I found this post in my drafts. it was never published. It seems appropriate for this first day of October. For those who know the area you may remember that the power plant in the background was demolished earlier this year. The boat and the river of course are still the same. This was taken in early October 2012 from Lilydale regional park. . . which is by the way a great place for a fall bike ride or hike.
When I ask if it is a good time to sell I mean real estate of course. I remember when I used to work with one of the big real estate companies. They had this room called a resource room and in it they had marketing materials we could use. There was one a marketing piece for each season on why ______ is the best time to sell a house. I guess for those of us who sell houses it is always the best time to sell but for home owners it isn’t that simple.
There are advantages and disadvantages to selling any time of year. In general homes do not fetch as high of a price in the winter as they do in the spring but the difference isn’t huge and it all works out for home sellers who also wish to buy a home.
A couple of years ago I listed a home two days before Christmas. It sold after about 60 days on the market. It was priced right but not below market value and was in excellent shape, cleaned up and decluttered.
I have found that people who look at homes in the late fall and early winter are usually pretty motivated and it is the same with home sellers. The spring buying season actually gets started in January so in some cases putting a home on the market in the winter results in an offer in January or February when the prices start going up again.
So . . is fall a good time to sell? I can honestly answer that question with “it depends” but for me it is always a good time to sell a home because that is what I do.
First Time Home Buyers
If you are one of my clients and are reading this please don’t worry. So far all closings are on schedule and I don’t anticipate any delays.
When buyer makes an offer on a house the contract has to have a closing date in it. Occasionally I get an offer on one of my listings with a TBD (to be determined) date instead of a date. I usually fix it by having the sellers choose a date and then I put that in a counter offer. probably too much information for most but the point I am trying to make is that the contract to purchase has to have a closing date. All Minnesota contracts need to have starting and ending dates and page numbers are nice too but that is the subject for another day.
The closing date is not necessarily etched it stone. It is not at all usually for loan underwriters to have last minute requests that delay the closing. Usually both parties just agree to a new closing date. It can be aggravating and if the buyer or seller are not prepared for the possibility that there could be a change in the closing date the change is worse.
Sometimes possession of a property can be obtained before the closing or the pod with the buyers stuff in it can be moved to the property or in one recent sale I had the seller I was representing agreed to allow the buyer to move his stuff into the garage a couple days early. The buyer also had a home to sell so it got pretty complicated.
Selling one home and buying another is common. It all looks messy in the beginning but it all works out most of the time and the process is smooth. One thing that really helps is if one or both parties can be a little flexible.
If your closing date gets changed it will likely be a delay. just know that it is common and usually not the fault of the other party.
Fridays, especially Fridays at the end of the month are the most popular days to have a closing. I find that closings that happen in the middle of the week or in the middle of the month are less likely to be delayed.
For Home buyers
A decade ago there was a line on purchase agreements for the home buyers social security number. I used to tell my buyers they should never give anyone their social security number unless they have to and they did not have to provide it on a purchase agreement to buy a house.
There were several documents at real estate closing that had social security numbers on them for all to see. An identity thief doesn’t need much more than a social security number.
As a real estate agent I do get sensitive information. If the information is on paper it usually gets shredded. If it is something I am required to keep it gets scanned and stored electronically in a safe place. We all know that no one really has a system that can not be compromised or hacked but I take every precaution and I take my own privacy and the privacy of my clients very seriously.
I really do love my paper shredder and my document scanner. In fact I have two scanners and two paper shredders. I can scan 40 or 50 pages into my computer faster than they can be shredded. I also like to avoid using paper or having paper statements and bills sent to my home.
Back in the day real estate agents saved paper files for years. Chances are if you bought a house your social security number is in a file in a filing cabinet in someones basement or in a real estate office. We are required to keep copies of files for three years but it is a common practice to keep them for much longer.
It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Here are some photographs I took a few weeks ago in my own neighborhood. I don’t really notice the neighborhood much anymore because I have lived on the very same block in St. Paul since January of 1982. A lot has changed since the 80′s making me wish I had more photos from the 80′s and 90′s to contrast and compare.
311 Walnut Street
I remember this house from way back and it was always in disrepair. It is a very old house and has been expertly resorted and renovated.
When we first moved into the area we used to occasionally walk down Chestnut street to Shepard road and cross the 4 lanes or traffic and stand at the cement barricade and look down at the river. Shepard road used to run right where the trees are in the picture. I never get tired of looking at the river and the park or walking along the path so close to the river.
For Home buyers
Lead capture is a big thing in real estate these days. The idea is to capture or collect email addresses and phone numbers from potential buyers and sellers. Sometimes the email addresses are put into a drip email campaign so the real estate agent can keep in touch. Usually web sites with lots of listings on them are used for lead capture. Some companies and individuals just capture the names and email addresses and sell them to someone else.
Lead generation and lead capture is a big business. Just last week someone told me that he has fresh leads to sell. I am not sure what he meant by fresh. I have a couple of clients right now who could be described as fresh.
The faces next to homes for sale on the popular web sites may be agents who know nothing about the property or even the neighborhood, they just paid for an ad. There isn’t anything wrong with advertising in fact if real estate agents did not spend money on advertising on the internet the popular real estate web sites would not have money to develop the sites and make a profit. It worked the same with bus benches. There are more bus benches because of the advertising revenue they generate.
I occasionally hear stories from people who later become my clients about how they found the house on the web site and contacted the agent next to the house only to find that the agent does not know anything about it. The agent tries to get the potential buyer interested in another home that is located in an area that they do know.
There isn’t anything wrong with working with an agent who captures leads but the agent with the best system for capturing leads may not be the most knowledgable and experienced agent, or the right agent for you. The very best way to find the right agent is to ask friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to recommend someone or of course if you don’t want to go through the trouble just contact me and I’ll help.
Once an agent is recommended contact that agent and ask them about their experience working with people like you. If you do not feel any connection of that the agent is a good fit look for another. Buyers who are looking for real estate in St. Paul should look for a St. Paul real estate agent. Check the office address and phone number.
Here are some statistics from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) about where most buyers found the real estate agent they worked with:
Where do buyers and sellers find agents