mn: Exactly 12 Things Agents Must Never Do In a Real Estate Transaction - 08/28/18 07:07 AM
Over the years, I’ve made some blunders and eventually learned that a closed mouth gathers no foot. Instead, think like a cop. If you watch with two eyes, listen with 2 ears, and speak with only one mouth you will make some amazing discoveries. Here’s a few nuggets that I found that don’t work:
Argue with the parents of a first-time buyer. You’ve already lost. You might know more than they do, but the buyer loves them. Hang onto a client you can’t stand. It sucks the life out of you, and it’s worse for them. Stick to your opinion when … (5 comments)

mn: The Kardashian Market/Your House is Not an ATM - 08/27/18 09:55 AM
A real estate coach once said to me, “The real estate market can go up and down, but stocks and bonds can disappear. The land is always there, that’s why they call it real.”
Residential real estate is owned by millions of average Americans. For many, it is their biggest investment. Everyone wants to know that the value of their home appreciates and that they have the lowest interest rate possible. Values have increased steadily for the last 60 months. Your mortgage is a tool that allows you to borrow at today’s price against tomorrow’s value.
Rates have been historically low since the … (0 comments)

mn: A Place For Fred. - 04/09/18 10:55 AM
Danielle woke up one eye at a time. It’s a dreary winter morning, still dark out with snow drifting down. Her bed was a rumbled pile of blankets, she stretched her back with her eyes still closed. Next to her Fred cuddled up, he turned to poke her face with his cold nose. His gesture said, “I gotta go. Let’s walk. Now. Ok?”  He wiggled his tail and his eyes lighted up as she grabbed her running shoes and winter jacket.
Dogs outnumber children in apartments. 70% of apartment dwellers own pets, but where do they roll on the grass, catch a … (4 comments)

mn: Rags to Riches Rehab in NE Minneapolis - 03/22/18 07:37 AM
There are all kinds of rehabbers. Some are flippers who throw on a coat of paint, carpeting, a slice of granite, and new appliances calling it a remodel. What you left with is the original windows spray painted shut, 30 year old furnaces, and a partially new kitchen. I’ve had to drag buyers seduced by a coat of paint, sparkly granite, and cute staging totally missing the actual condition of the house. I don’t care that someone else bought the house in multiple offers because I won’t get the call on a February night saying that the furnace just died. 
A better … (3 comments)

mn: How Many Houses Do You Need to See? - 03/01/18 09:34 AM
First time buyers are used to scrolling through hundreds of options on Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. Some think that they need to see every home on the market to make a decision. They form a wish list from houses online, and by visiting a few open houses. There is a better way.
Searching for homes has gotten easier, but still requires a little due diligence. In the late 1990s, buyers were sure that they knew everything about a house from a 1” square photo online. After seeing a few homes in person, they quickly discovered that one small photo didn’t tell them … (7 comments)

mn: 22 Things That I Learned in 22 Years Selling Real Estate - 02/22/18 10:26 AM
Between 1996 when I first started selling real estate, and today, the world has changed a lot. Technology has made us more capable, faster and smarter. My job description is the same, it's how we practice the craft that it is different. What doesn’t change is that real estate is a people business. Like an insurance ad that claims to have seen a thing or two, I’ve learned a thing or two.
Stocks and bonds can disappear, real estate goes up-and-down, but it's always there. That’s why they call it R E A L estate. It is always about the client … (54 comments)

mn: Is It Really a Seller’s Market? - 02/21/18 07:32 AM
There were 235 new listings on the market in the Northstar MLS, Feb. 19. Total single family listings throughout the Twin Cities is over 5000, so 235 might not sound like a lot for one day. There is snow on the ground, and we’re still shoveling out, but we’re in a spring market.
During the fall I watched as new listings came on, and sold in a heartbeat. Because we have a shortage of listings we assume that everything sells in multiple offers, and within hours. We prepare buyers to write strong offers and counsel them that they might have to write … (1 comments)

mn: When to Just Say NO - 02/09/18 08:03 AM
Did you ever hear your mouth moving without your brain being present? Someone just asked for a totally unreasonable request and you are there nodding your head, while your brain screams, “What the Hell, I told you not to do that again!”
It’s too late, we’ve already committed, and we know we are going to hate doing that thing. Women are more culpable of giving in because we try to please. It’s in our DNA and controls the tongue. A sales coach explained the difference between men and women in selling. Men say, “Here’s the thing. The thing costs $xxxx. Are you … (9 comments)

mn: Is Flipping Dead? - 02/06/18 07:58 AM
The Great Recession was a candy store for investors. Flipping gurus packed convention halls with people convinced that they can make a fortune using their system that cost upwards of $10,000. There were tremendous opportunities for those who had faith that the market would rebound. Fast forward from 2008 to 2018, the market did come back.
As a real estate coach once told me, “Stocks and bonds can spike or disappear. Real estate can go up and down, but it’s always there. That’s why they call it real.”
Housing inventory right now is very tight, there is a shortage of traditional sales, even … (5 comments)

mn: Minneapolis Winter Real Estate Forecast - 01/24/18 09:12 AM
Its cold outside, but the real estate market is still hot. Not all the numbers are in for an end of year report, but we have through the end of November showing indicators. Listings in Lynhurst were down year over year 13%. Last year were at a 30 year low, we’re now lower yet. Sales have to be lower if there was less to sell, down 7.4%. The average sale price is up from $282,829 to $302,517, a whopping 7% increase!!
One thing data never addresses is WHY? Other neighborhoods experienced strong gains in price in 2018, overall pricing was up 6.5%, … (3 comments)

mn: Where is There Affordable New Construction in Minneapolis??? - 01/17/18 08:20 AM
First, let’s define affordable. Housing affordability means that an index of 120 means the median household income was 120% of what is needed to qualify for the median-priced home. The higher number, the more affordable. The average price for 2017 was $271,900, with an index of 170. Translated, $271,900 is a comfortable purchase for average incomes.
It seems impossible, but yes, there is new construction in Minneapolis under $330,000. Your first thought is that it might be shoddy, or in the middle of gangland. Not so.   Here’s what’s happening;      the City of Minneapolis designated 100 lots for Green Homes North Project … (4 comments)

mn: 6 Hacks to Make Home Buying Painless - 01/16/18 09:53 AM
You want your own home, don’t know where to start or who to trust. There is so much information online that it’s overwhelming. It seems daunting, even frightening. Here are 6 practical hacks to make to make you a smart buyer, and the journey a breeze.
 
Get EducatedI’m not talking about college, it’s about knowing the process. Schools don’t teach it, but it’s important for you to understand financing, contracts, rights and responsibilities. The more you know, the better decisions you make. You’ll want an objective overview. Minnesota Homeownership Center (http://www.hocmn.org/buyingahome/homebuyer-education/) offers in person classes for which they give you a certificate. … (4 comments)

mn: Are You a Clutter Junkie? - 01/16/18 08:24 AM
The hardest part about moving isn’t the furniture. Those are big chunks. It is almost always a shock as to the amount of clutter, and unused ‘stuff’ we accumulate. “Where did I get all of this?” And then, “What do I do with it, how do I get rid of it?” It crept in piece by piece, sale by sale.
A few years back I worked through two years with an 88 year old widow. She wanted to move, but the garage was stacked with her deceased husband’s tools. Her daughter and sister sold it all. “Well, there is still all that … (9 comments)

mn: A New Year is Not a New You - 01/04/18 07:57 AM
We hear the refrain gazillions of times every New Year until it is wallpaper. “Start the year with a clean slate.”  “A New Year, a New You.”  “Who do you want to be this year?”
Really, I want to be Warren Buffett but somebody already took that DNA. Do we all wake up as a different person on January 1 of any given year? Do we really want to be someone else? Or, do we wake up to ourselves, with hopes and dreams that the New Year will transform us?
We’re all encouraged to write up our goals, vision boards, and daily accountability … (28 comments)

mn: Total Rehab in NE Minneapolis/It Gets Worse Before it Gets Better - 12/08/17 10:31 AM
Surprise is usually a bad word in real estate. Before any investor buys a home, they do a thorough inspection to plan the project and estimate expenses. The budget will have a little wiggle room for surprises that no one anticipates. 
The first phase depends on the time of year. In Minnesota, the weather is a major consideration. Winter comes every year, we just never know when. Exterior work needs to be done when weather permits, 50 degrees or above. The 6th St house that closed in early October rushed to have the stucco painted and window wells dug before the first … (4 comments)

mn: Total Rehab in NE Minneapolis - 11/16/17 09:26 AM
The word REMODELED can mean many things. Some investors slap on a coat of paint and add some new appliances. Very few will take a property down to the studs, replace all utilities, and reconfigure the floor plan. I’d like to tell you the story of how it really happens, not the HGTV version that wraps it all up in 20 minutes after a quick trip to Ikea.
A few weeks ago I sold a 1904 one and a half story in NE Minneapolis for a family who owned it since WWII, over 70 years. The owner was ill, and couldn’t take … (2 comments)

mn: HERS and Yours - 11/09/17 07:08 AM
When you walk into a new home, you’ll fall in love with the design, the decor, the open floor plan and giant windows. You won’t immediately fall in love with Energy Ratings, NFRC, BTUs, or engineered materials. But without those, you would be buying grandma’s house.
The Jetson’s are back. The Jetson’s debuted as the first color program on ABC in 1962. Their world was filled with robots, holograms, and exotic inventions that they imagined for 2062. Many of those imaginings were precursors to the smart homes and appliances we have this minute. You are buying is a beautifully designed home … (1 comments)

mn: Financing a New Construction Home - 11/03/17 08:01 AM
How are you going to pay for this baby?
New construction is different than buying a traditional home. Before you get too excited shopping for a home you want interview a lender. You might not know that you have options, or how far your hard earned dollars go.
If you go through a national builder who has a preferred lender and title company, they’ll urge you to use that lender, and include some perks. With a new construction loan you give the builder an initial down payment towards construction when you sign contracts, and another one or two payments that total about 20% … (1 comments)

mn: What could Possibly Go Wrong in New Construction? - 10/31/17 08:23 AM
Bumps can happen.
 
Anyone planning home is expecting their dream house to be perfect. They imagine that everything happens just like HGTV without the pauses for commercial breaks. What could possibly go wrong?
 
The truth is a number of things could go off the rails. I'm writing this series precisely because I represented three clients, each of whom had different problems with their new homes. Builders hire subcontractors, some are better than others. A shortage of materials, bad weather, or scheduling labor can affect the timeline. Building a home takes a village, the builder has to make sure that all the villagers are … (0 comments)

mn: Being Totally Transparent - 10/26/17 07:26 AM
A window to the world of the miracle of new windows.
I have an older home, a Tudor built in 1941. It needs new windows. When the thermostat says 72 degrees, it feels like 65. I’m cold all winter long, and wear layers of sweaters. For a long time I thought it was charming, true to the architectural detail until I got a notice from Centerpoint Energy illustrating the fact that I was using 40% more energy than my neighbors.
First I thought, “How is that possible? I keep it cool.” Not so much, it keeps itself cool.
While visiting a new construction home, … (3 comments)