Stuff we never asked for

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I have been a customer of a certain bank that has been bought by another bank. I have received phone calls and emails and mailings about how wonderful life is going to be when I am banking someplace else.

The last time someone from the bank called I reminded her that I never asked for this. Has anyone ever asked their bank to be bought up by another?

Has anyone ever asked to have all of their routing numbers changed? Has anyone ever asked for a new debit/credit card number?

Getting stuff that we don’t ask for happens all the time. Software updates are a great example so are website makeovers. Rebranding is something that can be disruptive businesses like but customers never ask for.

If you bank at that bank too good luck!

mounds park
From the river bluff – Indian Mounds Park

The picture was taken in 2014 on October 15th.  We had an especially colorful fall that year.


People are changing jobs

This is old news but a record number of people are changing jobs, quitting jobs, and of course becoming real estate agents. I get a kick out of it when I see “I got my real estate

Halloween decoration

license” in a Facebook post. It is as if there is a real estate license out there for everyone with their name already on it.

After announcing that they got their real estate license they let us all know that they are ready to help with all of your real estate needs. I saw one who offered to help buy or sell your dream home.

There are people out there grabbing up those licenses and they are ready to help. New agents don’t know how little they know and that is what gives them the confidence to move forward and offer to help friends and family with the largest financial transaction they may ever have.

It is October, but I am not trying to scare you. 😉 . .

St. Paul home sales by neighborhood September 2021

The year is just flying by and local home prices are still rising. In September the number of homes for sale rose slightly and the number of home sales decreased slightly as compared with August. The housing market strongly favors sellers. Average days on market went up by a fraction of a day from August to 21.7 days.

Here are home sales and prices sorted by neighborhood because real estate is that local. Overall home sales prices are higher than the asking prices.

Table shows home sale prices by neighborhood
Home sale prices September 21

If you would like to know how much your house might sell for contact me for a free no-obligation consultation.

For more local home sales data please see Local market conditions and home sale prices. 

Feedback on your home


While your home is on the market you may get feedback from the buyers and agents who have toured your home. Most of the feedback will be from people who will not buy the house. Most of the people who do not buy the house have a reason for not buying it. Sometimes they share it but often we don’t know the real reason. It is safe to say that most houses are not for everyone.

Knowing why your house isn’t right for a particular buyer is of limited value but most homeowners want that kind of information. I don’t see the harm in it but keep it in context. The people who love the house will make an offer. The people who do not make an offer will leave feedback about why the house isn’t for them.

Don’t take the feedback too seriously unless maybe there is a pattern. If several people suggest that the house smells bad that is an actionable item that can be corrected. Usually, it doesn’t work that way.

Buyers will say that the bedrooms are too small or that they don’t like the way the basement is finished. Since there usually isn’t any way to make rooms larger and redoing the basement is expensive and impractical the information reinforces the idea that the house isn’t for everyone.

The goal is to get an offer, not great feedback. Houses are personal but the comments should not be taken personally.

Some homeowners want as much feedback as they can get and others don’t even want to see it. Buyer’s agents are representing the buyer, not the homeowner. They are not required to leave feedback and trust me when I say in some cases it is better if they don’t.

If there are 10 pieces of feedback there might be one little nugget that is helpful and I do mean “might be”.  I have seen some crazy and strange comments. They remind me that often homebuyers don’t know a lot about houses and sometimes their agent’s don’t either.

Seasonal shift in the housing market

Some folks call it “seasonality” but I can’t see the point of adding an “ality” onto a perfectly good word. . . all though “ality” is better than “osity”. Right now there are more homes on the market than there were during the spring and the summer but when you add it all up there are still more buyers than there are sellers and we are experiencing a strong seller’s market.

I’ll have some numbers this week for September home sales. It took a few more days to sell a house in September than it did in April. We know that on average September home buyers paid slightly above the asking price. We are still seeing a lot of multiple offer situations and that will continue but sellers will get fewer offers as we head into November.

The real estate market is somewhat predictable and no it isn’t slowing up, the market is just adjusting to Fall. The weather, the economy, and congressional action or lack thereof also affect home sales.

It used to be harder to sell a home in the fall and winter but that is no longer the case and it isn’t too soon to remind people that the spring home-selling season starts in about mid-January.


Maple leaves

I don’t think we will see the kind of fall color that we are used to here in St. Paul because of the drought. I took this picture a few years ago.

A source of bad advice

March 2020 during the stay at home order

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. One of my favorite ways to relax is to make a cup of tea, play an audiobook, and crochet. Yes, I crochet and can’t think of anything more relaxing. I gave it up for about 20 years and took it up again during the winter of 2019.

There are so many patterns and free instructions on the internet. Video demonstrations of patterns are very popular partly because there are a lot of people who can not read patterns. The videos are too slow for me.

Many of the patterns I find on the internet are wrong. They leave out important details like how to turn or to turn at all and how to start or end a row. They rarely give enough information or all the information needed to complete the project.

I can’t imagine the frustration bad instructions must cause for beginners who probably think they are doing something wrong when they follow the pattern but do not get the desired result. The videos are not always all that great either. People have all sorts of strange and unusual ways to hold crochet hooks and yarn and hands get in between the camera and the stitches.

Sometimes I want to hurt the person who published the bad instructions.  I have seen instructions that are so bad they make me want to cry.

I know people who actually believe most of what they read on the internet. They believe what they see on YouTube, which is very sad. There is a lot of good and useful information out there the trich is to learn to tell the difference between the good and the bad. Once I master that I’ll let you know.