the appraisal sets the market value. 

If you have any other questions, send me an email. If I answer your question with a video, you will receive a $25 gift certificate. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you!

What Happens to Earnest Money When a Deal Falls Apart?


When a deal falls apart, what happens to the earnest money? We’re going over that exact situation today.

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Today we are answering a question from VIP client Rick Swanson. He asked, “What happens to my earnest money if my home sale falls through?” That’s a great question, Rick. We’ve got a $25 gift card coming your way. Now let’s get to the answer.

Obviously, this isn’t the ideal situation to be in. Let’s start at the beginning. Earnest money is a good-faith deposit that a buyer makes when they write an offer on a home. This is the consideration at stake that makes the contract valid. This sum must be secured in the form of wired funds, a certified check, or a personal check. Cash won’t work for the bank.


Now, the purchase and sale agreement details the obligations for both buyers and sellers. When one party doesn’t perform their obligation, we can get to a point where the buyer and seller agree to disagree and the deal falls through. 

When this happens, we execute a rescission agreement. This requires both parties to agree on earnest money disposition. We identify why the deal is falling through, where the earnest money goes, and make sure all bills are accounted for. Unpaid bills are usually taken out of the earnest money.

If both parties cannot agree on a solution, there are a few different remedies. Here are the possible solutions:

1. The broker holding the earnest money can dictate the disposition of the earnest money and decide who they want to give it do. 
2. Mediate internally. This is the method I prefer.
3. Hiring a professional mediator to work with both parties to come to an agreement.
4. Hiring an arbitrator to give a binding agreement for the disposition of the earnest money.
5. Let the buyer and seller duke it out in a court of law.



I prefer internal mediation.


A good Realtor should be able to help you avoid this type of situation by setting realistic expectations and staying in constant contact. If you do get into a situation like this, however, they are the best people to help you out. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. If we pick your question, we’ll send you a $25 gift card, too. I look forward to hearing from you.