According to the Multiple Listings Service, the 27 homes sold in Chisago County since April 1, 2019, have sold for .27% over the asking price, but that does not take into effect the seller’s contribution to the buyer’s closing costs, which can be as high as 3% of the sale price. Nine of the 27 sales were sold above the asking price with the buyer’s closing costs added on top of the asking price. There were 3 others that sold at or below the asking price with seller paid closing costs. The average days on market for the homes listed and sold in April was 13 days.

The real estate market is moving at a rapid pace and once again, multiple offers are a common occurrence on new listings. Sellers love them and buyers hate them. Last weekend I showed a couple a house that had been on the market less than 24 hours, and we found 3 other agents and their buyers looking at the house at the same time. 

Sellers are competing with other sellers to have the best value in their price range, and buyers are competing with other buyers to submit the strongest offers. The best buyer is usually a cash buyer, followed by a 20% down conventional buyer. Both of these buyers can usually afford to pay their own closing costs. We also have buyers that have money for their down payment, which can be as low as 3.5% for FHA, 0% for DVA, and 0% for grant or assistance programs, but they don’t have another 3% of the purchase price to cover their own closing costs, so it needs to be wrapped into the purchase price. In order for these buyers to compete, their offer is over the asking price.

Sellers often don’t like the idea of paying the buyer’s closing costs because they have their own to pay, which is why they are added on top of the price to get the proceeds the seller is looking for.

In a competitive market, where homes are selling over list price, we often see appraisal problems. The buyer’s lender requires the property to appraise at or above the purchase price and if it doesn’t, the buyer may not qualify for the loan, even though they were pre-approved. If the appraisal comes in low the seller may have to drop the price to keep the deal together or cancel the purchase agreement and look for a new buyer. 

If you are planning to sell, now is the time get your home on the market. An experienced agent can help you determine your asking price and help you negotiate the best offer.

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 All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.