January Home sales by neighborhood

I love numbers, they are a great way to start the week or they can be published on a Thursday. Speaking of numbers this site gets the most readers on Thursdays according to Google Analytics.

Median sale prices were higher in January than they were last December. The red on the chart shows where in the Battle Creek Highwood neighborhood and on the Westside the average list price was less than the average sale price.  We are likely to see more of that as the year progresses.

The number of homes on the market in St. Paul is very low at around 310. We remain in a strong buyer’s market.

The data used to make the table was extracted from the NorthstarMLS which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. It was gently sorted in an MSExcel spreadsheet before anyone noticed that it was missing.

For more local numbers please see Local market conditions & home prices

Those prospecting letters

This is the time of year when homeowners will get letters from real estate agents who have buyers.

Those buyers want to live in your neighborhood or they want to buy a house just like yours. If there are a lot of real estate agents


“farming” the neighborhood homeowners will get several letters.

Right now there are a lot of people who would like to buy a home just like yours or a home in your neighborhood. The demand for housing is high. Let this blog post serve as my letter to homeowners that we are working with buyers who are looking for a home to buy.

The very best way to attract home buyers right now is to have a house that is for sale.

There are also a few entities that will buy your home as-is for cash with no inspections except here in St. Paul a truth in housing inspection is required before a single-family home can change hands.

I get at least one letter a month from a company that buys houses. I suspect that we are on a list somewhere of empty nesters who own a house.

Yes, this is a very good time to sell a house. I’ll have some January sales numbers tomorrow.

lead letter
Template for seller lead

If you are interested in selling I do have buyers interested in your house in your neighborhood. Please call or write anytime for a free no-obligation consultation.

Hasty decisions and cold feet

We are noticing an uptick in home buyers making an offer on a home for sale and then backing out during the inspection phase, sometimes before the inspection.

Often buyers do not have much of a chance to look at or think about their purchase. Houses sell quickly and often get multiple offers.

Homebuyers who bid high on a house that just came on the market may not have taken the time to really think it through. They develop a severe case of buyer’s remorse and want to stop the purchase.

Usually, the house can be put right back on the market and if there were multiple offers the seller can accept another buyer’s offer. Home sellers can and should keep collecting offers until the sale closes.

There really isn’t any way that home sellers can prevent a buyer from backing out. Even buyers who offer a lot of earnest money will back out early enough so that they do not lose their earnest money.

Sometimes home buyers will ask for a lot of repairs as a way to back out of a purchase. I had some buyers that did that a few years back. Instead of telling me that another home was on the market that they liked better they came up with a lengthy list of repairs and upgrades.

When the sellers said no they canceled the purchase, got their earnest money back and immediately made an offer on another home.

Old rules about selling in spring

It used to be some kind of a rule that spring was the time to sell a house. Actual home sale data for the metro area tells a different story.  The number of homes on the market goes way down in the winter which makes it harder for buyers and results in fewer home sales.

The math is simple, when there are fewer homes on the market there are fewer home sales.

The median number of days that a home in the twin cities was on the market in January was 23 days which is the same as it was last May. It is a myth that homes take longer to sell in the winter. That rule no longer applies.

The mythology persists that home sellers who sell in the spring sell for more money. It didn’t work that way last year. Average prices have gone up since last spring.

Right now there are only 245 houses on the market in St. Paul that do not have offers on them. Anyone who is waiting until spring to sell is missing out on a hot seller’s market.

Sunrise Mississippi River
Winter Sunrise over St. Paul

Also see More houses to come on the market soon

9 to 11 more weeks of winter

Happy Groundhog Day. Here in Minnesota, it doesn’t matter if the groundhog sees his shadow or not there are at least 9 more weeks of winter. In some parts of the country will have six more weeks of winter if the rodent sees his shadow and less than six weeks of winter if he doesn’t.   If we are lucky here in the metro area mother nature won’t give us a few feet of snow at the end of April so that we have 12 more weeks of winter.

The good news is we don’t need to change time on groundhog day, buy anyone flowers and candy, color hard-boiled eggs or cook a large turkey. All of the stores should be open today and I understand there is some kind of a ball game too.

Ground Hog

The Hi-Lex gnomes

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. As is the tradition the Hi-Lex Gnomes marched in last week’s grand day winter carnival parade.  It seems that some parade-goers do not know what Hi-lex is. Hi-lex is/was is a bleach solution made right here in St. Paul Minnesota.

As near as I can figure the company was founded in the mid-1940s. I tried to find out if I could still buy Hi-lex but every time I looked for it I found Clorox. The Hi-Lex gnomes live at Westcott Station in St. Paul and appear in our Winter Carnival parades every year.

The gnomes are very photogenic.

Hi-Lex Gnomes at Westscot Station
Gnomes marching in the 2020 Saint Paul Winter Carnival parade