Buyers, what will it take to edge out the competition in our market? I have five tips for you to consider that will help significantly.



The Minneapolis-St. Paul housing market is as tight as ever, with several buyers vying per listing. Note to sellers: You still can’t price your house 20% over market and expect to sell it—buyers are motivated, but they’re not dumb. Here are five things to consider when purchasing a new home: 


Be flexible on your search. Let’s say you need a 5-bedroom home. Why don’t we set you up for a 4-plus bedroom home so that if something ideal pops up, great, but if not, we can get creative; maybe a home has four bedrooms plus a den, or an office, or a bonus room that you could convert into a bedroom. We can also take this flexible approach for bathrooms, garages, or any other amenity. Supplement your MLS properties with social media searches, pre-listed homes, and bank-owned homes. 


Get an inspection. Don’t leave this out of your offer. With 99% of buyers asking for one, sellers should know this is coming—in fact, it helps them with liability. Many homes look phenomenal, but once the curtain is pulled back, plenty of functional issues reveal themselves. A typical inspection can run anywhere from $450 to $500, but it’s money well spent. 


Consider title insurance. This ensures that the seller actually owns the home and can legally convey it over to you. It also takes care of things like past due taxes, property line disputes, etc. 


Make sure the contract is written so that the seller takes care of any past due taxes, assessments, lingering liens, or liabilities. Also, while you’re at it, make sure you get a homestead tax rate. In the state of Minnesota, there’s a homestead tax rate and a non-homestead tax rate; don’t pay more than necessary. 


Get approved for a mortgage now. So many buyers drag their feet on this. It’s never a good idea to wait until you find the ideal home to get pre-approved by a lender, and that’s because so many buyers are already approved and ready to go. The seller won’t even consider your offer if you can’t show them you’re pre-approved. Once a loan officer can run the numbers and figure out your budget, you’ll know exactly what your monthly payment will be and how much you’ll have to put down. 


I have resources available for you and ways to connect you with trusted lenders in our area, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Remember: Don’t lose sight of the main goal of getting you and your family into a home that you love. Choose your battles wisely, because you’ll be enjoying your new home for years to come. 


If you have additional questions about the information covered in today’s message, feel free to call or email me. I would love to speak with you.