Small business Saturday 2018

Brick commercial buildings on west 7th street
Businesses on West 7th

I am not much of a shopper but today is small business Saturday and I will spend money in my own community. I’ll start the day by buying some donuts from a local bakery for my dad. Later I’ll grab a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop. Throughout the holiday season, I’ll choose small neighborhood restaurants.

Shop local because it is good for the community and most of the money you spend will stay in the community. I am a small business owner. Profits from my business get spent right in my neighborhood.

Don’t wait for small business Saturday. Buy local all year long.  Don’t spend your whole life working for someone else. Think about starting your own local business. Consider Boardman Realty for help buying or selling real estate. We are small and locally owned and woman-owned and operated.

Happy buy nothing day

It is Fridays and Fridays are for fun. Most people have heard of Black Friday but have you heard of Buy Nothing Day? The day after Thanksgiving is also International Buy Nothing Day. Buy nothing day has been around since 1992 but it doesn’t get much attention.

It is also Free Park Friday at all Minnesota State Parks. Our state parks are lovely places to go and buy nothing.

Black Friday should be epic this year. Unemployment is low and people seem to be generally optimistic about the economy. I can totally understand why people are out taking advantage of the Black Friday sales.

I’ll be celebrating buy nothing day because I can. I’ll spend part of the day planning how I’ll give gifts to family and friends this year without buying anything new.

Christmas tree, Landmark Plaza, Downtown St. Paul – Rice Park is closed for reconstruction.

Who pays for the photography?

When selling a home photography is more important than ever before because homebuyers and their agents shop for homes on the internet.

Amazing photography is rarely free. Someone has to pay for it. Often the real estate agent listing the home will pay for the photography. Many of us consider it an essential part of marketing a home and provide professional photography for each home we market.

Some agents ask the homeowner to pay for photography. Either way works. If your home is on the market and your agent used his/her iPhone to photograph it. Ask for professional photography. If you have to pay for it yourself it is worth every penny . . . assuming the pictures are commercial quality.

 

craftsman style dining room
Dining room with built ins

People do not move as often as they used to

Moving isn’t as popular as it used to be.  I know that older people are less likely to move than younger people are and our population is aging. Younger people are not moving as often either mostly because not as many are moving for jobs.

I’ll admit I haven’t moved in almost 30 years.  I haven’t had a reason to move. We usually move because of some life event like getting married, or divorced or having children, becoming empty nesters, retiring, the death of a spouse or old age.

When I started in real estate I was told that on average people move once every seven years. Now it is once every ten years.

According to the U.S. census bureau moving is at a historic low.

Moving in America[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

July 2018 home sales by neighborhood

July is over. We had a busy month with new listings and new buyer clients too. It is all a blur to me. The numbers show that there are more homes on the market than there were at the beginning of July. In many most neighborhoods and in the city as a whole the average sale price in July was higher than the average listing price.

The average days on market were less than 25 in July without a lot of variation between lower priced homes and higher priced homes.

Prices, the number of new listings and the number of pending listings were lower in July than in June. Traditionally July prices and new listings are lower than they are in June so I’ll call it a seasonal variation.

chart
Home sales and prices by St. Paul neighborhood

The numbers used to make the chart above were extracted from the Northstar MLS and imported into an MS Excel spreadsheet where it is gently sorted and never stirred. The data is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. There are few guarantees in life and a lot of broken promises too.

If you would like to sell your home please contact me. I do have buyers looking for small homes and larger homes and condos too.

When do I need to get an appraisal?

I am surprised at how often homeowners ask me if they need to get an appraisal before they put their home on the market. The answer is no. If the buyer borrows money to pay for the home the lender will order an appraisal.

The purpose of the appraisal is to make sure that the amount being borrowed does not exceed the value of the home. The house will be used as collateral.

Houses do not always appraise for the offer amount. Sometimes buyers offer an amount that is significantly over the asking price with a small downpayment. If the house doesn’t appraise for enough the buyers may have to come up with more cash or the sellers will have to reduce the sale price.

As a home seller, I would want to see something in the offer that is for more than the asking price stating that the buyer will buy the home anyway and that the buyer has the cash to make up the difference.

If not it might make more sense to accept a lower offer because it is more likely to work out. In most cases people who have to put their home back on the market because an offer fell through end up getting less for it.

Most of the time I have an idea of what a home will appraise for. That helps with negotiations when there are multiple offers.

The way the appraisal process works is that an appraiser visits the property and looks it over. The price he/she (they are mostly men) comes up with is based on the actual sale price of three similar properties in the immediate area that have sold in the last year.

There are houses that are hard to appraise because it is hard to find comps. Appraisers can compare to properties and make adjustments. It isn’t an exact science.

On average for the Month of May 2018 St. Paul home sellers got more than 100% of the asking price. That does not mean that all homeowners got more than the asking price. If the property is overpriced sellers may get offers for less than the asking price or no offers at all.

The lender will not use a recent appraisal that the owner had done. They will always get a new appraisal and the borrower will have to pay for it. With cash sales, anything goes.