For Home Sellers
Happy December! This year is going by too darn fast.
I answer this question several times each holiday season. If my home is on the market should I decorate it for the holidays? My answer is always the same. That depends.
Honestly I don’t have a problem with holiday decorations but the same rules apply to them that apply to any kind of decorations in homes that are for sale. The decorations can not detract from the home or distract people who are viewing it. Less is generally more.
If my own home were on the market during the holidays I would put up a smaller tree or none at all because my home is small and the tree takes up space and makes the living room look smaller. I would put up the outdoor wreath and the strings of lights I normally put in my kitchen. I would put out some holiday candles and some plants or flowers. Just enough to make the place look festive.
Skipping the holiday decorations all together is alright too. It is better to have no decorations than too many decorations. I have never bought into the idea that decorations inside my home could offend anyone. If they do I guess I don’t care it is my house and kind of the whole point. Why would I have a home of my own if I could not decorate it the way that I want to? I would be more concerned about cluttering up the space and distracting the buyer.
A couple of times I have managed to get the photographs of homes for sale before the decorations went up. I prefer not to have holiday decorations in my listing photos because they are a distraction and if the home is on the market a month after the holidays I have to take new pictures.
Local Market Conditions & home prices
It actually has been a pretty good year for home sales locally. The inventory of homes on the market has been low partly because homes are selling. We are still in a sellers market. Here is a snapshot of what the housing market looks like in St. Paul right now. There are only 674 homes on the market that do not have offers on them and only 811 on the market. That is a new low in the ten years I have been publishing numbers on this site.
These low numbers may be the new normal as baby boomers stay put and younger generations hit their prime home buying years. Rental or income properties in St. Paul are staying on the market for an average of 103 days and there are currently 96 to choose from that don’t have offers on them.
There isn’t much new construction and the median price of the new homes that are currently on the market is over 600K. These new homes are large and often built on lots that used to be occupied by smaller more affordable homes.
I just want to remind you to shop small today if you shop at all. Shop one of the many small businesses in St. Paul. Maybe a bakery or a coffee shop or one of those gift shops on Grand Avenue or the independent hardware stores on Randolph or Arcade street. I’ll likely head over to Sophie Joe’s on West 7th street and to Wescott Station and then to Leitner’s on Randolph to buy some paperwhites. I may stop at the Liquor Barrel on Saint Clair and stock up for the holidays.
Boardman Realty is a small independant real estate brokerage. We have two real estate agents with plans to grow. We are not part of a national franchise or a large corporation. When I get paid most of the money I make goes right back into the neighborhood as I shop local.
Contact Teresa Boardman or Teri Eckholm
Lucy and Linus – Landmark Park St. Paul, MN
I am grateful and thankful for everything in my life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Tomorrow is thanksgiving and there isn’t much that is easier to prepare and cook than roast turkey. Don’t let the news media scare you off as they spend the week giving turkey cooking tips and making it look harder than it is. There are other ways to cook a turkey. They can even be deep fried which is just nonsense.
Is there anything more disgusting than a cold raw turkey in the early A.M.? For those of you who have never cooked the bird this is what it looks like:
Turkeys are very easy to cook. You just roast them, which involves putting them in the oven or electric roaster and setting a timer. Where most people go wrong is by not using a meat thermometer and or by cooking the bird too long and at too high of a temperature or by listening to the talking heads on the morning news. Use the Betty Crocker roasting chart. I won’t tell you how many years that has worked for me.
Please don’t overcook your turkey. If your turkey is dry it is because you overcooked it. I don’t care if you deep fried it or put it on the grill or cooked it in the oven. Read my lips. If the turkey is dry you over cooked it! Please use a meat thermometer and keep an eye on it.
Turkeys can be cooked rapidly at 450 or so, but the easiest way is to put it in an electric turkey roaster or in the oven at 325 to 350 and just ignore it. I like to start with a fresh turkey, never a frozen turkey and cook it in an electric roaster because it frees up the oven and requires almost no effort on my part.
Clean up is simple too. The only challenge is finding a place to store the electric roaster but as a Realtor I can help you find a bigger home with more storage space if needed.
The FDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 165 . . if you don’t want to risk food poisoning. personally I go for up around 180 degrees. Please don’t rely on that little pop-up thingy to detect doneness. Use a real meat thermometer.
Have a happy thanksgiving and don’t stress over the turkey. Worry about the stuffing or the pies or the rolls, or which family members are going to drink too much and then start a fight.
For Home buyers
Do homes sell during the holidays? Yes they do. Last year 3259 homes were sold in St. Paul. 59 of them got offers during Thanksgiving week. It is hard to tell how many got offers on black Friday because offers are not always reported the day they occur.
About 250 St. Paul homes had offers on them that resulted in a sale between thanksgiving day and the end of the year. As I recall I sold three condos during that time frame myself last year.
There are fewer homes offered for sale during the holidays and fewer are sold. I have been thinking that in addition to black Friday and small business Saturday we should have real estate Sunday. That way we could get the homes on the market sold before Christmas and start fresh at the beginning of the year.
Most years the spring selling season actually starts in about mid-January and sales peak in April and then gradually slow. The homes that sell in April usually don’t actually close until May or June giving the news media and others the impression that May and June are the top months for home sales. Part of the reason why we see the activity in the first quarter has to do with people knowing how much of a tax refund they will be getting.
If your home is on the market on a holiday and you don’t want to be disturbed just let your agent know. We can let agents know that your home is not available for show on holidays.
Locally grow – Saint Paul farmer’s market