Minnesota home seller’s guide
Wherever you are and whatever your motivations may be, selling a home can be both an exciting and challenging process. It’s a major financial undertaking that, when done right, can lead to high rewards and new beginnings.
Our comprehensive guide has everything you need to know so you can sell your house fast in Minnesota, from preparing your home to choosing the best offer. For more information, contact our team— we’d love to assist you with your unique home selling needs.
Ready to put your Minnesota home on the market? Start the process by reading our step-by-step home selling guide.
Find a real estate agent
Having a real estate agent by your side can make a world of difference. While you can list the home on your own to save on commission fees, the pros of hiring a real estate professional outweighs the cons by a mile.
Here’s why it’s better to work with a real estate agent instead of going solo:
- A real estate agent has the experience and knowledge
The biggest benefit of hiring a real estate agent is their industry expertise and market knowledge. It trumps all the resources you can access online, especially if your situation is quite unique. A real estate agent uses everything they’re learned from their past real estate transactions as well as the industry’s best practices to adapt and offer solutions tailored to your needs.
A real estate agent also knows their focus areas well. You’ll gain useful insights, from buyer behavior, market trends, and comparable properties— information that will help you sell your house fast in Minnesota.
- A real estate agent has connections
Working with a real estate agent enables you to access their large professional network. From preferred contractors to trusted lenders, these are the vetted professionals who can help make your home selling experience smoother and easier. Moreover, your agent’s network also includes other agents in the area. One of them may be representing your potential buyer.
- A real estate agent saves you time and money
Working with a real estate agent takes the stress out of the home selling process. With a professional guiding you through every step, you can avoid making any costly mistakes that will prevent you from selling your home fast in Minnesota.
There’s no doubt that working with the right real estate agent is key to home selling success. And the way to finding the best real estate agent for you is to ask the right questions, such as the following:
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
- What areas do you specialize in?
- How many homes have you sold in the past three to six months?
- How well do you know the area?
- How will you market my property?
- What is your preferred communication method?
- What is your schedule and availability?
- Do you work alone or with a team?
- How many clients are you currently working with?
Prepare your home for sale
When your home goes on the market, you want it to be at its best. Your property needs to be attractive, inviting, and in good condition to make potential buyers interested, especially if you have a lot of competition in your neighborhood. Follow these three steps when getting your home ready for sale:
- Clean and declutter
Potential buyers need to see your home in the best possible light, especially without all the dust and mess in the way.
First up: decluttering. The main areas that you’ll need to declutter are the kitchen, living room, dining room, bathrooms, and the primary bedroom. Go through each room and decide on what you will keep, store, or throw away.
Don’t forget about the hallway as well. Since the hallway connects the different spaces in your home, it should be pleasant to pass through. For a clutter-free hallway, reduce visual clutter like shoes, coats, umbrellas, and toys. This will make hallways seem wider.
Next step is cleaning. Whether you hire a cleaning service or opt to do it yourself, know which areas of the house to focus on. High-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces, such as floors, windows, carpets, and the bathrooms may need a more intensive clean, as well as nooks and crannies that are out of reach or sight.
- Invest in minor repairs
Instead of making major upgrades, focus on minor but still crucial repairs— they can go a long way. While buyers can be easily impressed with luxury features, what they really care about are the essentials: functional knobs, handles, and faucets; flowing water; and up-to-date electricals and HVAC, just to name a few. When these essentials are in good condition, you give potential buyers the impression that your property is well cared for and move-in ready.
These are some of the important repairs to work on:
- Fixing leaks in the kitchen or bathroom
- Replacing loose handles or knobs on the doors and cabinets
- Unclogging drains
- Repairing nail holes
- Replacing broken or missing tiles on the roof
A home feature that is often overlooked by sellers is their HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. Aside from regulating the temperature and improving the air quality, an HVAC system also uses energy efficiently. Ensure that your HVAC system is regularly maintained and watch out for signs that it needs repairs.
- Stage and add curb appeal
After cleaning, decluttering, and making the necessary repairs, now comes the part where you make the home look nice. The purpose of staging is to put a spotlight on your home’s best features and allow potential buyers to visualize themselves living there.
It may seem insignificant but rearranging your furniture can make a huge impact on how a room looks. Well-placed furniture creates a good flow, allowing any space to feel more open. Most importantly, it’s free! One of the most important aspects that you need to consider when arranging furniture are the traffic patterns. The goal is to achieve a space that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Curb appeal is just as important as the home’s interior. Boost it by repainting your front door, adding a variety of lush (and native) plants, and cleaning the driveway. If you’re not sure on how to go about staging your home, you can also enlist the help of a professional home stager.
Set a realistic listing price for your home
Putting a price tag on your Minnesota home is both an art and a science. There are several crucial factors that will make an impact on buyers and how they perceive your home. Here’s how to price it correctly:
- Research the local market
Before you list your home, it’s important to understand what’s happening with the local real estate market first. Consider the trends that are currently impacting your area. Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? Are there a lot of buyers looking in your neighborhood? What are the average home prices in my neighborhood and how has it changed? What are the current economic conditions?
- Look at comparables
A Minneapolis, MN house that is priced well will also sell fast. While it’s natural to want the highest possible price for your home, overpricing can do more harm than good. A high price can scare off potential buyers and lead your property to stay on the market for a longer period. When that happens, you may be forced to make significant price reductions that will decrease your chances of making a profit.
The secret to pricing your home right lies in the comps. Also known as real estate comparables, “comps” are recently sold properties in your neighborhood that share similar features with your home. Look at their original and final sales prices to come up with a realistic benchmark figure for your listing.
Comps can be based on several parameters, which typically include the following: location, neighborhood, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, age of the property, general condition, upgrades, notable features, and price per square foot.
Pricing can involve a lot of work and research. Your Realtor will be able to lighten your load and provide expert insight and opinion.
Advertise your property
There’s always going to be competition when selling your property. That’s why it’s essential to spread the word about your home to attract potential buyers (or their agents).
- Use professional photography
First impressions matter, especially when you want to sell your Minneapolis, MN house fast. Since most home searches nowadays are done online, you want your online listing to stand out from the get-go.
A professional real estate photographer has the right equipment and the necessary skills to create high-quality listing photos. They also know the best angles and the proper lighting that will highlight your property’s features.
From the set, upload photos in the right sequence, starting from the entrance to the back yard. It should flow as an in-person tour would. Provide context or direct buyers by adding short but informative descriptions for each photo.
- Create a marketing strategy
Next comes the marketing. To gain a large pool of interested buyers, you need to get the word out and generate buzz. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the largest database for real estate properties. It is also one of the most effective marketing tools because many real estate professionals refer to this platform for information about a property.
Social media is another platform that can help sell your house in Minneapolis, MN fast. Whether you choose to post on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram, social media can widen your reach and allow thousands of potential buyers to see your listing.
Consider virtual tours as well. With a virtual tour, buyers can explore and get a feel of your home without having to visit it in person. They can also go back to the virtual tour every time they want to check out a certain feature again.
Know your responsibilities as a seller
Every seller should be familiar with their legal rights and obligations, and that includes property disclosures. Requirements vary per state, but in Minnesota, sellers must disclose all “material facts” that they are aware of and can also influence the buyer’s decision to purchase the property.
According to Minnesota’s General Disclosure Requirements, material facts must be disclosure if they:
- Affect how the buyer uses or enjoys the property
- Impacts the actual use of the property
These material facts must be included in the disclosure form, with the seller exercising good faith.
Take note of Minnesota’s mechanics lien law, too. For homeowners who decide to upgrade or renovate their property, contractors can file a Minnesota mechanics lien. This claim against your property is filed by contractors or subcontractors who were not compensated for their professional services. Sellers must be aware of this law because having one on your property may delay the selling process.
Assess offers carefully and negotiate
When you receive an offer for your home, you have three options: To accept, reject, or negotiate. Before deciding, review each offer carefully. Although the offer with the highest price will surely catch your eye, it’s important to look at the entire offer package, which includes the contingencies, financing, and how serious the buyer is about purchasing your home.
If you decide to negotiate for a better deal, remember to meet the buyer in the middle.
Here are the common negotiation strategies that sellers use:
- Waiving the inspection contingency clause
- Adding an escalation clause or appraisal gap guarantee
- Offering to shoulder the closing costs
- Offering a home warranty
- Putting an expiration date on offer
Once you’ve accepted an offer, an escrow account will be opened. This will hold the buyer’s earnest money deposit. During escrow, your home will be inspected, and the buyer may negotiate on repairs based on the findings. The buyer’s lender may also conduct an appraisal. After the buyer makes their final walkthrough and is happy with the condition of the property, it’s time to hand over the house keys to its new owner.
Home selling tips and tricks
There’s no such thing as being too prepared to sell a home. The following are tried-and-tested tips to help you sell your Minnesota home fast.
- Be flexible with home showings
To get your Minnesota home off the market quickly, it pays to be flexible for home showings. If you already have set dates and a time frame for those visiting your home, be open to accommodating potential buyers who want to tour the property outside of showing hours. If the hours are reasonable and the buyer made a polite request, take the opportunity to let them see your home.
- Know the costs of selling a home
Costs go beyond commission and other professional fees. Come closing, expect to shoulder the following expenses: transfer taxes, escrow fees, and HOA fees. What you need to pay for, however, will be ultimately decided in the negotiation table and must be recorded in the purchase agreement.
- Make the deal more attractive
A way to entice buyers and help sell your Minneapolis, MN house fast is to add financial incentives. Covering some, if not all, of the closing costs can help sweeten the deal. You can also agree to the buyer’s preferred move-in date or leave some of your furniture or appliances behind.
- Don’t let your emotions affect the sale
With all the great memories made in your home, it’s hard not to get emotional about letting it go. But being too emotional can hinder the sale. It can lead you to believe that the home is worth way more than it is as well as cause you to turn down good buyers. That’s why it’s better to be emotionally prepared and start thinking of your home as a product instead.
Work with a Minnesota real estate expert
Earn top dollar for your Minnesota property with Scott Haubrich and his outstanding team of real estate agents. Specializing in the Twin Cities, Scott offers a full-service approach to all real estate clients, informed by 25+ years of real estate experience and local knowledge only a Minnesota native knows. Sell your Minneapolis or St. Paul, MN house fast with Scott Haubrich and the BuyRentSell team. Get in touch at 612.298.5400 or send a message here.