Selling Your Home During the Holidays

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Fall and winter are great times of the year to put your home on the market in the Twin Cities and contrary to popular belief, it is possible to have success selling your home during the holidays. Here are a few ways that you can attract the right buyers.

Buyers looking for homes during the cooler, less popular months of the year tend to be more serious about finding a home, which is good news for sellers. Unfortunately, many major holidays occur during this time of year, which is a downside for sellers who enjoy entertaining. Thankfully, it’s possible to keep your home on the market and enjoy the holiday season.

Here are a few tips for successfully selling your home during the holidays:

Don’t Overdo It
If you’re a person who enjoys filling their home with holiday decorations, you’re going to have to tone it down this year. That doesn’t mean you can’t decorate at all, but keep in mind that buyers might have a hard time imagining themselves in your living space if it’s jam packed with mementos and holiday cheer. A few tasteful decorations around your home can still leave you with that bubbly feeling and won’t make your buyers uncomfortable.

No matter what time of the year you put your home on the market, strong smells and personal items are a no-no, so quickly remove family photos and try to refrain from lighting a holiday spice scented candle in every room before showings and open houses.

It’s also worth noting that not every buyer is going to celebrate the same holidays as you do. While you might not see the point in changing the way you enjoy the season for someone else, you have to remember that your main goal is to get your home sold. Don’t do anything to jeopardize that.

Forgo Hosting Duties
You never know if the right buyer is going to only be available to look at your home during the time that you’ve planned a holiday party. You can take the risk of letting your real estate agent know the property is unavailable to show, but at the end of the day you’ll have to decide if you’d rather have the memory of a party or have your home under contract. Tag team with a friend or family member, and agree to help them host this year’s party at their home.

Stay Flexible
Winter, in particular, is a season for staying indoors, and after a long day, the last thing you probably want to do is get bundled up to go wait in the cold while someone comes to look at your home. It’s important to remember that buyers looking at homes during the colder months are probably only looking at homes that they’re seriously considering buying. (They have to get bundled up, too.) Be open to open houses and showings, even if you’d rather stay home.

Don’t Neglect Your Exterior
The ice and snow of an Minnesota winter can create potentially dangerous situations if walkways and sidewalks are not maintained. You should make an effort to keep them clean regardless of whether a showing or an open house is scheduled, but you especially need to do it if one is. Nothing will turn a buyer off of your home more than an ice skating rink for a walkway and a broken ankle as a souvenir of the visit.

If you keep your home clean and safe, stay flexible, and don’t go nuts with decorations, selling your home during the holidays is no different than selling your home during any other time of the year. As long as it’s in good condition and priced correctly, you should have no trouble selling in the current Twin Cities market.

Call the Grossman Group at (651) 434-7887, or email RLGrossman@CBBurnet.com, for more advice and the best marketing for your home in the Twin Cities area.

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Saint Paul in the Spotlight

Week in Review

Twin Cities Business and Minnpost reported this week on “Saint Paul’s Time to Shine,” a review of new development and real estate projects putting the capital city in the spotlight. Some of the projects include a new stadium for the Saint Paul Saints in Lowertown, the Light Rail Green Line, the redevelopment of the Seven Corners hardware store site Gateway sites, along with the redevelopment of the iconic post office site and a possible new practice home for the Stanley Cup-bound Minnesota Wild. (Go Wild!)

“We’ve always thought downtown St. Paul is an excellent spot to invest,” says [Rich] Pakonen [of PAK Properties], who says that the appealing vintage buildings are drawing people from outside of St. Paul as tenants.

He says that he’s surprised that more developers are not drawn to the St. Paul market. “Half of the Twin Cities population lives east of the river. It’s surprising how there’s less competition here,” says Pakonen.

Also in the news, Twin Cities.Com Pioneer Press and Environmental Protection Online are reporting the latest plan for the Ford Plant site in Highland Park to become the state’s largest “net-zero” energy redevelopment, by utilizing solar energy as well as thermal energy recaptured from the Army’s groundwater treatment plant already underway to heat and cool homes.

“The plan is tentative and hinges on factors such as securing the additional acreage needed for the solar farm, cleaning that land and finding private partners willing to finance the green projects.

“I would say the whole of the plan is ambitious, but, incrementally, we think things are very doable,” [Greg] Mack [the county’s project manager for the site’s Energy Integration Resiliency Framework] said. “None of this is new technology; it’s all proven. It’s finding partners to implement it (with us) in the time frame we have available.”

Yesterday, Twin Cities Business Journal reported Sherman Associates is also moving forward with the second phase of its development of the west side flats, a beautiful complex in downtown Saint Paul overlooking the Mississippi river, and featuring retailers and an undisclosed restaurant. Also moving forward, the plan by Timberland Partners to renovate Sibley Square into 134 market-rate apartment units.

“We like the demographics of Lowertown. We also did our market research. I think that’s a good, stable market. The employment that is in St. Paul has always been very stable,” says Ryan Sailer, vice president of development with Timberland Partners. “It was a market we felt comfortable with” (Minnpost).

West Side Flats

West Metro Living

The west metro is looking forward to two new grocery redevelopment projects. Lunds and Byerly’s (now under the new combined name) is remodeling the 970 Prairie Center Drive store, while Oppidan Investment Co. plans a complete tear-down and rebuild of the Bally Total Fitness in Saint Louis Park site into a six-story, 177 unit apartment complex and newcomer grocery store, Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market. After some pushback from local residents, the project may be scaled back to 5 stories, but is moving forward.

Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market

South Side Shines

Apple Valley remains a great place to buy or sell, with home prices lingering above the metro area as a whole, reports the Minneapolis Area association of Realtors. The median sales price rose 7.5 percent from this month last year. Along with Saint Paul and the greater metro area, Miller Grossman specializes in Apple Valley and south metro real estate, with specialized and experienced knowledge in the area.

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