Now that summer is over, sellers are asking if they should sell their home now or wait until spring. To answer this I reviewed the Multiple Listing Data for the larger lakes in Chisago County in 2015 and 2016, year to date.

  In 2015 there were 78 lake homes that sold on the larger lakes in Chisago County. The months with the highest number of sales were June (10), March (9), May (8), July (7), August (7). The months with the least amount of sales were December (2), January (4), September (4), November (4). 

  There are currently 33 active lakeshore listings on the larger Chisago Lakes. Three of them are sold with a contingency. Last year from September through December there were 16 sales, so if we use last year’s sales activity, about half of the homes on the market could sell this year. 

  Because we are moving into a slower market, it becomes a buyer’s market. There are less multiple offers and sellers start dropping their prices. Of the 33 active sales 19 have already made at least one price reduction. 

  The good news is that sale prices are up from 2015. From January to September 5, 2015 the average sale price was $277,874 compared to this year at $311,802. 

  Our most expensive sale this year, to date, was on Comfort Lake for $690,000 with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, 4 garage stalls, and 4,268 square feet. The second highest was $535,000 on Green Lake with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 6 garage stalls, and 1,615 square feet. 

  There have been quite a few new homes being built on the lakes over the past couple of years, which means our average sale price should be increasing. Washington County experienced a building boom several years ago and the average sale price for Forest Lake, Clear Lake, and Big Marine Lake is $601,591. Their average price per square foot is $189 compared to ours at $180. So that tells us that their homes are much larger than ours, but priced comparably.

  The greatest demand, is for homes with a gentle slope to the lake, swimmable beach, at least one bedroom, bath and laundry on the main floor, good garage space and parking space. These are hard to come by, and they are typically newer, which means the prices are above $500,000. 

  When buying or selling a home in the Chisago Lakes Area, it is important to work with a local area expert that knows the features and benefits of each of the lakes, and how to overcome the buyer’s objections.

 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.