Buyers expect to haggle a little

Buying a home isn’t like buying most other items. Home buyers expect to negotiate with the seller for acceptable terms. It is actually fairly rare that a property sells for the exact amount it is listed for in the MLS.

Lately sellers have started rejecting offers on their homes without negotiating if they offer isn’t exactly what they had in mind. Last month I had an offer rejected with no negotiation. After a week with no other offers we were able to get the seller to negotiate.  It was a slow painful process but ultimately the seller ended up with close to the asking price and the buyers were happy with the terms.

Last March one of my clients made an offer on an over priced property. The sellers rejected the offer with no negotiations. The property is still on the market and after all these months and the price has been lowered twice. The buyer has moved on and closed on a similar property about a month ago.

It is very easy to counter an offer that a buyer has made. It takes little effort and doesn’t cost a dime. It doesn’t even take that much time. I can not think of any reason why a home seller should not negotiate. I can think of all kinds of reasons why a seller should negotiate if they are interested in a faster sale and a higher offer.

yellow flowers
Brown eyed Susans

Where do St. Paulites work?

Here is a break down of which industries people in St. Paul work in. The biggest employer in the State of Minnesota is the Mayo clinic and the second biggest is the State of Minnesota. Many of those state jobs are located right here in the capital city. There are also 61 jobs in the mining industry. The current unemployment rate in St. Paul is 3.3%, as of April 2017 and that is down from 3.5% in December.  The national unemployment rate was reported as 4.5% last may by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I am seeing help wanted signs in stores and restaurants around town. Now might be a good time to change jobs or to find a job.

chart
Occupational categories for St. paul MN

Your doors are locked but scammers call

Older Americans become victims of crimes that they  are not prepared to protect themselves from.  They understand locks on doors but they don’t understand the dangers of answering the phone or the door when someone knocks.

Hardware_locks_2Some of my elderly neighbors keep the front screen locked, and beyond that door is a porch door, also locked.  Beyond the porch door is the interior door to the home, that sometimes has multiple locks.  The doors are kept locked.

Fewer violent crimes are committed against older Americans than against any other group but they are more susceptible to certain types of crime than any other group.

They are crimes like credit card fraud, mortgage fraud and identity theft. Scammers call during the day trying to get credit card numbers or bank account numbers. Phishing emails that look legitimate arrive almost daily.

There is some consumer information about crimes against seniors on the MN department of commerce web site, and I found some information on the FBI’s web site, but I don’t know how many older Americans are getting this information. The Minnesota site has a fairly comprehensive guide that covers financial planning and outlines common scams.

If you have friends, parents or neighbors who are older Americans, read up on crimes against seniors and don’t be afraid to talk with them about it. Educate yourself and teach someone else. It may be  a challenge to get past their spam blockers, caller I.D.’s and locks, but they need to know that there are people out there who can trick them out of their home, no matter how many locks it has.