Through September 30, 2018, home prices were up 10% in Chisago County over the same time last year, according to the Multiple Listing Service. The median sale price was $250,888 up from $227,700 in September 2017.

  Last October there were 65 homes that sold in the county, and in November there were 64 sales. Sales dropped substantially in December to 33 and there were 37 sales in January. Many listings are pulled off the Multiple Listing Service in January and December to avoid increased marketing time, and they go back on the market in the spring. 

  Interest rates are expected to continue to rise, so savvy buyers are looking now. For buyers that hate multiple offers, fall is a better time to buy as they don’t feel as rushed into a decision. Fourth quarter is also the best time for first time home buyers to get educated on the market, as agents aren’t as busy.

    New listings typically decrease in November through February. This means there is less inventory, so if you do need to sell in the fall, you get more exposure. Last November there were 51 new listings and 64 sales. In December there were 41 new listings and 33 sales. Much of the inventory was absorbed, and there was little inventory for the buyers to choose from. 

  January had the highest closed median sale price at $271,000. These were homes that were sold in November and December, as it typically takes 4-6 weeks from the time of sale until closing.

  Sales started increasing in March this year and peaked in June with 114 sales. There were 110 sales in July and 100 in August. September was a slow month with only 50 sales.

  June, July, and August were the busiest months for sales with 114, 110, and 100 sales respectively. June had the highest number of new listings this year with 203, followed by 169 new listings in May.

    August had the highest number of closed sales, which makes sense as many lake home owners want to use their lake home until the end of summer and parents with school children want to be settled before school starts.

  If you are thinking about buying or selling your home over the next year, now is a good time to start planning. An experienced agent can help you determine the best time to buy or sell your home for the best price.  

     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 ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.