You hired the wrong agent

Dear homeowner,

You hired the wrong agent. He doesn’t know when or if the required Truth in Housing report required by the city will be done. He has to ask you what your preferred closing date is because he doesn’t know. He is very busy.

He doesn’t have the condo docs and doesn’t know where they are. He has the showing appointment system set up so that most people who want to see your home will not be able to, which is probably alright because you can only accept one offer.

The pictures he took are pretty bad. They are small and dark and fail to capture the inner beauty of your home. He used his phone to take them and didn’t even bother to make them level.  He is just too busy.

We have other questions about your home but your agent doesn’t respond to calls or emails but will send text messages between 8 and 9 each evening. . . some evenings. He is busy and doesn’t want to be bothered which is understandable. He has other clients to consider.

There is more but you don’t need to hear it. Relax there is a shortage of houses for sale, it will sell.

Just remember that the agent you hired represents you. Next time around hire someone that you will be proud to be represented by. Someone who has time for the full service as offered in the glossy brochure.

Sincerely me

Sellers – choose the best offer

During the seller’s market, we have gotten offers from homebuyers who have not toured the property and offers that are way above the asking price.

We have also had many more cases of buyers backing out before, after, or during the inspection period. In situations where offers are similar, the best offer might be from the buyers who have actually toured the property. Ask your Realtor® for advice on this.

In situations where the buyer is offering significantly more than the asking price, they are significantly more likely to get cold feet if the inspector finds too many issues. Some will attempt to renegotiate the price or ask for repairs others will back out altogether.

Some sellers are stating that they will not accept offers from people who have not seen the property. That makes things extra tough for homebuyers.  Often the house is totally booked with appointments and it has an offer on it before buyers can see it.


Last year Vs. this year

Last year there was a shortage of homes for sale. This year there is more of a shortage of homes for sale.

Last year people were making offers that did not include inspection contingencies. For some, it gave their offer an advantage over the competition.

Last year people were making offers on houses without touring them in person. Mainly because of the pandemic but with rules about overlapping showings there are not enough hours in the day for all interested buyers to tour the home in person.

This year people are still making non-contingent offers and people are still making offers before they see the house. Homebuyers are also making offers on houses that are listed as “coming soon”.

Under our MLS rules, those houses can not be shown to buyers but sellers can accept offers anytime.

The idea behind “coming soon” is pre-marketing which works really well in a hot market where there are more buyers than sellers.

2021 is a great year to sell a house quickly and for top dollar. Buying a house is a little more difficult. There is a 1.6 month supply of homes for sale in the 7 county metro area and a 1.7 month supply in the region and in St. Paul.

The median number of days on market is around 16. This number often includes a 5 to 10 day inspection period but does not include a “coming soon” period of up to 21 days.

There are no secret conversations on Facebook

Sometimes people believe that what they discuss in Facebook groups doesn’t go any further. The other day some


neighbors were discussing their plans to buy or sell houses in the neighborhood.

None of them gave addresses but I was able to follow the conversation and use a property database to look up their addresses in seconds.

I don’t mean any harm it was kind of like a game. I challenged myself to find them all quickly.

There must have been some expectation of privacy because no one was publishing an address on Facebook but were offering to share it with individuals via direct message.

As a homeowner myself, I can’t see any advantage in selling the house to neighbors or friends of neighbors. Not during such a strong seller’s market.  I don’t see any advantage in offering it to a small group of people on Facebook either.

Potential home buyers were giving away a lot of personal information including pictures of their children.

Sometimes people share a lot of details about their home buying and selling experiences on Facebook and in doing so they unknowingly give information that other parties can use to their advantage.

When you are sharing information on social media especially in neighborhood groups just know that it isn’t confidential.

We have also seen situations where potential buyers have made negative remarks about a home on Facebook and the sellers have seen it.

Also, see Social media dos and don’ts for home buyers and sellers

Profiling Minnesota home sellers

I think profiling is wrong but thought it would make a catchy headline for today’s article about Minnesota home sellers.  Yesterday I wrote about home buyers using this same report from Minnesota Realtors. I found it interesting that the median income of the typical home seller is the same as that of the typical home buyer at 93.3K.

The typical seller is 12 years older than the typical buyer. The oldest homeowners I have ever worked with were in their late 80’s. The youngest was just under 30.

Even though surveys indicate that most home sellers would use the same agent again only about 13% actually do. There is no data on why only theories and widely held beliefs that are not backed up with facts or data.

Back when I first started in real estate (3/2002) we were taught that people move every 7 years. That number has been going up. It is more like every 15 years. Younger people used to move more often. Older people do not move as often and our population has aged.

You may also notice that 21% of the sellers in 2020 offered incentives to buyers. Those must be sellers in areas where the demand is lower. Here in the metro area incentives are not needed, houses sell quickly and for top dollar even in areas where there was unrest last summer.

Profile of MN home sellers
Minnesota home sellers

The report I am referencing also had information about people who sell their homes (gasp) without the help of a Realtor.

The numbers are national and show that agent assisted homes sold for a median of 242, 300K while homes sold without an agent’s help sell for 217,900. Apparently, a relationship between the numbers is assumed. If there is a relationship Realtors are contributing to higher home prices.

St. Paul home sales in 2020

I thought it would be nice to show some home sale numbers for St. Paul for the year. I have sorted the table below by neighborhood. In general, homes are less affordable than they were last year. Median home sale prices are up from 2019 by $10,000 and days on market are down by about 8 days. Homes located in the downtown area took the longest to sell and homes in the Midway neighborhood sold the fastest.

That means it takes less time to sell a house and it will see for more money than in 2019. This is good news for homeowners.

The number of home sales was up from 2019 which was surprising during the pandemic and all. Real estate did better than other sectors of the economy which is probably why we are seeing a surge (I hate that word) of new real estate salespeople.

Right now in St. Paul, we are at what I hope is the yearly low for the number of houses on the market.

People who plan to downsize this year may come out ahead if they can find an affordable house to downsize to.

table of home sales by neighborhood
St. Paul home sales by neighborhood

If you would like to sell your house please call or write for a no-obligation equity analysis . . or to find out how much it might sell for and how to get started.