Real Estate Q & A 

Zachary Adams is a residential real estate expert with 100s of transaction in the west metro of Minneapolis.  In Ask a Pro he responds to email questions on all things residential real estate related. 

To submit a question for Ask a Pro click here

This Month:

  • 2017 Housing Shortage
  • Spring 2017 Real Estate Rush
  • Buy or Sell: Which Should I do First? 

I’ve heard about the Twin Cities housing shortage. How will this impact the west metro? -- Cole in Minnetonka

The New Year is off to a busy start already, fueled by demographic changes, interest rate fears and the continuing low inventory trend you mention. 

Here in the west metro we are seeing the biggest shortage among properties priced in the $300k - $500k range.  While homes are available at that price point, some competitively priced homes are seeing multiple offers shortly after listing. 

This means buyers focused here need three things.  First a strong understanding of the market.  Secondly the ability to apply that understanding to recognize a deal and finally the readiness to act.

Staying nimble and focused is key, but a mortgage pre-approval and willingness to be flexibility with your offer terms can also help.  Keeping these things in mind can help you land even the most coveted new listing.   Just be sure to make any offer contingent on an inspection.


We are hoping to list our home in the spring and have several projects to complete.  If I want to maximize my sale price, I think it's best to list during the spring real estate rush.  When does that begin?  -- Teresa J., Eden Prairie

First off, congratulations on putting in some time and effort to prepare your home for sale.  With a little money and the right focus, you can seriously impact your bottom line.

As to the spring rush, how about now for a start time?  It seems every year the spring rush starts a little earlier and lasts a little longer.

Typically in past years it has spanned from mid-March through June with listings peaking sometime in May.  However this year we saw a very active February and have begun an even busier March, so speculation is that it is only going up from here.  Certainly things will get busier, but the time to act is now as there is much pent up demand in need of inventory.  This is particularly true in the $300k - $500k segment referenced above.

I’d advise that you complete your crucial projects, spend some time thinking about pricing and staging, and get your home listed. 


I need to both find a new home and sell my existing.  I’m not interested in carrying two mortgages and am concerned about timing.  Which should I do first?  -- Abi, Plymouth

While you’d love to work on both simultaneously and have your dates magically line up, you are right that it is not always possible.  Determining the correct order and best approach is a question with many variables.  These include your specific search goals, financial position, search area and others. 

Since you didn’t share specifics, I’ll stick with a good rule of thumb.  To help manage risk it is generally best to determine which side of the transaction will be the bigger challenge and tackle that first.   Again, there are many factors, but in a low inventory environment like we are seeing, the challenging part will likely be finding a new home.  If you plan, prep and competitively price your existing, it should be easier to sell.  

 The only way to know for sure is to sit down with a reputable agent for a valuation of your existing home and to build a wish list for your new home.  This information will help determine which decision is right for you.  


Our quarterly buying guide and selling guide offer additional info about current trends and best practices that can help your 2017 home search.  

For a more customized approach, a no obligation consultation is fast and free.  We can provide a valuation of your existing home and help you build and execute a custom search.  Please give us a call at 612.656.9647 to get started.