Posted in: Selling a home, Market insights

What every seller needs to know about selling this winter

winter seller tips

Key insights:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the spring market, but this winter’s market appears to be hotter than ever.
  • Sellers who are planning to wait until the spring may want to consider listing their homes sooner, while high prices and fast offers remain the norm.
  • Homeowners of starter homes and lakeshore homes may hold the highest advantages in this winter’s market.

While many homeowners plan to sell in the spring, recent years show that the winter market remains competitive as motivated buyers and sellers work to get to the closing table. This year, the market is as hot as ever, as homeowners and first-time buyers seek properties that can better accommodate the lifestyle changes experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re considering selling and not sure how to time it right, read on. We’ve analyzed our local market to help you determine if you should sell your Minnesota or western Wisconsin home this winter.

A snapshot of our local market

First, let’s look at what home sellers are experiencing across our 13-county metro area. According to the Northstar MLS, local home prices have been steadily rising over the last year. In November 2020, metro-area homes sold for a median price of $302,500 — a year-over-year increase of 8%

Moreover, the market doesn’t show any signs of slowing as the winter months set in. The number of days on the market before selling has been dropping since July; in November, homes in the metro sold in a median of 19 days, which is the shortest time frame recorded in more than 10 years.

In short, sellers are still benefiting from high prices and fast-moving buyers. But there’s a lot of variance that these generalized stats don’t highlight, so let’s dive into how specific segments of the market are operating.

Selling a waterfront home this winter

Twin Cities lakeshore homeowners may find that high demand helps them to sell their homes in record time. Even in the fall months, when lakeshore home sales tend to drop, private waterfront homes in our 16-county metro area sold in 28 days in November. That’s the lowest median time on market in the ten years of data we have on hand.

Here’s another unusual stat: Prices for metro lakeshore homes were rising steadily in the beginning of 2020, and have been surging since June — likely as everyone began to recognize how long COVID-19 may impact their ability to seek entertainment outside the home. Since June, lakeshore home prices have risen from a median price of $400,000 to nearly $430,000. For these numbers to continue rising even into the fall months is fairly unprecedented and indicates that this may continue to be a strong market segment this winter.

Selling a luxury home this winter

Over the last year, luxury home prices in the Twin Cities metro have been hovering between $625,000-630,000. Meanwhile, the days on market for these homes has fallen from 46 days to 34 days over the same period of time.

This is interesting, because it shows that there is still plenty of buyer interest in the higher price points — but that interest isn’t leading to significant changes in pricing for these homes.

If you’re thinking of selling a home that would be listed for more than $500,000, you may be smart to put your home on the market while this trend of fast-moving buyers persists.

Selling a starter home this winter

For years, there has been a shortage of starter homes on the market, and that trend continues today. Starter homes — or those priced under $250,000 — have been selling in about 20 days for the last two years. That number trended even lower, to 18 days, in November.

Meanwhile, the inventory of starter homes dropped 24% year-over-year, so first-time homebuyers desperately need more starter homes to come on the market this winter. These buyers aren’t hoping for a deal or a discount; they’re currently paying 100% of the listing price at closing.

If you’ve been thinking of moving to a larger home, this winter may be a great time to sell your starter home and move up.

What happens next?

We’ve broken out a few different market segments, but each home is different. Homes on the same block may even have vastly different conditions and values. Edina Realty has nearly 2,400 local experts covering every city and suburb across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We’d love to put you in touch with a specialist who can evaluate your home’s current value and likelihood of selling this winter.

To get a free, no-obligation estimate of your home’s value today, contact Edina Realty or your preferred agent.

*Based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE OF MINNESOTA, INC for the period November 1, 2020, through November 30, 2020.

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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