Get Insights June 2015 | Lil Stocke
Lillian Stocke
(218) 728-7753

Licensed in MN (Broker), WI (Agent)
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Lillian Stocke

(218) 728-7753

June 2015


Why list now: tips for a quick summer sale

If you’re thinking about selling your home this summer, there’s no time like the present to start making it a reality.

It’s a sellers’ market. Pent up buyer demand is high and the number of homes for sale is low – the lowest inventory in 12 years. This means you may have a greater chance of receiving multiple offers. Combine that with improved financing options and historically low mortgage rates, and the odds are good that you’ll sell your home for the price you want.

According to the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR), the buying and selling season is already in full swing. April had the highest number of pending sales in nearly a decade, a 26 percent increase from last April. The median sales price increased 10 percent to $215,600. The median home price has now seen 38 months of year-over-year increases.

Buyers are out there, and their biggest complaint is a lack of quality homes on the market. The result? As buyers compete over homes, you can benefit from multiple offers, which can drive sales prices up. Higher sales prices aren’t the only benefit of today’s selling market; homes are also selling quickly as buyers snap up the properties they love.

It may be worth more than you think

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the majority of showing activity occurs within the first two weeks after a home is listed for sale on the market. By pricing your home competitively, you may get more showings and bids upfront. When activity comes early, you are more likely to earn close to the listing price, and potentially attract multiple offers that will push beyond your listing price. When buyers see a home has stayed on the market for months, they are more likely to underbid in hopes of securing a bargain.

Together, we can work to assess your home’s current market value by taking into account its condition, as well as the prices of recently sold properties nearby.

Can’t wait? With a shortage of homes on the market, don’t short yourself when listing your home. Property tax estimates or website “value” estimates may be outdated and inaccurate. If you’re wondering what your home may be worth now, work with a local expertlocal expert for a free home value estimate that will factor in in-depth market and property information – aspects that are often missed by algorithms and tax assessments.

Improving your odds

Familiarize yourself with common pitfalls that can prevent you from selling your home quickly – an unwelcoming exterior, an interior that may feel too “lived in,” a kitchen that needs major updating and an asking price that’s out of line with what the market will accept.

A few small improvements can make a world of difference. Improve curb appeal by adding a fresh seal coat to the driveway, update a kitchen with upgraded countertops or freshen outdated cabinets with a coat of white paint to entice eager buyers. New appliances, light fixtures and flooring are an easy way to add appeal, especially in key areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Making the most of multiple offers

Discover more about multiple offers and how to prepare for them. In the video below, you’ll learn how an experienced agent can make all the difference in your negotiations. You’ll also find out about reducing the element of surprise with a pre-inspection and giving your home a competitive advantage with a home warranty. Oh, and the highest offer isn’t always the best offer – there are many considerations.

Seminar savvy: Learn from the professionals

Seminars are a great way to learn about how the current real estate market affects the sale of your home. Free, no-obligation seller seminars share techniques and strategies for how to sell your home quickly and at the best price. Learn how real estate agents are paid, get helpful tips for making your home stand out, find out about the effectiveness of open houses and much more.

Stay plugged in

Take the time to learn what’s going on in the market so you can sell your home for the price you want. For #SellerInsights, tips and housing market news, find us on Facebook and Twitter. Edina Realty offers convenient and competitively priced mortgage, title, warranty, home insurance and relocation services all under one roof.


What you need to know before purchasing property this summer

Spring is here along with a spike in consumer confidence and great mortgage rates. The homebuying market is hot!

The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) is reporting a surge in the market. Listings this April increased 10.7 percent as sellers continued to regain confidence – the highest number of new listings for any month since April 2010. Sales in the same time frame jumped almost 26 percent compared to last April. The median sales price rose 10 percent to $215,600. If you’re buying a home for the first time, here some essential tips to get prepared and stay ahead of the pack as multiple offers and quick sales will rule the summer.

Know the basics

From choosing a REALTOR® to negotiating terms to moving in, buying a home is likely the biggest investment you will make in your life. To ease your journey, check out the homebuyer checklist and reference these additional helpful tips.

Narrow your search

Whether you’re relocating or finding the perfect home in your existing neighborhood, must-have trends are taking shape among today’s homebuyers. Upgraded kitchens, smart home technology and new construction near towns rank at the top of buyer wish lists.

Use smart search

It’s easy to start your search, no matter where you are or how you like to get your information. Download the Edina Realty Home Search app for iPhone, iPad and Android to get access to almost every home for sale in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Get to know your ideal location

Visit the neighborhood and talk with neighbors and local businesses to find out if there is an active block club. To learn more about current issues and concerns, contact the local neighborhood association.

Open House season is upon us

It’s an exciting time of year to explore your options. Check out our upcoming Open House Weekend on June 6 and 7 and our Exceptional Properties Open House Extravaganza on June 14.

Make your first offer your best offer

It’s a sellers’ market. Watch the video below for tips to prepare for multiple offer situations and learn how to set yourself apart from other potential buyers. You’ll find out how to tailor your offer to a seller’s needs and how an experienced agent can make all the difference in your negotiations.

Do your financial homework

Before it’s time to make an offer, seek out financial resources that can help you with some of the up-front costs of buying a home.

Down payments, government-backed grants and assistance loans are available through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). You can also find out about down payment assistance for specific homes from state and local housing finance agencies.

The State of Minnesota offers a Start Up loan program to help first-time homebuyers, along with tax credits and assistance with closing costs.

>If you’re looking at existing homes with a potential for projects like converting an attic space into a bedroom, or transforming a basement into a family room, consider the reviewing these two reference articles: The five home improvement projects with less return and Five home improvements with the best ROI upon resale.

Good news on mortgage insurance

If you select an FHA loan, you’ll pay mortgage insurance at closing and throughout the life of the loan. FHA mortgage insurance provides lenders with protection against losses from a homeowner who defaults on the mortgage loan. FHA recently lowered annual mortgage insurance premiums—from 1.35 percent to .85 percent. Experts predict that this will save the average FHA borrower around $80 per month. For example, a loan of $200,000 will save approximately $900 annually with the newly reduced annual mortgage insurance premium.

Close the loop

A good decision on the front end of the process can help you complete your purchase successfully. For a qualified and experienced title company that excels in these fundamental areas, visit Edina Realty Title.

Buying your first home? We can help

Finding the right mortgage loan is a personal decision and requires expert guidance. For more information, check out Edina Realty mortgage for more information, and contact me to get started on the path to homeownership. For buying tips and local housing market news, find us on Facebook, Twitter and follow #BuyerInsights for more great tips.

Family enjoying time at short-term rental

The upside of transitional housing

When you sell your home before buying a new one, the most common worry is the period of time when you don’t own a home. However, with a little time, creativity and planning, you can find the ideal living arrangements for the transition while gaining flexibility and freedom to find your ideal home.

Peace of mind

Many people report that moving to a short-term residence reduces the worry and stress of rushing into a buying decision. A rental allows you to take your time, do your research and find the perfect home. Short-term options give you the flexibility to hunt for your ideal home, not just the home that can close fastest.

Finding a home between homes

There are many interim living arrangements and options to consider if your current home sells before you purchase a new property. Depending on the length of your stay and the size of your family, living with friends or relatives until you find your new home can be a smart solution as long as you are considerate of the length of time you stay. Finishing out the school year with friends or having an extended summer visit with grandparents can be a comfortable, low-stress way for families to handle the transition time. This option has also proven popular for parents who find it beneficial to have focused home shopping time without the family in tow.

Creative transitional housing options

If family or friends aren’t an option, short-term rentals are plentiful. Finding a place that’s suitable for you and your family (including pets), requires some research. Some hotels even specialize in extended-stay lodging. These facilities may only require two days advance notice when you make your reservation, adding even more flexibility to your situation. Bed and breakfast inns and guest houses are also options to consider.

You can locate regular rentals, sublets and vacation rentals on websites such as Craigslist, AirBnB and VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner). You can also utilize the power of social media by asking trusted friends for recommendations or by reaching out through neighborhood online groups such as NextDoor.

The moving game

A furnished apartment allows you to cut down on the amount of packing and unpacking you need to do. When you move out, send your furniture and belongings into temporary storage and take just what you need to the apartment. After you close on the new house, you can simply move your furniture straight from storage into your new home.

Before you move into temporary housing, get quotes from several moving and storage companies. Moving can be a large expense and you may be able to save some money if you can find a mover that also offers storage services. Don’t forget to ask for recommendations from friends and check out online reviews —there are plenty of stories (good and bad) that can help inform your decision.

Portable storage containers make packing a simple process. With delivery from door-to-door and no time limit for packing, you can load up your storage container on your own timeline. Once the container is full, the company can either move it to your new home or to a secure storage center that keeps your container protected from the weather.

Try color-coding your move – it’s a proven strategy for organizing your belongings before you get to your new space. It also makes the packing and unpacking process easier.

A good team

It’s important to work closely with a REALTOR® throughout the buying and selling process. Together, we can work to assess your home’s current market value by taking into account its condition, including the prices of recently sold homes nearby. I can make your listing stand out and increase the likelihood that your home will be on the market for the shortest duration possible.

Can’t wait to get moving? Get a free, no-obligation analysis of your home’s value today. With a solid team of professionals, you can successfully manage the transition of selling a home that has served you well and buy yourself some flexibility and freedom to find one that will serve you better.


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