Why it Pays to Hire a REALTOR

Hiring a REALTOR instead of doing it yourself can save you stress and time.

It may seem that homes are selling really fast in your neighborhood these days. So fast, in fact, that you are tempted to just stick a “FOR SALE” sign in your yard and handle the selling of your home yourself. Before you go ahead and do that, consider why it pays to hire a REALTOR vs doing it yourself. You just might be surprised how much time and work it takes to sell a home.

Education and Experience

Real estate agents have the background necessary to price, market and sell your home in a timely fashion. If they are part of the National Association of REALTORS , they also have extra education to meet the association’s high standards and code of ethics. This education and training means you have a highly skilled professional working on your behalf to get your house sold.Hire a Realtor vs doing it yourself

Market Pros

Not only do REALTORS understand the current market climate, they also understand the nuances from one neighborhood to the next and how that might affect price, competition and time on the market.


Agents know people who know people…who might be in the market for a house just like yours. They also have access to new house listings days before they hit the MLS. Those precious days can mean a jump start in finding or selling a home.Read More »

Benefits of Hiring a Moving Company

Hiring a moving company can save you a lot of hassle.

Your house is sold and plans are falling into place for the move to your new home. But what is the best plan for your move? If you’re moving from a dorm room back home, that is simple. Pack it into the back of a truck and drive yourself. Or if you’re moving out of your parent’s basement to your first apartment, you might be able to get away with buying pizza and beer for your friends to help. But if you’re moving your family of five from one home to another that is across town or across the country, you may want to consider hiring a moving company. What are the benefits of hiring a moving company?Hire a Moving Company

When deciding whether or not to hire a moving company, first consider what it would take to do it yourself: your time, proper packing materials (boxes, tape, packing peanuts or bubble wrap), at least one truck, gas $ and plans for childcare and pet-care while you work your tail off.   Can you manage all that? Do you want to do all that?

Or for a modest investment, you can instead hire out the move and have a very different experience. Hiring a moving company has the following benefits:

Time: Selling a home and moving takes over your life – do you have the time to spend wrapping and packing every last knick-knack in your home? Every framed photo, every pot and pan, toy and candle and book? It’s possible, but it requires an enormous amount of time. Hiring a moving company will save you tons of time and free you up to work on other important details involved with a move, like registering for new schools, requesting address changes and finding new doctors and orthodontists.Read More »

In Love with Two Houses?

You have to choose between two great homes. Now what?

After weeks of searching, you’ve fallen in love with that perfect house. But you’re not feeling at all settled. What’s wrong with finding the perfect house? Nothing, unless you’ve actually found 2 perfect houses. Maybe you love the houses equally or you and your spouse each love a different house. Now what do you do? Here are some things to consider when having to choose between 2 houses you love.Two Homes

Emotions Out:

The first rule of thumb it to keep emotions out of the equation – you need to approach this rationally! Many people resort to the good old’ pros and cons list. It’s a concrete list and usually one house will prevail as the ‘better’ house to buy. The list should start with your budget and your ‘must haves’ for the home. If there is no clear winner, dig a little deeper and include…

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Overview of the New Minnesota Radon Awareness Act – Part 2

Your Duties as a Real Estate Licensee
By Jim Luger Residential Leasing Module MN Association of REALTORS

Note: Last month in Part 1, I covered the basic disclosure requirements of the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act. This month, I’ll discuss your duties as a real estate licensee, when  radon disclosures are required—and not required—and the liabilities for failing to properly disclose.

You are your sellers’ advisor
The law requires sellers to make these disclosures and documents, but as their listing agent, you should direct them to the required disclosure text and the MDH publication, entitled “Radon in Real Estate Transactions.” (NOTE: This publication will be available from the Minnesota Department of Health on or before January 1, 1014.)Read More »

New Minnesota Radon Awareness Act

Overview of the New Minnesota Radon Awareness Act by Jim Luger REALTOR

If you sell or transfer single-family residential real estate in Minnesota on—or any time after—January 1, 2014, then you and your buyer and seller clients will need to understand and comply with the new Minnesota Radon Awareness Act.

Note: This month I will cover the basic disclosure requirements of the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act. Next month in Part 2, I’ll discuss your duties as a real estate licensee, when a radon disclosure is required—and not required—and the liabilities for failing to properly disclose.

I appreciate the generous assistance and support from the staff of the Indoor Air Unit of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in writing this two-part series of article.

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Security for your Open House

How to keep your belongings safe during an open house.

open house safety tipsDuring an open house, your property and possessions are on display for strangers to assess. Most viewers will be there to envision what their own lives could be like in this house you call home. The fact is, opening your home to the public can be a little scary. Keep your valuables safe during an open house by following these tips.Read More »

Foods to Serve at an Open House

Foods for a successful open house showing.

Chocolate Chip CookiesBuyers looking for their dream home want to be able to envision their future life in the abode. When selling your home, that means offering certain amenities that will enhance that vision. Spruce up the curb appeal, hide the clutter, and offer some snacks during the open house. Your culinary talents won’t be the tipping point that wins a buyer over, but it can attract more buyers and real estate agents to view the home. House hunters will linger longer, exploring your home when they have the chance to fill up on food.Read More »

Make Money Off Your Home

How to leverage your home’s value.

Make the most of your home's value.Your house and yard represent your single largest asset, yet aside from appreciation, you’ve likely never made a dime off of it. Your home is a financial tool with value you can leverage. Make your home work for you. Avoid these common real estate money mistakes.Read More »

Living in Limbo: What to do Between Houses

Tips on how to live between selling and buying a home.

Every home buyer and seller would love a seamless transition from the old home to the new one.
Every home buyer and seller would love a seamless transition from the old home to the new one.

Minnesota housing inventory is at a record low, meaning houses are selling quickly as buyers struggle to compete for homes. Sellers are continuing to discover it takes less time than anticipated to sell their home. The average number of days between when a property is listed and when an offer is accepted is 96 days.  This is a 12.7 percent decrease from March 2012 to March 2013. Sellers are satisfied, but are being left in an awkward stage of homelessness as finding their new home becomes a struggle. How do you live if you have to move out before you can move in? The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® provides some options to continue living your life despite being left in limbo.Read More »

Best Time to Host an Open House

Save time by offering minimal open houses at opportune times.
Save time by offering minimal open houses at opportune times.

Weekends present opportune times to host open house.

REALTORS, sellers, and buyers are equally stressed for time. It is important to host an open house during times that are optimally effective and efficient.

The open house is not to be discounted as a home selling tactic. Older buyers, 65 years and older, are more likely to find their home through an open house than other age groups. As age increases the likelihood of using open houses as a search tool increases—45 percent of buyers aged 45 to 64 used open houses, compared to only 28 percent of buyers aged 18 to 24. Appeal to these buyers by presenting opportunities timed for their schedules.Read More »