MN Realtor On Buying a House in the Winter
Real estate is not a seasonable business. People are relocating for jobs every month of the year. People are moving out of state and into the state. Others may be moving to another city, across town, or down the street. In the process, they are buying and selling homes.
Without a doubt, spring is the prime season for real estate. Buyers come out of hibernation when the first signs cold-weather spring appear. “For Sale” signs pop up on front lawns like mushrooms after a rain shower. That doesn’t mean that because spring is most popular, that you shouldn’t consider the other alternative of buying a home in the colder months.
Winter is the time that many potential buyers would rather hunker down with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate than spend an afternoon sloshing through the wet and cold. You probably prefer to spend a frosty Sunday watching sports or a movie munching your favorite snack. I get that. But I have some solid reasons why you might want to slip into your favorite cold-weather gear and check out some homes for sale.
Winter Sellers Are Serious Sellers
Often people who sell their homes in the winter are responding to job relocation, financial woes, divorce, estate settlement, or various other compelling circumstances. Because they have a strong motivation to close a deal they may be more flexible on asking price and terms.
There Is Less Competition for Homes in the Winter
In the spirit of...
Use Hygge to Sell Your House
Did you know that Sperling’s Best Places named Minneapolis the third best city for hygge in America? Now you do. Don’t get me wrong; we are not turning our nose up at the third place award to Seattle #1 and Portland #2. However, some of us think with more people of Scandinavian heritage in the Twin Cities and colder winters we should be #1 when it comes to getting our hygge mojo working.
What does hygge even mean and how do you pronounce it?
By now, you have probably at least heard the term hygge. It is a Danish concept that has created a considerable buzz in the home décor market. But it is not just about decorating; it’s a lifestyle.
It is a concept of embracing simple pleasures. The Danes, being awesome people, created hygge in the 18 century and it remains an integral part of their culture today.
The word is pronounced “hue-gah.” Frequently defined as coziness, and in the Oxford English Dictionary as “to keep or make oneself snug.” So hygge also reflects a feeling of safeness and warmth.
The critical thing to note is that even with long winters and limited hours of daylight, Danes are considered to be the world’s happiest people. Since you want buyers to be the happiest people when they tour your home, let’s hit them with some hygge.
Soft, Warm, Snug Cozy
Hygge decorating is about texture. Soft materials that provide warmth and comfort are essential. Aspects of this decorating style that you can pull together in staging your home for winter are knits, fur or velvet pillows,...
Staging for The Holidays
Let’s face it, selling your home over the Christmas Holiday can be a challenge. It goes over, and above the usual inconveniences you must endure and the compromises to the rhythm of your family’s routine you must make when you sell. For most, it happens to be the busiest time of the year regarding shopping, family activities, and entertaining. A string of strangers looking in all your nooks and crannies is not at the top of your wish list.
Many sellers temporarily take their home off the market in December while others wait until January to list. However, there are buyers out there, and most of them that are house shopping in December are serious buyers. So for those sellers with a high level of motivation, the holidays can provide a unique opportunity for your home to shine. You can also get a step ahead of the competition who decide to fast forward to January.
Once you decide to market your home when bells on bobtails ring, the next question is should you decorate and if so what are the rules? Here, the basic rules of staging your home for any season apply. Keep everything clean, eliminate clutter and avoid the personal items in your choice of holiday decorations.
Now let’s drill down to the details. Here are my best tips for home sellers...
Not a Market for the Fainthearted
Looking at the housing market in the Twin Cities for February we are going to be focusing on four factors; an ever-shrinking supply of inventory, declining home sales, a consistently upward trend of median sales prices, and rising interest rates. The market activity we are seeing here pretty much reflects what is happening across the nation.
While we might not expect prices to climb when sales fall, this downward trend is more a result of seriously limited inventory levels coupled with strong demand. There are simply too many buyers chasing too few homes and for a nervous buyer, this may be situation impossible.
The Market in the Twin Cities is Starving for Listings
New listings declined 8% over February of last year while inventory levels dropped 23% putting the supply of homes at 1.5 months. At the same time, the median sales price of homes in the Twin Cities metro rose 12.7% to $250,000. This rise in prices is partly a reflection of bidding wars on desirable properties where supply is so limited.
The same theme of the last 2 years continues with a vengeance: ready, willing, well-qualified buyers who desperately want to become homeowners being thwarted because there just not enough listings to go around.
What Rising Interest Rates Mean for Twin Cities Housing
January Twin Cities Housing Inventory Sinks Lower
We are now several years into a housing market where buyer demand is strong and inventory of homes for sale is limited and ever shrinking. This buying mania has been fueled largely by a strong economy with low unemployment, a robust stock market, and historically low mortgage interest rates. In addition, the high cost of renting has made owning a home the best option in the Twin Cities, as well as a wise financial decision. It was the strong incentive many first time home buyers needed to get off the fence and pursue the American dream of homeownership. And chase that dream they did!
Buying vs Renting Pros and Cons
We just capped off a record-breaking year for real estate. The story for 2017 was powerful across the nation. In the Twin Cities, the median sales price reached an all-time high. Closed sales broke a twelve-year record high even with inventory levels at a 15 year low. There were lots of reasons for sellers to celebrate. Homes for sale spent less time on the market with full price offers the norm. The market was rocking and tenacious buyers were the rocket fuel that propelled it.
As we look at the first month of the brand new year,...
Should I Buy a Home This Winter or Wait for Spring?
If you are a Twin Cities’ buyer that missed out on snaring a deal this past spring or summer, you might be asking yourself, your family, your friends and your realtor whether or not you should keep your search ongoing or simply hunker down for the winter months and venture forth again when the forsythia bloom. Maybe you just started the process and are thinking of putting it on hold until the new year arrives or wondering if there is an advantage to staying the course. As a realtor, I can tell you that I am being asked that question from many of my clients, especially the first time buyers.
Because everyone has a story and no personal situation is exactly the same, there is no right or wrong answer. But generally speaking, I tell my buyers that nobody is too cool for thermal underwear in Minnesota. Let’s get some and keep looking for that home. Patience is a virtue and tenacity pays off in the end.
To those just getting started in the process, if you have your pre-approval letter in hand start your search and if not get that preliminary work completed and then press go! Now before you get out your list of 7 reasons why you shouldn’t go out in the cold, here are my 7 reasons why house hunting...
Brand New Year and Same Old Story
January may be the first month of a new year but for the Twin Cities Housing Market the story is old and has been told over and over again, not enough homes for sale to satisfy buyer demand. How much this will change depends on seller listing activity, interest rates, and rising home prices.
What was up over the same time last year? Pending sales, percent of original list price received, median list and sale price with new listings up slightly by 3.1 percent. What was down? Days on the market before sale was down by 7.1 % at 79 days. The really big change was the inventory of homes for sale, which was 25.4% lower than last year resulting in 1.6 months to sell out the supply of homes. That figure was down a whopping 30.4% over January 2016.
Twin Cities Market Outlook Short Term
This situation of incredibly low supply is causing a great deal of frustration for those eager to purchase a home, especially in the first time buyer category. It is the norm for desirable properties having accepted offers in less than a week of hitting the market with sellers enjoying multiple offer situations. Good news for them and not so good news for buyers.
Employment is strong and steady and even with decreasing rents...
Attention Home Buyers and Sellers | Twin Cities Real Estate Market is Hot
If you have been looking for a home to buy or thinking about selling your current home you already know what I am about to tell you. The one extraordinary factor that describes the Minneapolis-St. Paul real estate market is that due to historically low levels of inventory, it favors the seller in a really big way.
How big? The latest data from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors shows us the end of 2016 inventory levels down 26.3 percent while months’ supply of homes was 1.8 in the single-family category, 1.4 for condos, and townhomes a mere 1.1 months of inventory. Looking at this from a perspective of the price range, anything below $350,001 is at 1.3 months’ supply or less. When you take into account that 5-6 months of supply is considered balanced, and the current supply is at an all-time low when we compare it to data going back to 2006, this is clearly an extraordinary situation.
How to Buy New Home in the Twin Cities
Twin Cities Housing Market Statistics December 2016
Finally, here we are wrapping up the year for the Twin Cities Housing Market. As stories go this is one we have been retelling throughout 2016. It is a tale of a market dramatically in favor of sellers with more buyers chasing fewer properties as the year progressed.
Prices of homes continued an upward trend over December while days on market from list to close declined. Completed sales were up, pending sales and inventory were both down, and with the end of year months inventory of homes at 1.6, it was a true tale of woe for buyers heading into the new year.
How the Minneapolis-St. Paul Market Looks Short Term
Unemployment continues to be at all-time lows and job creation has remained steady and strong since August 2015. Moving forward, the perspective for the housing market remains unclear and depends a great deal on the new administration and the effects it will have on housing in the coming months. We do know that the quarter point reduction in FHA mortgage insurance was rescinded which will lock out about...
Sell Your Home with Remax Results and the Minnesota Property Group
The beginning of a new year is a beautiful thing! It is a perfect opportunity to review the past 12 months and compare it to the previous 12 and celebrate the success we have achieved. It is a time when we can continue to grow and to show you why you should sell your home with remax results and the Minnesota Property Group. Also, as we learn what worked well and what did not, we are in a better position to focus our energy in the coming year where we may have fallen short of our goals. For many of us it is the fresh start we need to clean the debris field of the old year and start with a clean slate for the new while for others it’s the beginning of another cycle of building on past achievements, adjusting priorities as well as setting new goals. To me it is like a pool of crystal clear still water waiting for me to stick my toes in and create some ripples, or maybe jump in with my whole being and create a huge splash!
How to Market Your Home for Sale in the Twin Cities
For The Minnesota Property Group, it was another outstanding year of showing the Twin Cities how to market your home for sale. We started some great new projects last year that we want to build on, improve and expand. The re-launch of ...
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!
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...
Winter is a Great Time to Buy
Can you believe it's February? It seems the days since we welcomed in 2015 have passed faster than the Starship Enterprise at warp speed! But the year is still young so If home ownership is one of your New Year's Resolutions, now is a great time to begin the journey. Yes, I know, it’s darn cold here in the Twin Cities and you are happy enjoying your warm fires and cozy corners but don’t wait until the tulips are in bloom to start looking for a home. Pull on your boots and dig out your scarfs and mittens because here are 5 great reasons to buy a home now.
1. Less Competition
Spring brings droves of buyers out of winter hibernation looking for homes. As a wiley winter buyer you will face less competition for available homes, tipping the scales in your favor. Even though there are more listings to choose from in spring, chances are the home of your dreams may very likely be the dream home of other buyers as well. When this happens, you may find yourself in a bidding war or at the very least feel pressured to offer a higher price and make more concessions to the seller than you had planned in order “to get” that house before your competition steps in with a better offer.
2. Winter Buyers Enjoy Lower Prices and More Leverage
Spring rains cause rivers, creeks and home prices to rise. Historical data supports higher listing prices for homes in spring and summer months. It is not uncommon for a seller with a desirable property to receive more than one offer which results in less opportunity for you the buyer to negotiate price and conditions of the sale. In winter however, fewer buyers in the market inspire sellers not to let a good one off the hook by haggling over...
Is the winter a good time to sell my house in MN?
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,...
Winter changes the dynamics of selling and showing your home at its best. Less hours of daylight, cold weather along with snow and ice are all challenges we face in the winter season. 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!
1. A Home for All Seasons
Keep the driveway and all walkways shoveled. Maneuvering through snow and ice to get inside your home is not going to make for a good first impression so be sure your property is totally accessible. Granted snow removal can be a challenge but at least 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. On the flip side, if you are an avid gardener and have put time and money into awesome landscaping make sure to have an album of photos highlighting those features for buyers to view.
2. Let the Light Shine in and Out
Keep window dressings at a minimum to take advantage of the available light. Make sure draperies are drawn and shades are up. Even if you are showing your...