Happy Earth day

Lake Superior
Lake Superior – artists point

This is one of my favorite places on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais Minnesota. It kind of puts me in an earth day mood.

Celebrate earth day every day by drinking tap water instead of bottled water. Tap water costs 2000% less and the water that comes from the tap is often safer than what comes in the bottle. A gallon of bottled water costs about $9.00. Set that money aside to be used for a downpayment on a house. 🙂

Buy yourself a bottle. If you don’t like the taste of tap water buy a filter. Turn on the faucet, fill up your bottle and take it with you. Rinse and repeat as often as necessary.

If you must drink bottled water and other beverages in plastic containers consider bringing the containers home from the parks and recycling them rather than throwing them in the woods.

Green bikes and snow

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Last Friday I mentioned that the Nice Ride bikes had not made their April debut. They must have been put out shortly before last weekends epic snow storm. It will be awhile yet before anyone can take one out for a spin.

Nice Ride and Grand and West 7th street

Spring is on the way and we should see some spring-like weather this weekend. The snow may be gone by early next week. Enjoy it while you can.

Sellers disclosures and you

bungalowMinnesota sellers are required to fill out a seller’s disclosure or non-disclosure. The seller’s disclosure form is fairly long and detailed. Sellers are asked about leaky basements, roofs, walls and more.

I usually give sellers the disclosure form a few weeks before I list a home because for some filling out the form is overwhelming. it is alright to answer a question with “unknown” or if it is a matter of not understanding a question a real estate agent or Google can sometimes help.

The whole idea behind the disclosure is for the homeowner to disclose everything they know about the property that might be a problem for future owners.

Sometimes sellers forget things they know about the property because they have lived in the home for decades. It is also possible to live in a house for a long time and to not be aware of a defect, like a collapsed sewer line or a water heater that doesn’t vent properly.

Often owners of rental properties use a non-disclosure which states that they did not live on the property and do not know anything about it.

As a Realtor® I am required to disclose what I know about a property. If I know that the roof is leaking I have to disclose it. I recently wrote an offer on a house that had mold in the basement and some serious foundation problems. Both the seller and the seller’s agent knew about the issues but did not disclose that information.

Problems arise when sellers fail to disclose something important that the home buyer believes they should have known about. In other words, sometimes people try to hide defects which is why it is so important to have a complete home inspection. Most home sellers are honest and most realize that by hiding defects they could end up in court.

Everything works in a seller’s market

chandelier
light fixture

There are a lot of companies that want to sell products, services, and advice to real estate agents. We are in a strong seller’s market which means a lot of the advice on how to sell a home quickly for a lot of money works. Products and services designed to help homes sell faster and for more money are working well too.

The basics of selling a housework well too:

  1. Clean it up.
  2. Paint – as needed
  3. Repair
  4. declutter/stage
  5. Use professional quality photography.
  6. Price it correctly.

Advertising isn’t as essential as it once was but it does help attract a larger pool of buyers. For many of us selling a home is fairly easy. Getting the job done correctly and legally is still the hard part.

There are some challenges in selling a house. Getting through the inspection phase and getting it to close can be challenging. There are still risks to home owner’s who do not disclose information about their home.

There are still overpriced houses on the market that no one is making offers on. There are even a few that are unfit for use as dwellings without major repairs.

Sometimes homeowners and their agents believe that in a seller’s market they don’t need to disclose. That assumption would be wrong and could be costly.

Epic, historic April snow storm

Snow in April isn’t unusual but a snowstorm that lasts a couple of days and dumps more than a foot of snow on the Twin Cities is unusual. Most of us spent yesterday shoveling out and it snowed all day. There is more snow on the way this week too, another few inches on Wednesday.

Total of 14.9 inches measured at the MSP airport and 18 inches of snow fell in St. Paul.

Clearing the steps April 15th
Saturday afternoon April 14th
Saturday afternoon April 14th