At this time of year, there tends to be a final push for sellers to get their homes sold. Focus changes to back-to-school needs, sports, preparation for colder weather and planning for winter holiday and travel. This change in focus brings price reductions, which is great for savvy buyers.


  According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) In Chisago County there are 194 Active, Pre-Owned, Listings and 89 of those listings have been on the market for 60 days or longer and 67% of those listings have reduced their price. Of the homes on the market between 30-60 days, 51% have reduced their price, and only 14% of the homes on the market for less than 30 days have reduced their price.


  Pushing to get the highest price possible, can sometimes backfire with longer marketing times, resulting in price reductions which could put the price lower than if the property was priced right from the start. Buyers look for reasons why a home hasn’t sold if it has been on the market for an extended period of time. They may pass over the listing completely or attempt a low-ball offer, which often offends a seller and can kill a sale.


  This has been a very unusual year for real estate because of the severe weather from January through April. New listings in January were down 32%, 41% in February, and 20% in April. This brought the number of closed sales down 19% in May and 21% in June. (it typically takes 5-8 weeks to close a sale from the time of sale) We finally saw an increase in listings in May, June, July, and August but closed sales were still down because the shortage of inventory in the Spring.


  The good news for sellers is that prices are up about 12% over 2017 prices, but prices typically decline during the fourth quarter. This provides buyers with an opportunity for buyers to negotiate a great price on older inventory without being in multiple offers.


  September and October are still good months for selling real estate. We see a lot of “change of life” sales happenings, i.e. marriage, expanded families, divorce, death, promotions, relocations, down-sizers, etc. 


  There is a season for selling and buying every type of real estate and an experienced real estate agent can help you time the market to meet your needs.


 Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.