For sale signs make the phones ring

Pink Rose

Even with all the technology, we have old school for sale signs still make the phone ring. People see my signs and they call and it isn’t always because they want more information about the house.

Sometimes people who are looking for the sellers call.  They have all sorts of stories.  One caller said he was from the census bureau but he had no way to back up his story.  He figured he would just give me a call and I would put him in touch with my clients.  He wanted to know if the sellers had moved and I didn’t answer that question either.

The callers ask for email addresses of the sellers and phone numbers and where they work and if they have moved and more.  I would never tell anyone who calls anything about my clients. I have heard some pretty compelling stories from long-lost relatives but wasn’t tempted to blab.

I have on occasion passed the information along to sellers but in most cases when I ask the caller for his or her contact information they won’t give it.  Sometimes callers want to know something about the neighbors and occasionally I get calls from law enforcement.

The sign with the phone number on it is there for two reasons, one is to let people know that the home is for sale and the other is to provide information (found in the brochure box) and a number that people can call if they have a question about the home or would like to see it. I can not give out information about the owners of the home.

Some of the calls I get are kind of interesting, with questions that really get me thinking. Phone calls are fine, that is why we put phone numbers on the signs. Just don’t expect answers if the question is about the homeowner or some complicated real estate question with details you don’t want to share. . . you know like when you are asking for a friend and can not give an address or any other details.

August home prices and sales by neighborhood

August went way too fast, and we are already into the double-digit dates of September. Home sales have started to slow in a kind of September way. Great news for those who want to buy a home this year.

The inventory of homes on the market is slowly creeping up but still very low by historical standards.

table with home prices
August 2018 Home sale numbers – St. Paul, MN

In the green shaded areas in the far right column are to highlight the fact that the average sale price was higher than the average asking price for the neighborhood and for the whole city on average.

We are also starting to see more price reductions. It will be interesting to see if September home sale prices in St. Paul are still higher than the asking prices.

The numbers used to create this report were exported from the NorthStar Mls, which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  Once exported the data is imported into MS excel where it is gently sorted but never stirred.

The data includes single family homes, townhouse, and condos, located within the city limits.

For more local real estate numbers please go to Local market conditions & home prices.

How real estate sales impact Minnesota’s economy

MN Capitol
Minnesota Capitol building

The real estate industry impacts the whole economy. Here are some numbers from the National Association of Realtors about how home sales impact Minnesota:

The real estate industry accounted for $51,997 million or 15.8% of the gross state product in 2015.

Economic Contributions are derived from:

• Home construction • Real estate brokerage • Mortgage lending • Title insurance • Rental and leasing • Home appraisal • Moving truck service • Other related activities

When a Home is Sold in Minnesota Income generated from real estate related industries is: $18,540

Additional expenditures on consumer items such as furniture, appliances, and remodeling are: $4,572 – Source: BEA, Census, NAHB, NAR

The state of Minnesota charges for real estate licenses and renewals and there is a Mortgage registration tax for home buyers and a state deed tax for sellers.

As a small local real estate company, most of what we earn gets put right back into the local economy. There are no franchise fees and our headquarters are right here in St. Paul.

Public Art at the Farmer’s market

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun but today I am writing about Sunday because that is the day I go to the Farmer’s market.

This past week I waited until the Farmer’s market closed so that I could photograph the artwork inside. The walls were painted by Deep Walls Painting and are simply gorgeous.

This weekend I’ll be buying apples, eggs and an assortment of vegetables.

Downtown Saint Paul, Farmer’s market


Time to schedule the annual heating system tune-up

Antique Gravity Furnace

It is still Summer but Fall isn’t far off and it is a short season here in the North.

If you are a homeowner and live in Minnesota now would be a great time to have your boiler or furnace service, inspected and or tuned up.  There is still plenty of time to get it fixed or replaced before it gets cold and it will get cold.

Usually, there are specials this time of year too for those who get it done before it gets cold and the repair guys get busy.

I hate to sound like your father but it is a good idea especially here in Minnesota where it gets so cold to schedule a furnace tune-up every fall. It generally costs less to get work done in late summer or early fall than it does during the heating season.

I see a lot of houses with old furnaces that have been well maintained. They really do last longer with regular maintenance. Personally, I am not a fan of the service plans but I am a fan of service.

If you are selling your home this fall or winter it is a good idea to have the furnace or boiler serviced and save the receipt or even tape it to the furnace. Buyers who are closing on homes this fall should either have the furnace tuned up or should make sure that the seller has already taken care of it.