Chisago County has been experiencing a steady rise in real estate prices, and many sellers are enjoying nice profits on the sale of their home. According to the Multiple Listing Service for Chisago County, the median price for single family homes in March 2016 was $214,900, which was up 25% over March 2015. We have also surpassed the peak price of $212,500, in March 2006. The lowest median sale price for March was $127,000 in 2009, which was a market dominated by foreclosures. Foreclosures now make up less than 5% of the real estate market.

  Along with rising prices, there is a decline in inventory. New listings are down 11% from 2015. Low inventory can bring multiple offers, but many consumers are still holding for the right deal and they are waiting for more new listings. We are also struggling with some homes not appraising for the sale price, which is not uncommon in a hot market, when prices are rising quickly.

  It is a great time for builders to fill the low inventory gap with new construction. New construction is a good way to bring new people into our community, as the buyers aren’t finding affordable new construction closer to the Twin Cities. Buyers love our small town feel, the lakes, and the Chisago Lakes Area schools. 

  Another benefit of the current real estate market for sellers, is that the average marketing time is down 29%, which was 105 days on the market last year, down to 75 days on the market, this year.

    We are also moving into the waterfront real estate season. As the weather warms and visitors come into town to enjoy the Chisago Lakes Area, the demand for lakefront and riverfront homes increase. Make sure you have a sign on the waterfront side of your home if you are trying to attract one of these buyers. There have already been many great waterfront homes sold this year, but there are many more buyers watching for new listings. 

  Timing the market is an important consideration when selling your home. Properties typically show their best in late spring and early summer, when the grass and trees are green and the flowers are in bloom. An experienced real estate agent can help you determine the best time for you to sell your home.

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.