Friday, April 28, 2017

What is a Lowball Offer in a Hot Real Estate Market?


It is a very hot real estate market with extremely low inventory. So a savvy buyer wants to impress, not insult the seller of their dream home. So what initial offer can insulting to a home seller? 10% less than asking? 5% less? A full priced offer with 3% of buyer's closing costs paid by the seller?

When housing inventory is as tight as it right now across the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, what is considered a "lowball offer" might be less than you think.

 
As a REALTOR
® in the north and east Twin Cities metro, I have seen my share of sellers who were insulted by a buyer’s offer over the years. There are times when anything less than a full priced offer is insulting. But should a buyer be afraid to request a few thousand toward closing costs with a fear that the seller will balk and accept the next offer in line?
 

The answer to that question really depends on the price and specific location. In some neighborhoods, it could be insulting to offer less than full price especially if it is a home priced under $250,000. There are an abundance of first time buyers out there looking for affordable, move-in ready homes. In fact, there are so many buyers that a well prepared and priced property can get an offer (or 2, 3 or more) in a matter of hours and be in pending in a matter of days. There are many neighborhoods and communities throughout Anoka, Washington, Ramsey and Chisago Counties where I work daily with a very small number of homes for sale. Well priced homes do not stay on the market long.  It is very stressful being a home buyer with a limited budget in this seller's market.

In many situations, buyers will feel frustrated and that they might never get a home. They get well-meaning advice from friends and relatives to not pay full price. "Sellers always negotiate", they say. But in reality, many sellers will not negotiate significantly, if at all. And a perceived offensive or  "lowball" offer could put the buyers’ dream home purchase in jeopardy.

How to Coming up with an Acceptable Starting Point:

    • Request that your REALTOR® to do a market analysis. When representing a buyer, I will look up the recent comparable homes sold in the neighborhood before the "what to offer" discussion begins. In this low inventory market, a seller that lists at market value but could still be in a multiple offer situation due to demand. If the home is properly priced and in high-demand area, anything that is not close to full price could mean that the seller will wait for another offer. By looking at the neighborhood comparables, my buyers better understand what offer will be considered reasonable.

    • Consider the original list price. If a seller started off too high and adjusted the price of the home it could be priced right now. If a market analysis shows the current price of the home is fair, offering 5-10% less could be considered insulting. When a buyer has found "THE: house and fallen in love with it, it might make sense to make an offer closer to the asking price rather than haggle and risk losing it.

    • The Overpriced Home. If the market analysis shows the home to be significantly overpriced and the offer will be more than 10% less than current the current asking price, it may be helpful to provide the comparables to the seller and his/her agent. Sometimes when the offer is accompanied by documentation to back up the offer, the seller is less offended.But be careful not to overlook good comps to justify your offer. This strategy can be worse that not providing documentation at all.

    • Buyer’s Plans to Remodel and Update. Some buyers think sending a long list of planned updates complete with associated estimates is a good strategy to negotiate for a price reduction. Often these lists include changes that reflect cosmetic and personal taste. Most sellers are not impressed when a buyer’s offer indicates that they are offering tens of thousands less due to paint, carpet and other cosmetic changes. If the updates are necessary due to age or wear, make note of the fact. But slamming a well maintained and updated home to justify a low offer is insulting and make continued negotiations difficult if not impossible.

  • Avoid Considering Price Paid for Home. I have come across a few buyers who research tax records to determine the price the seller paid for the property. They assume if someone purchased a home at a very low price, they have a ton of equity. This can be true but not always. Some sellers have taken the equity out of their home for improvements or for other reasons. And well sellers do have equity, they usually don't intend to give it away either. Keep the negotiations focused on the fair market value of the home.

Right now, sellers are in excitedly anticipating a non-contingent, pre-approved home buyer to write an offer on their home. In most cases, they understand the market and have worked hard to prepare their properties to entice a written purchase agreement (or several). But buyers must think through their offers; the perfect starting point for negotiations must contemplated thoroughly. Discussions can go south very quickly between buyer and seller when the initial offer is deemed rude.

Need help coming up with that perfect starting point for your home offer? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2017 terieckholm.com

Ten Reasons Historic STILLWATER, MN is the Perfect Place to call HOME!




The name, Stillwater just sounds tranquil and inviting, doesn’t it? The city, Stillwater Minnesota was named for the still waters of the St. Croix River that separates the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. This vibrant area has roots deep in Minnesota history. In fact, Stillwater is often referred to as the birth place of Minnesota.  Those deep roots are just one of the things that drawn over 18,000 people to life in this historic community.

Here is a top ten list of reasons why Stillwater is such a great place to live:


#10-Eclectic Shopping. An afternoon stroll down Stillwater’s Main Street is full of eye candy! With dozens of shops with unique and antique wares, it is like visiting a museum or history center but with an opportunity to buy! 


#9-Local Police and Fire. The city is proud to have its own police force as well as a professional fire department with full time firefighters on staff providing protection to over 60 square miles of the greater Stillwater community.


#8-Community Schools. Go Ponies! Being #1 means much more in Stillwater School District #834. The very first Minnesota school was constructed in Stillwater in 1848; one year before Minnesota became a territory.  And just two years later, Stillwater was the very first school district too. Today the district has expanded to 10 community based elementary schools, 2 junior highs and one high school.  It encompasses 150 square miles and serves 18 communities along the St. Croix River.


#7-Parks, Playgrounds and Trails. "Where can I play?" With 37 playgrounds, parks and trails located throughout the community, this is hardly ever an issue for residents in Stillwater.  The adorable Teddy Bear Park is a favorite summer spot for the 7 and under crowd.  There is a skateboard park and dog park too. No one is left out, young or old.  


#6-St. Croix River and Ariel Lift Bridge. Stillwater, MN made Forbes magazine as one of the “Top 10 Prettiest Towns in America” and residents agree. The St. Croix River, Lowell Park and the historic Ariel Lift Bridge is a wonderful view from shore walking or biking or a relaxing riverboat ride. While the adventurous might try a jump on a paddle board, kayak, Segway or hot air balloon to explore the sites.


#5-Historic Caves. Step back into the 1800’s on a walking tour of the Joseph Wolf Brewery /Sandstone Caves. The tour is full of history and a little mystery located right downtown at the Luna Rossa Trattoria and Wine Bar.


#4-Local Hospital. Most suburban residents have a bit of a drive when there is a medical emergency but not the residents of Stillwater. Lakeview Hospital , located in the heart of the city, is a full service hospital with 24/7 urgent and/or emergency care.


#3-Conveniently Located.
Just off Hwy 36 and east of the St. Croix River, it is a short commute to either downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul.


#2-Eclectic Options for Living. Whether you want the convenience of a low-maintenance condo with a river view, a historic Victorian up on the hill or a single family home in a newer development, there is a plethora of options in Stillwater.


#1-Friendly People.
The number one reason for living in Stillwater is the welcoming community atmosphere. Isn't that what most people search for in a place to call home?



FEATURED STILLWATER LISTING:


3072 Lowell Ct Stillwater MN 55082


READY to Make YOUR Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2017 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Trimming Your Anoka County Oak Trees Now Could Cost Thousands!

Spring has sprung a wee bit early in Minnesota which is causing many plants and trees to bud. Mature trees can add a tremendous value homes especially on Anoka County acreage. But trees do require maintenance too. Not only do they need their leaves raked in the fall, often a professional pruning can preserve and enhance the foliage for generations to come. However, trimming oaks is not something to be done without thought given to timing. Oak trees are best trimmed in winter months.

Sadly, in many counties of Minnesota, oak wilt is spreading. It is a nasty disease that can kill a mighty oak quickly and without warning. Keeping the fungus at bay takes forethought when doing spring and summer yard work.

Ignoring oak wilt only causes the disease to spread. Since it can take decades to grow a beautiful oak shade tree, shouldn't they be protected? A wooded landscape has a direct affect on a property's value. The loss of mature oaks can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in potential value when it comes time to sell.


What is Oak Wilt?


Oak wilt is a disease caused by a fungus that destroys the entire central system of the tree from its  roots to the tips of its leaves. The tree will try to block the fungus, but in doing so it blocks all water and nutrients to the branches and leaves. Eventually, the tree's leaves will begin to wilt then dry up and the tree will die.

Oak wilt spreads in two ways. It will either be attacked through the root systems of near by trees or by fungus beetles that carry the oak wilt spores from tree to tree. For additional information on oak wilt from the University of MN Extension Service.


Here are a few important reminders to prevent the spread of Oak Wilt:
  •     To prevent the spread of devastating disease, it is imperative to follow the guidelines for oak wilt prevention. Do not prune, damage or cut down oak trees during the spring and summer growing season from April through the end of September. With our early warm temperatures this year, it might be best to wait until fall now.
  •     During the spring and early summer months of May and June, oaks are at especially high risk to this highly contagious disease.
  •     Any wood or branches taken down over the winter that is infected with oak wilt needs to remain covered under black plastic and completely sealed until after July 1.
  •     During the summer if you sustain storm damage and lose a limb from an oak on your property, immediately paint the wound with black tree paint to seal the wound and prevent exposure to the oak wilt fungus.

How to Protect Your Trees

  • The fungus beetles infect trees that have been recently injured or trimmed. These beetles are very active in the spring and summer months. Oaks should be protected from damage and not trimmed from April through July.
  • If an oak tree is damaged during a spring or summer storm, apply tree paint immediately to any wounds that accidentally occur.
  • If an oak is infected a nearby neighboring property, your trees could be at risk through their intertwined root system. Oak roots travel up to 50 feet out. The fungus can pass underground from tree to tree. Roots can be cut using a trencher or vibratory plow to prevent the spread of oak wilt. The process uses a five foot blade that severs the roots to protect neighboring trees. Root cutting should be done prior to tree removal. 


Have a Minnesota Real Estate Question? Ask Me! I Can Help!

READY to Make YOUR Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2017 terieckholm.com