• General Real Estate News
  • Rhymes with pillow

    Not for sale

    There are not many homes on the market right now. I am working with some buyers who are ready to buy.

    Sometimes we find homes for sale on Zillow that are not found for sale anywhere else. I have been contacting the home owners who list their homes on Zillow as being for sale.

    One owner told me he will be selling in a few months. He just wanted to see if his home would generate any interest. It was over priced by about $30,000. I actually had a buyer who was interested but not at that price and he did not want to wait three months.

    Another home owner told me he wasn’t really sure he wants to sell, he just put his home on Zillow. He did not tell me why he listed it as being for sale. The home is over priced by about 20%.

    The homes we have listed on the MLS as being for sale really are for sale and we have rules against advertising homes that are not for sale and we have rules against stating that a home is larger than it really is.

    Anyone can list a home for sale on Zillow. They don’t even have to own the home or be the seller. In fact you might want to check to see if your own home is being listed for sale.

  • For Home Sellers
  • To decorate or not to decorate


    The age old question. If your home is on the market during the holidays and you are living in it should you decorate for the holidays? My answer is yes and no.

    A few decorations can make your home look more inviting but less is more. I say leave the Santa bear collection in storage. That rule applies to any large collection or items that may make the space look cluttered.

    Women in particular respond negatively to clutter.  Outdoor lights are fine, especially if they make it easier to see the way in when it is dark out. The days are short this time of year. Light will make your home more appealing.

    Less is more and fresh flowers work well with any decor or season.

  • General Real Estate News
  • The number of homes on the market continues to drop


    The math is pretty simple. Here is a look at the real estate market in St. Paul over the last seven days.

    There were +63 homes listed  and -58 homes got offers during the same 7 days and are off the market. So that would make a net gain of +5 homes for sale but –15 sellers cancelled listings and took their homes off of the market and –9 home sellers let their listing contract expire which means those homes are off the market too. Leaving us with –19 fewer homes on the market than there were 7 days ago.

    I can tell you from experience that if my math is wrong a man will stop by and correct if for me in the comments. Thanks guys. 

    It is always easier to sell a home that is listed for sale than it is to sell one that isn’t but people like to take them off during the holidays and put them back on after the first of the year. Last year I was fortunate to have a few listings during the holidays and they all sold before Christmas.

    As I keep saying we are in a strong sellers market. People who are having trouble selling are probably priced too high or their home isn’t being marketed correctly or maybe it has some glaring defect like a road running through the living room.

    I am currently working with home buyers who have kind of given up and one of them has a home to sell but doesn’t want to put it on the market because the right home to move to hasn’t come on the market yet.

    Happy holidays!

  • For Boomers
  • Visiting elderly parents over the holidays


    My parents lived just three blocks away from me until a couple of years ago when we needed to move them. They are both in their late 80’s. One with dementia and the other with multiple health problems.

    Their decline was gradual and because they lived close by I was able to keep an eye on them and help them stay in their home.

    Many of my friends have parents who live far away and they don’t see them  often but they go home for thanksgiving or their parents come for a visit or they see then during the holidays.

    The holidays are a great time to check up on mom and dad. I can give you a list of things to look for. I like to start by peaking in the fridge. You can tell a lot about a persons overall health and well being by the amount and type of food that is on hand.

    My parents always told me they were fine and they never needed any help. I always had to make excuses to help them. I would tell them that I had to go to the store anyway and that they should come with or I could just drop a few things off for them.

    As their health started to decline their home got messier and they more or less stopped cooking and ate bowls of cereal or ice cream. Meals-on-wheels helped but on the weekends if I did not cook or bring food they did not eat much. It helped to have house cleaning services for a few months, but they mostly could not tolerate outside help and would only allow it for two hours a week.

    They  stopped cleaning and eventually stopped doing laundry. Since they did not need any help I would let myself into their place early in the morning, tidy up a bit and remove the dishes from last nights dinner and wash them and then start the coffee and maybe make a little breakfast. They didn’t need to have me make breakfast but always ate the food that I cooked and left for them.


  • Friday fun
  • Shopping isn’t my thing

    It is Friday and Fridays are for fun and I actually have a black Friday strategy.  I stay close to home and let everyone else shop.  It is a simple strategy that has served me well for many years.   I like to watch the morning news and see shoppers being interviewed and listen to retailers talk about all of the amazing bargains.

    If I leave the house it will be to walk to the coffee shop down the street and have a cup of coffee.

    Real estate can be purchased on Black Friday and most of the other 364 days of the year. If you need help purchasing a home today give me a call. I won’t make you wait in line or even make you go through an automated voice mail system.  I’ll just help you any way that I can.

    Black Friday isn’t what it used to be now that it starts on thanksgiving which is always on a Thursday and never on a Friday.  My guess is eventually black Friday will start the day after Halloween, or in mid-October when the holiday decorations start showing up in stores.

    Please shop safely this black Friday. The money you spend is good for the economy. Please save some shopping for Small business Saturday and take advantage of cyber Monday when you can shop while on the job and take advantage of your employers high speed internet and get paid while you are shopping too.