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Posted in: Selling a home, Lakeshore homes

Is it time to sell your lakeshore home?

If you’ve been holding onto your lakeshore home, it may be time to consider selling. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), vacation home sales were up 57 percent last year. 2014 also marked the highest amount of vacation home sales since NAR began surveying the data in 2003.

Locally, we can confirm that buyers are circling and are ready to purchase lakeshore properties. The low inventory we are seeing across the traditional market is seeping into the waterfront home sale market — even as our local economy improves and buyers are looking for a new vacation home in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Below, we’ve outlined a few of the top markets for lakeshore home sales, with data provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR). But remember, everything is local so we recommend connecting with a real estate specialist who knows the lakeshore trends in your area.

Market snapshot: Brainerd

Waterfront home sales in the Brainerd area are up, and so are prices. In March 2015, waterfront properties in the Brainerd statistical area reached an average sales price of $280,000; this is the highest point in more than two years for Brainerd lake homes.

Meanwhile, new waterfront listings in Brainerd rose 7 percent, pending sales increased 6 percent and the average days on market decreased 6 percent to 183 days.

The lesson here? If you’re considering offloading your Brainerd home on the water, start the process now. We’re anticipating an onslaught of early summer buyers, so high-quality waterfront homes in Brainerd may sell faster and for more money than they have in the last two years.

Market snapshot: Alexandria

In Alexandria, Minn., lakefront home prices increased 5 percent in March 2015 over the previous year. Alexandria waterfront homes are now selling for a median price of $262,659. Sellers are also getting what they ask for, averaging 95 percent of their last listing price at the closing table.

With these indications of buyer demand, it’s not surprising that new lakeshore listings in Alexandria increased 15 percent in March. The good news is that pending sales are exceeding this new inventory, at an 18 percent increase over last year. Whether you have an Alexandria lake cabin or a larger Alexandria luxury waterfront home, it may be a great time to sell the property to eager buyers who are already in the market.

Market snapshot: Siren, Wisconsin

Siren, Wis., is always a desired spot, but in looking at the town of Siren’s waterfront home stats, we are seeing a clear upward trend. After two years of stagnant prices, lakefront home prices in Siren surged up 19 percent in March over the previous year. Siren lake homes and cabins now have a median sale price of $193,450.

Additionally, new listings are coming on the market more slowly and increased only 7 percent last month even as pending sales increased by more than 200 percent. Waterfront home sellers in Siren are also receiving more than 95 percent of their last list price at the closing table.

The message? Your Siren lakefront home may be in high demand. By listing in the next month or two, you can still catch the summer buyers who are hoping to close a deal quickly.

Market snapshot: The Twin Cities

Of course, not all lakeshore homes are up north or in western Wisconsin. Many of them are within the thirteen-county metro area. Right now, this local market area is seeing the highest lakeshore home sale prices since April 2009, at $363,500. While that’s already great news for our local market, the real celebration is taking place at the closing table.

Local lakeshore home sellers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area are garnering 97 percent of their last listing price and average days on market has decreased 10 percent from last year, to just 84 days. That means in most cases, homes are selling faster and buyers are willing to pay a fair price. If you’re selling your waterfront home in Minneapolis, St. Paul or the surrounding suburbs this spring, you’re likely to get the list price you’re asking for.

Getting ready to list

Remember, we’ve broken out only a few areas and every county, city and even lake or river, can vary in its conditions for local sellers. The best way to get started on the process of selling your waterfront home is to get a professional home value estimate from one of our local experts.

Reach out today to get an expert opinion of what your waterfront home is worth today, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more #SellerInsights.

Pssst! Can’t wait to get started? To prep your waterfront home for sale, follow these expert staging and selling tips for lakeshore homeowners.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings