Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Realtor RADAR…Overheard at the Ham Lake Baseball Field!

While getting my haircut a few months ago, there was a conversation going on a few chairs over between a stylist and client about a home for sale. My stylist leaned over and asked, “Ears burning?”

Funny, how Realtors’ ears do pick up conversations regarding real estate. No, there is not a Real Estate Radar 101 continuing education class. It is just a fact that people talk about real estate quite often. Everyone knows someone buying, selling or thinking about buying or selling a house.

Last week, I was enjoying watching my son play baseball at a Ham Lake ball field.
Soderville Athletic Association packs the bleachers every night at the Ham Lake City and County Parks. On this particular night, the sun was bright, the wind was warm and the air mosquito-free; A perfect summer evening for baseball. I was sitting near a couple of moms that I had never met who enjoyed chatting throughout the game. Baseball is a great sport for conversation as between innings and at-bats, quite a conversation can take place.

Here are some of the snippets overheard:
“Our new kitchen is almost complete. We went with the refrigerator that has the panel inserts…Go Reds! Now we are waiting until the flooring is in next week.”

“You know the lots in our neighborhood are so much smaller than yours. We love your neighborhood!...Nice swing, bud! Better luck next time.”

“Since the house is better than it has ever looked we were thinking as soon as the kitchen is done of selling ours and buying one of the ones in your area. We would love to have at least 2 acres, maybe 3. How big is your lot? Great Catch!”

“We figure that our home is nice than the one listed down the street for $389,000 so we think that we could get $425,000 for ours. Even though that one has been on the market for almost a year but ours would look so much nicer. Pitch it in there, bud!”

“Good job Reds!! You know the home down the street from you. They are asking I think around $529. It can’t be more than $300 per month more than we pay now, do you think? Great Play…Did you see that?!!”
So about this time, I am contemplating…Do I keep quiet and focus on the baseball game or become the
Hollywood Realtor stereotype and speak up? This is my opportunity…I could casually mention as a Ham Lake Realtor here are some of things that you will need to consider. I could note Ham Lake market conditions. I supply accurate financials upon request etc. I know about acreage. I know how to sell a home in Anoka County. Instead the moment passes and the game goes on.

A few innings later more snippets on a different topic but just as applicable:

“You know my business has slowed down considerably in the past year. Call the ball…Great Catch Red!”

“Don says the company promises a retention bonus if he stays through the end of the year. I think the bonus will be enough to carry us through. Good inning guys!”

Wait a second! Did I just hear that right? Why would anyone consider moving to more expensive home when faced with losing their only steady income?

For the record, I remained a secret agent. I work mostly on a referral basis. I restrain myself from soliciting business from unsuspecting people having a private conversation in a public place.

Here’s the scoop on Ham Lake Minnesota real estate. Homes are selling. But selling a home costs money…There are costs besides the commission that will need to be paid. In the $400,000-$500,000 price range, the average days on the market is 421 days! Since January 1, 2007 only 5 existing single family homes sold in Ham Lake in this price range…Less than one per month. There are currently 34 homes listed in this price range.

It is an awesome time to buy a home in Ham Lake! Deals and opportunities DO exist in this market. But take all needs, wants and your personal situation into consideration when making a decision to sell your home.

And remember that Real Estate RADAR is out there everywhere. Take care when you are speaking about your financial situation in public as you never know who could overhear.

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 Teri Eckholm