CENTURY 21 Vista, Inc. Blog: MN & ND Real Estate News

Otter Tail County Real Estate sales rose 3% in 2014, although the average for Minnesota was down 6%.  That speaks highly of where we live and work and matches Boating Magazine's top rating of Otter Tail County as being the best county to live in and go boating.  To add to the good news, prices are up, climbing 3.3% on the median sale price.  The average time on the market to sell decreased 8% to 152 days.  When combined with record low interest rates, it is a good time to enter the real estate market whether buying or selling.

My advise for buyers and sellers entering the market....use a professional full time real estate agent that knows not only the past comparables but one who knows the present ones and the trends.

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Sellers always ask "is winter a good time to list our home for sale?".  The answer is yes!, for several reasons.  For example, 20% of the lakehomes that sold in 2014 sold last winter.  The reasons:  1.  They were listed for sale;  2.  Real Estate sells year round.  If your home is not for sale, it won't sell but one that is for sale will sell in place of it.  There are many reasons that cause people to buy and winter weather probably will not prevent a buyer from purchasing.  It is a very good time to put a home up for sale as the avalability is very tight right now and sales for the year in our Multiple Listing Service are up about 7%.  In addition, with so few for sale, sellers have the advantage of dealing with a captive audience.

The statistics are

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Over 30% of sales of Otter Tail County homes occur in the last 3 months of the year.  That defies regular logic but it is a fact.  As of now, it appears that real estate sales in Otter Tail County will set another record in 2014 as sales are up 7% this year over last year, compared to all Minnesota sales being down 6% so far.  It is not all that surprising as Otter Tail County was voted one of the top 10 counties in the US to live and go boating by Boating Magazine this summer.  Inventory of homes available to purchase is very low as well.  As an example, the availability of homes in Fergus Falls is down to about a 6 month supply, compared to a 7 month supply last year.  The National Association of Realtors say a 6 month supply is “in balance”.  The

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Over 50% of sales of Otter Tail County homes occur in the last 5 months of the year.  That defies regular logic but it is a fact.  For lake homes, it is  higher at 62%.  As of now, it appears that real estate sales in Otter Tail County will set another record in 2014 as sales are up 20% this year over lastyear.  Inventory of homes available to purchase is very low as well.  As an example, the availability of homes in Fergus Falls is down to about a 3 month supply.  The National Association of Realtors say a 6 month supply is “in balance”.  The result is that right now is the best time to list and sell your real estate.  It is also a good time to purchase as this tight market will cause an increase in purchase prices. My advice for buyers and sellers

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Sales of residential homes are up 21% in Otter Tail County in 2014.  Average sale prices are up 6% and homes are selling 7% faster this year as well.  Weather affects sales but during this year's cold spring, sales are up over 2013's cold spring.

A key factor that affects real estate sales in the quantity of homes for sale which in Otter Tail County is currently down 10% from 2013 to a 10 month supply.  That factor generally leads to a seller's market which can lead to higher prices.  To avoid that, buyers should purchase now and sellers should get their property listed for sale now while demand is strong.

My advice for buyers and sellers entering the market.......use a professional full time real estate agent that knows not only the past

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Otter Tail County real estate sales are up this year 17% over 2013. Weather affects sales but during this year's cold, snowy and windy winter, sales are up over 2013's cold snowy and windy winter. Housing sales are about the same so the increases came in multifamily, farms, land and commercial sales.

A key factor that affects real estate sales is the quantitiy of homes for sale which in Otter Tail County is currently down 20.6% from 2013 to a 7.7 month supply. That factor generally leads to a seller's market which can lead to higher sale prices.

To avoid those higher prices that are likely coming, buyers should purchase now. Sellers should get their property listed for sale now while demand is strong and upward price pressure seems imminent due to

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The sales of residential homes in Otter Tail County multiple listing service were up 8% in 2013 compared to 2012 which follows the trend of increased real estate sales in Minnesota for 2013. Lake home sales were down 8%, however, regaining strongly after being off 49% on May 1st due to the severe winter and spring - a miraculous recovery!  The future looks bright for lake home sales in 2014 as demand was strong right through the fall with numerous multiple offers.  Sales once again will depend on the weather but also upon the supply of property for sale.  Currently there is only an 8 month supply of lake homes for sale.  People thinking of selling should be listing their homes now due to lack of competing listings.

My advice for buyers and sellers

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Otter Tail County MLS statistics show that the sales of homes in 2012 were up 21% at the end of September over 2011 for the same period.  In 2013, however, the sales are only up 15% over 2011.  Home sales and especially lake home sales were explosive in 2012 due in part to pent up demand.  The inventory levels of homes for sale in Otter Tail County are at a 10.9 month supply compared to a 17 month supply in 2011.  The National Association of Realtors state that a 6 month supply is considered IN BALANCE.  In a rural area, however, a 6 month supply would leave a very limited selection of homes for buyers to choose from and would probably limit sales.  Right now inventories are adequate and we are still seeing multiple offers on homes that are selling.

My

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Otter Tail County MLS statistics show that the sales of homes in 2012 were up 24% at the end of August over 2011 for the same period.  In 2013, however, the sales are only up 14% over 2011.  Home sales, and especially lake home sales were explosive in 2012 due in part to pent up demand.  The inventory levels of homes for sale in Otter Tail County are at a 11.6 month supply compared to an 18 month supply in 2011.  The National Association of Realtors state that a 6 month supply is considered IN BALANCE .  In a rural area, however, a 6 month supply would leave a very limited selection of homes for buyers to choose from and would probably limit sales.  Right now inventories are adequate and we are still seeing multiple offers on homes that are selling. 

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Weather continues to control lake home sales.  Who can forget the weather of the first five months of 2013?  As of June 1st, the sales of lake homes were down 49% due to weather.  As of August 15th, however, the sales were about even with 2012 which was a record year for lakehome sales.

The lake home sales this summer are so robust that buyers are battling bidding wars in that we are dealing with multiple offers on lake homes, according to Olson.  If you are a buyer, consider these 5 tips:

  1. Don't be a penny pincher.  If you really love a house, don't risk losing it over a couple thousand dollars.
  2. Sellers don't want to worry about a deal that might fall apart, so they'll usually tend to favor cash offers and those without a financing contingency. 
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