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What buyers need to know about the Southeastern Minnesota real estate market

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ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Southeast Minnesota Realtors group evaluated 2021 data and just released its annual report on the Southeastern Minnesota housing market.

The market is highly competitive and it's common for a home to receive multiple offers very quickly. It's been a strong seller's market since 2020 and that isn't expected to change in 2022.

One large factor is the low number of homes for sale at any given time in the area.

Whether you're buying or selling, SEMR strong recommends working with an agent. "Having a professional behind you doing the heavy work is very, very important. It's either going to net you more money when selling or it's going to get you a better price on a home or if you're in a competitive situation, that agent that you're working with is going to help position you in a way that is more competitive," explains board president Adam Howell.

Because of the low inventory of homes, Howell recommends that buyers open their minds when looking for homes. He sees some home sit on the market for 20 or so days that could be an opportunity for buyers if they're willing to shift their mindsets. They may be able to find a house more quickly, have more options, or even save money if they are open to a home that needs some improvements.

"This conceivably could be an opportunity for those buyers out there that have been in those competitive situations, they've lost out on a house, and maybe they just haven't opened up their minds to the possibility that hey, here's a house, yeah sure it doesn't have brand new carpet in it, it doesn't have stainless steel appliances or brand new countertops, but this is something we could do once we move into it. that could be a great opportunity sitting there for this buyer," he explains.

As Rochester grows, a lot of people are coming to the city for jobs but looking for homes in outside communities. This then also drives up prices in those towns. 

The median price of a home in Rochester in 2021 was $290,000. Many surrounding communities have similar median prices, such as Zumbrota at $272,000; La Crescent at $284,000; and Kasson at $277,950. A few are even higher: Pine Island at $297,000; Byron at $335,000; and Oronoco at $440,000. However, a few communities have considerably lower median prices, such as Preston at $170,000; Spring Valley at $158,700; Austin at $150,000; and Albert Lea at $139,900. Because of this, the realtors KIMT spoke with say finding a home in a certain community comes down to preference.

Some pandemic-era real estate practices are sticking around. During the height of the pandemic, many realtors began using technology to communicate with buyers and give virtual walk-throughs. Many of these tools remain an option when home-buying.

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