Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Don't Wait Until Spring! Minnesota Homes Sell in the Fall and Winter too!


Think it is too late to sell your home because snowflakes are in the forecast? Think Again!

As a REALTOR® who lists and sells homes in the north and east Minneapolis/St Paul area, I come across this every fall. Potential home sellers complain that it is too late in the year to sell their Minnesota home. "It’s almost November and soon the snow will fly. No one will be buying a home now. We will have to wait until spring to get the best price for our home now.”

Most are surprised when I tell them they are wrong. “If you can list your home now, you REALLY should.”  

Why? Well the reasons are very 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 in the fall and winter, when there are mostly distressed homes on the market. Interest rates are still low and projected to go higher in 2014.   This has home buyers off the proverbial fence and into the real estate market. Home buyers look for well maintained and well priced homes and jump on them quickly when they hit the market. This is an opportunity few Minnesota home sellers will take advantage of because they think people do not want to move in the winter slush and snow. 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 will continue to edge up come spring. So home buyers are looking in late October and will be looking in November, December and January too. 

However, well prepared home sellers might not have to wait until January for an offer. I have seen well maintained, staged and priced homes receive offers within days of hitting the market in the fall and winter. Remember though pricing and preparation are always key to getting the quick offers at any time of year. 

Quick Staging Tips for Selling Your Home this Fall:

  1. Rake leaves (or shovel snow) and clean gutters—Unfortunately, outdoor tasks will  need to be done every day you have a showing. Buyers cannot assess the condition of the lawn, sidewalk and roof if it is covered with leaves and even a dusting of snow can make sidewalks slick and dangerous.
  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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