For Home buyers

For sale by owner

Technically all home for sale are being sold by the owner but in this article here on my blog I am referring to homes that are being sold without the help if a real estate agent.

Buyers need to understand that the sellers of these homes are not always motivated and sometimes they are just kind of trying things out to see if their home will get some inquiries. Sometimes the homes are not really for sale at all and occasionally I call a seller who doesn’t know that his home is for sale.

Sometimes the seller is a delightful individual who has the home priced just right and the flexibility to allow buyers to see the property with their real estate agent. Motivated seller usually won’t ban real estate agents from the property they just don’t want to pay a listing agent but will often pay a buyers agent.

I can tell how serious a home seller is by the questions they ask. They may ask me if the buyer I am working with is pre-approved and ready to buy. They may ask me if I have ever sold a home in the neighborhood or in the building. Some will ask me what I think of the price or for some tips on what should be done to get it ready to sell.

If you are a buyer and are working with a real estate agent they should be able to help you buy homes that are not on the market or that are being sold directly by the owner.






Delayed closings

Delayed real estate closings are almost as common as on time closings. There isn’t any penalty for lenders who can not make the closing date but for buyers and sellers there are penalties. Sometimes a seller can not close on a home they just bought. Occasionally families have to move out of a rental and have no place to go.


Closing date

The loan officer will tell the buyers that he/she can handle the closing date but there are many other departments and parties involved in the process. It isn’t unusual to check in with the lender the week before the closing and find out everything is on track only to find out the week of the closing that it will be delayed.

Closings on any kind of condo or townhouse are far more likely to face closing delays than other types of real estate sales. In some of the downtown condo buildings it has gotten ridiculous.

Buyers and sellers need to understand that closings are more likely to happen on time if there are at least 45 days between the time the offer is made and the closing date. With condos allow at least 50 days. Closings are more likely to be on time with conventional financing and if the buyer is making a large down payment like 20%. However is it possible to have an on time closing with 3.5% down and an FHA loan.

Sometimes closings are delayed for hours, or days or even weeks.  Month long delays are not very common but it can happen.

Some lenders blame the new TRID (TILA RESPA) rules which require the final numbers for persons borrowing money to be available three business days before the closing. I think it is more complicated than that and if there were some penalty to lenders for delayed closings there would be no such thing as a delayed closing. It makes sense to have “delayed closing” rules and laws as part of any consumer protection law that affects mortgage loans on home purchases.

Home buyers and sellers need to understand that a home sale or purchase may not close on time but most will probably close eventually which isn’t useful information when scheduling a move. Sometimes buyers can get the sellers to agree to an early move in date. Other times the sellers can not move because they need the proceeds from the sale of their home to close on another home. One delayed closing can impact several closings.

For Home Sellers

How many showings before you get an offer?

showings graph

Number of showings to pending

Happy first day of Summer!

I just love numbers, data and actual facts.  The chart shows how many showings on average St. Paul homes that are for sale get before they get an offer, which is 24 showings.  Pending means homes that have gotten offers on them but the sale has not yet closed.  How many showings a home is getting is an important number. Knowing how many people are looking at it on the internet is interesting but we don’t have any numbers to correlate internet views with showings or offers.

The average days on market right now is 67.  Some homes are not on the market long enough to get 24 showings and get an offer after a few showings. If your home is on the market and has had more than 24 showings it might be time to change something. Lower the price or make some improvements.


Happy Fathers day

fathers day
Friday fun

Bee portrait

Remember the honey bees?

Honey bee

Honey bee


St. Paul MN

The great housing market crash

Many people seem to have recovered from the great recession and the crash of the housing market, but there are many who have not recovered.  There are vacant homes here and there and people call and ask about them. Sometimes the callers are the people who once lived in the homes. They had to move because they could not pay the mortgage. Banks turned around and sold the homes. The new owners often ended up with payments that the previous owners could have afforded.

I see scars from the great recession in every neighborhood. Houses that are still boarded up and there are vacant lots where houses once stood.

There are a few happy endings too, like the houses that were rehabbed on Forbes Avenue and that now have new owners. There are several homes in the area that have been renovated. Some of these homes were vacant for years and all of them needed a lot of work.

Forbes Ave

Houses on Forbes Ave



Teresa Boardman
Realtor®, MN,
Licensed Broker 20624860
Boardman Realty LIC 40419051

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