April 2021 home sales by neighborhood

The local housing market can best be described as fast. As is typical in April the number of new listings went up. April is one of the peak months for home sales. The average number of days on market is slightly less than 26 days. Overall April home, sale prices were higher than the asking prices.

The housing market in St. Paul is a strong seller’s market. Buyers continue to pay top dollar as they attempt to outbid other buyers. Low interest rates are contributing to rising prices.  Downtown St. Paul is the exception and is a buyers market. Home prices in most of the city continue to rise. Home prices often peak in April and May.

april 2021 home sales
April Home Sales in St. Paul

The data used to make the table was exported from the NorthstarMLS which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. A high percentage of houses sold in St. Paul are listed on the MLS. The numbers include single-family dwellings, condos, and townhouses.

Happy Mother’s day

I miss my mom. She lived to be 90. That wasn’t long enough. As I recall she made the clothing we wore in the picture. She was a teacher for many years. She loved to garden and didn’t like cooking that much. She was also artistic and I have several of her paintings including one that she did just for me many years ago.


In other news . . .

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Here I have a picture of the iconic Paul Bunyan statue in Bemidji Minnesota. One of Paul’s arms is broken and it is going to be repaired. That means the statute of Paul and Babe is blue ox will remain and in place for tourists to see.

Paul Bungan and babe the blue ox

To stage of not to stage

Dining room – with most of the furnishings removed. 

One of the first questions some home sellers ask is if they need to have their home staged. My answer to that is “it depends”. If I have actually seen the home I might have a completely different answer.

What I won’t recommend is stuffing a small home full of furniture and putting signs on the wall that say: “Eat, Pray, Love”. If the goal is to sell the house quickly and for top dollar, less clutter is best especially if it is a small home.

Often we end up removing furniture and staging the home with what is left or bringing in a few pieces.  I am big on table cloths informal dining rooms even though they are seldom used in real life. I also like to use fresh flowers.

The ROI (Return on Investment) for staging is much higher during a buyer’s market than it is during the current seller’s market. Sometimes the only reason for staging a house is that the seller believes in staging.

If the house is empty sometimes all it needs are a few pieces of furniture.  We always want the home to look fairly generic so that people can imagine their own furnishings and color schemes.

It is true that builders stage model homes. There are a lot of reasons for that. One reason is that it gives them something to show prospective buyers.

Homes are selling so quickly getting them staged and then unstaged can be very challenging. The real estate market is local and ever-changing. Each house is a little different as are the goals of the sellers. Currently, I am not sure that a well-staged house is going to sell for more or sell faster than an empty house but that could change at any time.

Some properties look much better with no furniture than they look with furnishings that are in poor condition. The appearance of almost any room can be improved with cleaning and or fresh paint.

It depends is my final answer on staging and I sticking with it.

The number of Realtors continues to grow

Not everyone who has a real estate license sells real estate. The number of licensees in Minnesota increased by 4500 during the first quarter of 2021. Not all real estate licensees are Realtors. Realtors are members of the national association of Realtors. (NAR). The NAR is experiencing a lot of growth. Home sales this year in the US may be as high as 7.1 million in 2021. I have seen some predictions that they will be lower in 2022.  This means we probably have more Realtors right now than we have houses on the market.

Spread out across the country half a million or so newish Realtors probably isn’t that many but if you are getting a lot of calls and texts from people offering to sell your house it is because there are many agents who don’t have any listings right now. There are more real estate agents than there are homes for sale.

If you would like to work with a Realtor you can choose one who has a lot of experience and you should be negotiating those commissions. The competition for listings is intense and no matter what “experts” say there is no “going rate” when it comes to commissions. They are all negotiable.


Graph with the number of Realtors
Number of Realtors

The numbers I used to make the graph are from the NAR.

If you do have a house to sell, feel free to contact us for a free no-obligation consultation.  

You don’t have to move away from barking dogs

Living next door to a barking dog might make you want to move but did you know that there is a city ordinance bout barking dogs?

dog Ordinance

“According to Saint Paul City Ordinance 200.14, it is unlawful for any person to “own, keep, have in possession, or harbor any dog which howls yelps, or barks to the reasonable annoyance of any other person or persons.”

Barking dogs can be very annoying. I can hear them from time to time but none of my neighbors have dogs that bark excessively or that I really even notice. I also hear chickens and sheep sometimes.

If you have a barking dog problem in your neighborhood, you can call the Animal Control Center during normal business hours at 651-266-1100, or the Saint Paul Police non-emergency number at 651-291-1111 if the center is closed.

It is also against the law to let your cat roam free but there are many free-range cats in St. Paul. They help keep the bird population in check. Someone called animal control about cats in our yard but we didn’t own or have any cats at the time.

Violating St. Paul’s animal ordinance can result in tickets and other penalties.