Donald Seipke

Licensed in MN (Agent)
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Don Seipke



Untitled Document

Get advice

Your no-nonsense real estate guide

March 2014

Every listing. Every day.

edinarealty.com has every active, available property for sale in our market.

If you've spent time on different real estate websites, you may have noticed that not all sites have the same listings posted. Some have outdated postings while others have "pre-foreclosure" listings, which means they're not even on the market yet.

At Edina Realty, we pride ourselves on displaying every active, available property for sale on the market – no more, and certainly no less.

MLS as "the source"
The official source of real estate listings nationwide is called the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. On edinarealty.com, we display listing information directly from the MLS on our websites and mobile apps.

National property search sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, on the other hand, aggregate listing data from many different sources. As a result, we've found they come up short.

Why does Edina Realty display more listings in some areas?
In a recent study we conducted, we found that edinarealty.com displays up to 50 percent more listings in major market areas than national sites like Zillow. Check out our white paper for more information on our methodology and findings.

If you're searching for a home in today's low inventory market, you'll want access to the most accurate, complete and timely real estate information. At Edina Realty, we're proud that our website displays every local listing that is available for purchase – and we're always available to help you secure the home of your dreams.

Start your home search now.

Three reasons to sell your home this spring

There's no doubt about it - we're still in the midst of a sellers' market. If you’ve been on the fence, here are three reasons you should sell your home this spring.

1. Inventory is low
The month’s supply of homes has lowered to just 2.6 months. That means that if no new homes were placed on the market, it would take just 2.6 months to sell all the homes on the market at the current rates of sales. (When the month’s supply goes below six months, it is considered a sellers' market.)

If you’re a potential seller with a quality, traditional home, your property is likely to stand out amidst the limited competition.
Prices are rising
Many homeowners are relieved to be coming out from underwater at last - in the last year, median home prices have risen 14 percent in our market. Seller confidence is a big factor, and it's true that homeowners are placing their homes on the market for higher than in years past.

However, in many cases, the rising home prices are because buyers are competing over a low inventory of listings. When buyers try to outbid each other by entering multiple offers, sellers can benefit from a higher sales price.
Mortgage rates are rising
If you're looking to sell your home and buy another, pay close attention to our current mortgage interest rates, which are rising and expected to continue rising throughout 2014. Even small upticks can greatly affect buyers, so talk to a home mortgage consultant about how a change in rates would affect your buying power.

Still unsure?
Selling is a big decision. If you'd like an expert's help, reach out for a complimentary home value estimate.

Is your home's tax-assessed value accurate?

According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, your recent tax-assessed value was determined from nearby home sales and market stats gathered between September 2012 and October 2013.

Many areas have seen significant gains in home prices since that time span, meaning assessed values could be lower than the current market values.

For example, the current median home price in southwest Minneapolis is $358,000. Meanwhile, the median home prices in this area ranged from $250,000 to $333,110 during the months the 2014 tax assessment data was collected. (Source: Minneapolis Area Assocation of REALTORS)

That’s a difference of $108,000 from the lowest home prices assessed (in February 2013) and the current median market prices in southwest Minneapolis.

If your tax-assessed value is keeping you from selling, consider getting a second opinion. Edina Realty offers a free comparative market analysis, using current data and market conditions - with no obligation or hassle if you decide you’re not ready to list.

Reach out today for a free home value estimate. Who knows? Maybe your home is worth more than you think.

The differences between pre-approval and pre-qualification

Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage are both important steps in the homebuying process. Below, we explain the difference between the two terms.

Pre-qualifying for a mortgage
Pre-qualification is the first step in the mortgage process. Here, the hopeful buyer provides their lender with a detailed description of their finances, including income, assets and accrued debt. The lender returns an estimate on the mortgage amount they will likely approve for that buyer.

It’s important to note that pre-qualification is an estimate of how much house the buyer can afford. Most lenders provide pre-qualifications for free, and they can be completed in a short time over the phone or online.

Getting pre-approved on a mortgage
The second step towards attaining a mortgage, pre-approval, is a much more involved and thorough process. Here, the buyer turns in an official mortgage application and provides the lender with an extensive financial history.

In return, the lender provides a more specific loan amount as well as the estimated interest rate the buyer can expect (assuming rates hold).

Not only do pre-qualification and pre-approval help you determine your search parameters, they can also help you in negotiations. Sellers and their agents are more likely to take you seriously if they know they have invested time and energy into getting pre-qualified, and especially pre-approved.

Have more homebuying questions? Reach out any time - I'm always here here to help.

St. Paul voted the most romantic city in the nation

St. Paul was just voted the Most Romantic North American Getaway in a poll conducted by the website 10Best.com and USA Today.

The run of the contest, which was based on online votes, happened to coincide with the onset of our recent Polar Vortices. We're not saying that we Minnesotans passive aggressively voted ourselves to the top while we were forcibly housebound but... we're not NOT saying that.

Seriously though, Minnesota's capital city did a great job of selling itself as a non-traditional romantic destination. The official entry read, "St. Paul is the smaller, quieter and, many say, the more sophisticated of the Twin Cities. While not an obvious choice as a romantic getaway, couples love it for its diverse romantic offerings, like leisurely paddle-wheeler rides along the Mississippi, beer tastings or ice skating. St. Paul also has a thriving performing arts scene."

In the end, St. Paul edged out 20 other enchanting destinations including San Francisco, Cali., Santa Fe, N.M., and Naples, Fla., for the honor.

Thinking of buying in St. Paul?

Not only is St. Paul a great place for romance, it also offers a high quality of life. Homebuyers are flocking to the area for this very reason. In a separate study, the city was nominated as "the most livable city in America" by a panel from 10Best and USA Today.

Depending on what neighborhood you're interested in, you can live in a mid-1800s estate or a modern home. The city is also booming when it comes to new construction. From condos, lofts and townhomes being built on the Mississippi River to an abundance of multi-family buildings and duplexes, St. Paul is not short of options when it comes to housing.

Let us help you get started on your search for a St. Paul home. Reach out today to get set up with a realtor, talk mortgage rates and more.

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