Selling Your Home

The Ten Commandments of Home Selling

Success-driven Home Selling 

Most people have two primary goals when they sell their home. These are to sell quickly at the best price possible. Both are attainable and if your location is TheTwin Cities metro and your home value is under $500,000, the market favors you in a big way.  

However, please do not think that you will achieve these goals if you ignore the basic rules of how to prepare to sell your home. If you want multiple offers and you want them in the first few days of listing you need to accept the fact that preparation is necessary.  If your home’s list price is in the higher tiers, it becomes even more critical.  

Convinced?  Fabulous! Here are my ten commandments of home selling. Follow these, and you will present your home at its finest. 

The Ten Commandments of Home Selling - Minnesota Property Group

Clutter is not aesthetically appealing. It makes your home look messy and lacking in storage space. The goal is to go through every closet, cabinet, drawer and storage space from basement to attic. Don’t forget the garage and any outbuildings as well. Everything you decide you do not need should be for sale, consignment, donation or disposal.

For some, this step is no big deal, and for others,...

Outstanding Curb Appeal Can Sell Your Home

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Outstanding Curb Appeal - Minnesota Property Group

Make That Home Sale with Curb Appeal

When you sell, curb appeal is the first impression your home will make on a buyer.  Do it right, and you could end up with an offer, just like that! Do it wrong, and a potential buyer may decide not to walk through your front door.  So when evaluating your curb appeal as you prepare to sell your home, be critical because I promise you that buyers will be.

Pretend you are a buyer. Take a look around the outside of your house and yard. Now ask yourself, if you were buying today would the exterior of your home inspire you to take a look inside?  If the answer is anything less than, “I can’t wait to see the inside of this house” then you have a bit of work to do. Here are a few steps that will send your curb appeal rating meter over the top. 

Clean Up

Just as you do inside your home, you should “pick up” in the front and backyard, porch and deck. You want it clean and tidy. Remove any remaining dead leaves, branches, and other debris from the previous season. Oil stains on the...

Stage Your Home to Impress Buyers

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Staged Home Utica Ave St Louis Park MN

The Argument for Staging

Once you have organized your home and removed its clutter, it’s time to talk about staging.  In a 2017 study conducted by NAR, the National Association of Realtors, 58% of agents surveyed said staging increases the selling price of the home as much as 20%. In this same profile, we find that 39% of agents believe staged properties sell significantly faster than those not staged. Additionally, 77% of buyers found it easier to visualize a staged property as their new home. 

Keep in mind that the objective of sellers is to prepare their home so buyers will envision themselves living there. If a buyer cannot make a personal and emotional attachment to your property, they are not going to make an offer. You want your buyers to fall in love with your house. Staging can go a long way towards making that happen.

Staged Home Utica Ave St Louis Park MN...

Sell Your Home Like a Boss

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Sell Your Home Like a Boss lead photo

Tips to Control Stress When Selling Your Home

When you sell a home, the experience has the inherent potential to be stressful. Not only is the rhythm of your daily life at the mercy of showings, but your home has to look tip-top for potential buyers.  Your privacy is held hostage to strangers opening closets and drawers as they snoop into your nooks and crannies. Yikes!  That is enough to get the calmest nerves twitching.

There are many moving parts to the sale of a house. There are many individuals involved in that sale. Any of these or a combination of several can become the stress source for the homeowner. These are factors the seller has no control over, zip, zero, none! However, there are many aspects of the home-selling process where the property owner can have power over the outcome. Making better decisions at the beginning of the process increases the likelihood of having a superior selling experience.

Since I have sat in the seller seat myself on a few occasions, I have gathered some morsels of wisdom on the subject. Since I love to share, as one seller to another, here are my best tips for a successful home sale.

Hire A Great Real Estate Agent

There are a few different ways people go about finding...

Prepare Now To Sell Later

Prepare Now Sell Later @MNPropertyGroup

Sell Your Home When The Time Is Right For You

It’s no surprise that many people advocate that the best time to sell a home is in the Spring. Part of the reason this theory has evolved is that families want to be established in their new homes by the beginning of the school year in September. While this does make sense for families with children, when it comes to when to put your home on the market there are no one-size fits all scenarios. 

Even though Spring may be considered prime time for home sales by many in the industry, there is no perfect time for everyone. Every situation is different, and when you are personally ready to sell, that becomes the best season for you. However, there is one piece of home-selling wisdom that is always true no matter what time of year you sell.

Can you guess that one sliver of home-selling wisdom?  It’s the preparation of your home to look its best in winter, spring, summer or fall. Making an outstanding first impression on buyers will determine how quickly you sell and how high a price you obtain. A home that is move-in ready will face a cleaner offer with fewer if any contingencies. Even in this strong seller’s market, we find ourselves in right now, the condition and appearance of your home do matter.

It makes the most sense to take the time to get your home in tip-top shape for the fussiest of fussy buyers. If you think your house is nearly...

Spring - Prime Time For Home Sales

Minnesota Property Group

Spring – The Best Time to Sell Your Home!

It’s officially Spring!  Birds are chirping, flowers blooming, and “Home for Sale” signs as plentiful as dandelions on your lawn after a rain shower. Wait! What? The calendar says Spring but that is apparently fake news since I am looking out the window at 18 inches of snow we were just gifted and shaking my head.

The truth is the only Robin I saw was wearing a parka and snow boots. Not a single crocus is shoving a brightly hued head out of the earth. Even the forsythia has yet to bloom. And Home For Sale signs are not so plentiful at all with inventory levels of available homes at an all-time low in the Twin Cities.

However, what I have witnessed is an army of serious home buyers out in the marketplace. Yes, a plethora of buyers whose pockets are bulging with pre-approval letters, down payments and closing costs. Isn’t that great? It depends. It’s outstanding if you are a seller. 

The Twin Cities Housing Theme is Short on Supply, Big on Demand

Right now there is an ...

The Biggest Turn-offs for Buyers

Minnesota Property Group - Buyer TurnoffsTwin Cities Buyers Know What They Don't Want

The one thing most sellers have in common is that they are unable to look at their property with a dispassionate and critical eye. The longer they have lived in their home, the more emotionally attached they become. Many simply cannot understand that the cracked tile in the foyer they have lived with for 10 years, should be of concern to a buyer. Or the magenta bedroom walls they adore would be another person’s decor nightmare.

After being a realtor in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro for 16 years and closing on close to 1000 properties, I have shown my share of homes that made buyers run for the exit shouting, “next please”! I have been the listing agent challenged with marketing the lime green home with hot pink trim.  So over the years, I have probably not heard it all, but enough to tell you what makes a buyer look like he just sucked a lemon. Sellers can and should take matters into their own hands before they put their home up for sale to avoid having their home sit on the market for a long time and sell for less money. 

Big Ticket Replacement Items

A house with a roof that is at the end of its lifespan or siding that needs to be updated is a major red flag for buyers. The same...

Sell Your Twin Cities Home

Minnesota Property Group Let's Sell Your Home

Selling Your Twin Cities Home

Although the spring and summer months are traditionally considered the optimum time to buy and sell a home, did you know that the second-best season to Sell your Twin Cities home is the fall?  Historically, if we assume normal market conditions, like the air on a crisp fall day, both prices and buyer activity tend to cool off. But as we know by now, this is not a balanced housing market but rather a red-hot housing situation that favors sellers in a big way.  Inventory of homes for sale and days on the market continue their downward descent while on the other side of the coin median sale prices continue their climb to new heights.

Let’s explore the current market conditions which support a strong fall housing market for the Twin Cities which make a good argument for selling now.

Twin Cities Real Estate Data

According to the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, the week ending September 9th found inventory decreased 16.5% to 12,587 units for sale with new listings down 3.1% as well. However, pending sales were higher than the same Minnesota Property Group - Let's Sell...

Preparing Your Home to Sell

Sell your home, Declutter, Prepare to sell

Preparing your home to sell

It is critical that you choose a Realtor that will tell you all of things you should do to prepare your home to sell. If you hire a good real estate agent and follow their advice, tips and tricks, you will sell your home for top dollar. Before you put your house up for sale, you need to deep clean, de-clutter and depersonalize it. When you are getting your home ready to sell, these are the basics and the best place to start.  We want to make your property look as much like a new house as possible. Our goal is to project a warm and inviting environment, as clean, spacious, and impersonal as we can so that potential buyers can visualize your house as their home, with their furniture in the living room, their art on the walls and their car in the garage.

Home selling preparation step 1

This can often be the most difficult step for some sellers because often they have an emotional attachment to everything in their house. However, you really need to get rid of the clutter because one thing I know for sure, a buyer's dream house does not include your clutter! It will help you to look at this process objectively and realize that your beloved napkin collection filling up a shelf of the linen closet is clutter from a buyer's perspective. Remember, the buyer is purchasing your house not your stuff, and you want him or her to visualize where they can put their stuff!...

10 Ways To Grab Buyers at Hello

Our Twin Cities Home Blog @ Minnesota Property Group

That All Important First Impression

It’s well established that a first introduction is vitally important. That initial handshake can either lead to a meeting of the minds, or to no deal. “I hope I make a bad first impression,” said no one ever!  In real estate, we see this play out again and again.

When you are selling, the first personal impression when a buyer tours your home is like the handshake. If they don’t like what they see pulling up to the curb, walking into the lobby, or opening the front door, the cash register is going to ring up “no sale”.

Although a good first impression of your home may not always end up in making a deal, it is always the first step into getting to that important offer to purchase.  Here are 10 ways to make a great first impression on prospective buyers.

1. Get Buyers To See Your Home

Today, most real estate transactions are born on the internet. The first interaction a prospective buyer has with your house is online. If there is no connection with them in those first photos, it’s extremely unlikely to go to the next step with a private showing. Make sure you have an agent that takes quality photos of your property, preferably professional ones. 

...

The 5 Day Plan To Turn Closet Chaos into Organized Bliss

Our Twin Cites Home Blog @ Minnesota Property Group

With April just around the corner, our thoughts turn to spring. For many, spring not only signals the onset of warm weather, flowers, and birdsong but heralds the time to sweep out the winter detritus from hearth and home, otherwise known as Spring Cleaning. The first logical step in the process is removing all that stuff you really don’t want, don’t need, or never use, your clutter.

For those of you preparing to sell your home this spring, an absolute must for you is to take your cluttered chaos and turn it into organized harmony , but even if you are staying put, what better way to start the new season than with a home free of extra stuff to get in the way of your feng shui. Now that you are sold on the idea of paring down and organizing, there are a couple ways to approach the process of organizing your home.

  • the intense weekend (or two) decluttering boot camp
  • the series of multiple shorter de-junking sessionsOur Twin Cites Home Blog @Minnesota Property Group

Personally, since I am not a fan of pain and suffering, I prefer the “take-it-in-smaller-bites” process. Keep in mind, regardless of whether you opt for the intense program or the low impact version, you still need to perform...

5 Reasons To Sell Your Twin Cities Home Now

Minnesota Property Group/Our Twin Cities Home Blog

The 5 Reasons Twin Cities Home Sellers Should List Now 

Even though March is still very much a winter month in the Twin Cities, we had a few days of spring-like weather in February.  Those days may have been a teaser but I will tell what is no joke  – the spring home buying season started in January! Buyers are eagerly snatching up properties with wild abandon. If you are planning to sell your house this year, the earlier in the year you get your house on the market, the better.  This phenomenal seller's market is not going to last forever but right now it’s all about you and the question on my mind today is, what are you waiting for? 

1. Tenacious Buyers Will Not Be Here Forever

To say there are many eager buyers in the market watching the posting of new listings with a keen eye is an understatement.  Many have not just been anticipating home ownership for weeks, a great number of buyers have been looking for months. With so much competition for so little inventory, a large number of these buyers have attempted to secure a deal on a home only to lose out to another eager buyer.  They are not giving up anytime soon but market conditions such as rising interest rates may force them out. This sense of urgency is inspiring them to make great offers, very often above list price...

Thinking About Selling? Do It Now - Here's Why

Our Twin Cities Home Blog

Selling Homes in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota

The spring and summer housing market is behind us, but as we look in the rearview mirror and wave good-bye, we should also look ahead and say hello to the second best season for home sales, fall. If you thought about putting your house on the market but somehow didn’t manage to pull it all together as yet, here is your second chance as a seller to take advantage of this market leaning so heavily in your favor here in the Twin Cities.  

Generally speaking under normal conditions the seasonal adjustment of the cooler months and inventory, prices and market activity seem to follow the downward trend of the temperatures. This may not be the case this year. While inventory levels, days on market, and pending sales are declining, median sale prices are continuing to rise.

Twin Cities Metro Market Data Still Strongly Favors Sellers

The Minneapolis Association of Realtors report for the week ending September Our Twin Cities Home Blog for the Minnesota Property Group...

The Best Time to Sell My Twin Cities Home

Beautiful Minneapolis Minnesota Home

Why Early Spring is The Best Time Sell Your Twin Cities Home

Spring has officially arrived!  Birds singing, flowers blooming, temperatures rising and “Home for Sale” signs popping up on front lawns like mushrooms in the forest after a rain shower. Now I have not seen any robins yet at my bird feeder, no crocus popping their colorful little heads out of the dirt or forsythia in bloom. What I have witnessed is platoons of serious home buyers out in the market place. Sounds like we have an active market filled with buyers holding pre-approvals, down payments and closing costs in their eager ready-to-buy hands. Isn’t that great? Let’s take a closer look and see why the best time to sell your Twin Cities home is in the early spring.

Real Estate Supply and Demand in the Twin Cities

What we typically have in the Twin Cities real estate market is an imbalance. We don't usually see very many “Home for Sale” signs but we have many ready and eager buyers chasing down the ones that do pop up. What does that mean exactly to you as a potential seller? Good news! we generally have a market that strongly favors sellers with homes often getting multiple offers that may even exceed the asking price.

Sell Your Twin Cities Home When the Market Favors the Sellers

Are...

Sell Your House Fast With These 15 Tips

15 Curb Appeal Tips to get your Home Ready to Sell Fast 

Sell your home fast by starting with the first impression. Here are 15 fabulous and inexpensive ideas to boost the curb appeal of your home, he has curated some great information from some great sites like Better Homes and Gardens and also offered up some great DIY tips from bloggers like Bella Tucker and First Home Love as well. 

This information is must read for those of you are planning to sell your home fast this year. Even if you are planning to stay put, who doesn't want to improve the appearance of their home? Enough said. Let's read how we can give our homes a mini facelift! 

This home has some great curb appeal.

First Impressions will help sell your home fast

In life, you get one chance to make a first impression.  It can be the determining factor in getting the job, securing the client, or closing the deal.  When you are selling your home, the same holds true.  The first impression a potential buyer has of your house, be it online or in person can have a significant influence not only on an offer price but how quickly you receive one.  

When buyers are presented with a property that has great curb appeal, it draws them in with a smile. Reversely, if your home looks untidy and ill kept from the outside, buyers are going to have the impression that the property has not been well cared for, and it may even have them saying, “Next please”, without so much as an inside peek.

Now that you know how important curb appeal can be, here are 15 easy and inexpensive sure-fire ways to get the curb appeal of your home hitting the high notes!

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How To Be a Rock Star Home Seller in 5 Easy Steps

How To Be a Rock Star Home Seller in 5 Easy Steps

Selling your family home can be a stressful experience under the best of circumstances.  Listing your home creates a condition that interferes with the daily rhythm of your family life and invades the privacy of your personal space, not to mention the mixed emotions your family might be feeling about letting go of the old home and moving on to a new one. That being said, if you want or need to sell your home, you must realize and embrace the fact that things are going to change. 

On the other hand, change is not a bad thing.  Hopefully, you will be moving forward to a bigger home, preferred location, new job, or a new life adventure! Perhaps you are downsizing and looking forward to less responsibility, more time for leisure activities or a simpler, less complicated lifestyle. Whatever your particular situation, you want and need to get your home sold and you want the process to be as seamless and stress-free as possible.

You’re ready to sell and I want you to be a Rock Star Seller so here are 5 easy ways to make that happen!

For Sale Joe Houghton ReMax/Results for MN Property Group

1. Listen to Your Real Estate Agent 

One of the reasons you selected your real estate agent was because you trusted that he was the best professional in the business...

These 5 Hot Tips Will Heat Up Your Winter Home Sale

Selling your home in winter, winter, home selling

These 5 Hot Tips Will Heat Up Your Winter Home Sale

Winter has arrived. In places like the Twin Cities, that means fewer daylight hours, frigid temperatures, snow, and ice. Winter definitely changes the dynamics of selling and showing your home at its best. However, we can also see these cold weather challenges as opportunities to showcase your home in ways not possible in the warmer seasons. Here are my 5 best tips for making your home shine more and sparkle brighter even though the days are shorter and the ground is covered in snow!

Selling your home in winter, winter, home selling

1. Strut Your Stuff Winter and Beyond

An absolute must is to keep the driveway and walkways clear and safe for walking. Maneuvering through snow and ice to get inside your home is not going to make a good first impression so be sure your property is totally accessible. Even though snow removal can be a challenge keep in mind you don’t have to worry about mowing and trimming the lawn every few days.  Another plus, if you don’t have the best landscaping on the block, the snow can provide a pristine charm you wouldn’t have in the warmer months. However, if you are an avid gardener and have put time and...

7 Great Tips For Selling Your House in the Fall

autumn, fall, home-selling

7 Great Tips for Fall Home Sellers

The Twin Cities real estate market has been strong throughout the spring and summer, and according to housing market analysts, we are experiencing one of the best housing markets of the last 15 years. So if you planned to sell your home this year but missed the spring and summer home-selling season, don’t despair or feel you need to wait until next spring to sell your home. Autumn happens to be the second best season for home sales.

Going into the cooler months always brings a seasonal adjustment in inventory levels. According to the weekly report from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, for the week ending September 19th, new listings decreased 0.4% to 1,613 and inventory 13.8% to 16,606. So fewer houses on the market, increase your chances of finding a buyer. Speaking of buyers…

While families with children tend to make their move in spring and be situated in their new homes for the start of the school year, job changes and relocations go on all year so there will be families out there looking for homes. Additionally, many millennials and empty nesters tend to wait until fall with hopes of being in their new home before the winter holidays arrive.  Easier mortgage approvals coupled with interest rates remaining low, sweeten the deal. Buyers are inspired.

To get you ready and help with that selling decision, here are 7 tips that will take turn your "home for sale" to "home sold" when you list your property this autumn.

Front door...

7 Reasons Selling Your Home Is Not a DIY Project

When the time comes to sell your home, you may be tempted to forego hiring a Realtor and do it alone.  After all, DIY is the hot trend these days and who doesn't like to save a few dollars? Being a great fan of saving money with DIY projects, I totally understand. But, before you pound a “For Sale” sign in your front yard and start counting the money you’ll save on a Realtor’s commission, there are a few facts you should consider because this may be a DIY project that ends up costing you money rather than saving you money over the long run.

To buy and sell a house is no simple task. In fact, national statistics show that only 9% of all “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) efforts are successful. Only one out of every twelve people who attempt to sell their own home actually end up with a closed deal and approximately 24% of those transactions involved a sale to a friend or relative, 15% involved a buyer directly contacting a seller, and 1% when the owner was a licensed agent.  

Selling your home is not a great DIY project

When DIY sellers were surveyed by The National Association of Realtors, the most difficult aspects of going FSBO were cited as follows:

  1. Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%
  2. Getting the right price: 13%
  3. Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 12%
  4. Helping buyer obtain financing: 3%
  5. ...

5 Reasons Winter is a Great Time to Sell a Home


Is the winter housing market hotter than you think?

Although spring and summer are typically thought of as prime time for selling and buying a home, there are distinct advantages to list your home for sale in the first part of the year. Really, you ask? Your skepticism is certainly understandable, after all winter is darn cold here in the Twin Cities Metro, right? And aren’t buyers gravitating to a warm fire and a cozy corner waiting for the spring thaw to house hunt? Some, yes, but all of them, absolutely not! Let’s take a closer look at reasons you may want to list your home now.

1. Winter buyers are Not Window Shoppers

While some buyers hibernate in winter, not all of them do.  There are folks out there that need to buy homes 12 months of the year due to job changes, (large corporations traditionally hire and transfer more in the early part of the year) relocation, or family changes, like the birth of a child.  These folks are serious buyers because they don’t just want to move, they need to move. As a seller, you will like these buyers a lot!

2. There is Less Competition

When spring arrives house for sale signs pop up everywhere like mushrooms after a heavy rain. Because the inventory of homes for sale in the winter is lower, your chances of landing a buyer improve.  It’s that basic and fundamental principal of supply and demand. As a seller, this...

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