Housing briefs Dec. 30 | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Housing briefs Dec. 30

Posted: December 29, 2011 - 5:28pm

Spring may seem far away, but for homeowners who are considering putting their home on the market, it’s not too early to start thinking spring, say Edina Realty experts.

In fact, getting a home ready to go on the market takes a lot of time – time to go through and get rid of clutter and do the basic updates that homebuyers expect to find in a home these days, Edina Realty reported.

“A home that’s clean, uncluttered and up-to-date will stand out from the competition in the spring market,” said Bob Peltier, president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services, in a news release. “Remember: you only get one chance to make a first impression, so you should make any improvements and update your home before buyers start looking at your property. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to repeatedly reduce the price to find out what the market is willing to pay for it.”

The spring market is important because that’s when most real estate transactions take place. While the housing market in greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin continue on a slow, steady road to recovery, the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington market ranked the top healthiest market in the nation, based on housing projections from Moody’s Economy.com. The Twin Cities market is technically in a balanced market with 5.7 months of inventory due to the fact that the housing inventory has been steadily declining.

What does that mean for home sellers? Spring will be a great time to sell a home, according to Peltier. “Right now, we actually need more sellers to get into the game,” Peltier said, citing increase in closed home sales and decrease in housing inventory. “The inventory of desirable homes in good neighborhoods that are well priced is in high demand among buyers,” he said.

Peltier said while it’s a smart idea to put a home up for sale in the spring, it’s a lot easier said than done. Often, homes need to be updated with new paint, appliances, light fixtures or flooring. Remodeling key areas such as kitchens and bathrooms can also have a big impact on attracting buyers, but these improvements take time, money and planning.