Sunday, October 21, 2012

Don’t Wait Until Next Spring to Sell Your Minnesota Home!

As a REALTOR® in the north and east Minneapolis/St Paul area, I hear it all the time...Potential home sellers lamenting about how it is too late in the year to sell their Minnesota home. It’s late October now, so soon the snow will fly and no one will be buying. “We missed the market this year so we will have to wait until spring to sell our house now!”

My response is quite simple. “If you can list your home now, you REALLY should.”  

And the reasons are equally simple:
  1. Low Inventory
  2. Continued Demand

The Minneapolis/St Paul metro area has become a year round market. Sure, more people do move in spring and summer but traditional sellers have an opportunity to shine if they list their homes when there are mostly distressed homes on the market. These very low interest rates and increasing news reports about how home prices are edging up, have gotten buyers off the proverbial fence and into the market. Home buyers are waiting for well maintained and well priced homes to hit the market. This is an opportunity few home sellers will take advantage of because they think people do not want to move in the winter. And some people don’t want the inconvenience of showings during the holidays.

But in my experience, the buyers looking in the fall and winter months are very serious about buying a home. Home buyers are tired of viewing bank-owned properties that need work and have no disclosures. They are frustrated with short sale homes that they will have to wait months for possession. Most buyers prefer to buy from a traditional seller….and buyers do worry that prices and interest rates could edge up in the spring. So home buyers are looking in October and will be looking in November, December and January too. But a well prepared home seller might not have to wait that long. In the past few weeks, homes that I have listed received offers within days of hitting the market. Pricing and preparation were key to getting the quick offers. These are not flukes either. I have seen many well priced listings fly off the MLS in October.

Quick Staging Tips for Selling Your Home this Fall:

  1. Rake leaves and clean gutters—Unfortunately, this may need to be done daily if you are getting lots of showings. But buyers cannot assess the condition of the lawn, sidewalk and roof if it is covered with leaves.
  2. Heat up cinnamon sticks—Put a few cinnamon sticks in a pan on the stove or in a microwave dish with water just before a showing so it smells like an autumn festival!
  3. Turn on the gas fireplace—If you've got it, flaunt it! A crackling fire adds ambiance and makes a house feel like home!
  4. Pumpkins and mums—Accent the entry with a pumpkin, colorful mum or other fall décor to give seasonal curb appeal. 

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