• General
  • Don’t believe everything you see


    People must be gullible. I am seeing still slide shows on the interenet that have audio with them where people are talking. I don’t know if it is the people who are pictured who are talking or if it is someone else but I am supposed to believe that it is a secret video of people doing something wrong.

    Yesterday I saw a bar chart that was supposed to prove that the “media” universally favors one presidential candidate over another. My interpretation of the numbers was that the media is covering the topic that will result in the most sensational headlines. There are also leaked emails that don’t mean much to me but I guess they are important. What bothers the most is  that the email was stolen and published and is being used as a weapon. That seems so wrong.

    There are some who say the fact checking sites are biased. I don’t think that is true. If you see something on the internet it might be a good idea to fact check it before re-tweeting or posting on Facebook.  It is fairly easy to spread lies and half truths. It is as irresponsible as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater to suggest that the election will be rigged.

    The election cycle is wearing on a lot of us out. We just want it to be over. If you live in St. Paul you can go vote today at 90 Plato Blvd. Once you have voted ask you friends and family members to do the same. This election is very important and everyone who is eligible should vote.

  • General
  • The water off time of year

    Irvine Park Fountain

    The fountain in Irvine park has been turned off for the season but they will fire it up again in the spring.

    Heating season officially begins this Saturday, October 15th. . If that hasn’t happened already it will happen soon.

    If you have a home with an outdoor spigot you might what to turn off the water to it this weekend. Disconnect the hose, turn off the water from the inside of your home and then go outside and open the spigot.

    I usually turn our water off the first week in November. Usually a hard frost or two will not do any damage to the spigot or faucet.


  • General
  • Wealth Distribution in the U.S.


    We live in a country where the top 1% controls over 35% of the wealth and the government too but no one really cares because people just figure if they work hard enough they will be in the upper 1% too. I am sure it can happen to me. I just need to work harder. 🙂

    The chart was taken from an article by Pew Research [5 facts about income inequality] If we look at some actual numbers income looks like this:

    Top 1%: $380,354

    Top 5%: $159,619

    Top 10%: $113,799

    Top 25%: $67,280

    Top 50%: >$33,048

    The economic recovery has not been equal across the board. The wealthiest Americans have made the greatest gains. The data is from 2010.

    I always find the chart shocking. I am reposting it because of the mention of trickle down economics in the recent presidential debate.

  • General
  • Do you understand dual agency?


    In some states dual agency isn’t allowed. It is allowed in Minnesota as long as both parties are informed and they give their consent. Dual agency happens when the same agent represents the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. It also happens when both buyer and seller are represented by the same broker.

    In Minnesota we have a law that says as a real estate license I have to explain dual agency and give potential clients a Minnesota disclosure document called “Agency Relationships in Real Estate Transactions” here is a copy: agency disclosure .

    Yet agency is misunderstood. If you list your house with a real estate agent and that agent brings in an offer from a buyer that she is representing you now have dual agency which means that agent can not represent the buyer or the seller but instead becomes a facilitator. The agent facilitates the sale and can not do anything to the advantage of one party and the detriment of another.

    What most home sellers and buyers do not understand is the way the word broker is used in the disclosure. If an agent from real estate company A lists a home and another agent from real estate company A brings in the buyer there is dual agency because they have the same broker.  All agents work under a broker and most people have no idea what a broker does or who that person is.

    There are a couple of large real estate companies in the area that have one broker for a few thousand agents. When they list your home they will tell you all about the networking and how they will market your home to other agents. What they don’t tell you is that if one of those agents brings in a buyer those agents go from being able to advocate for their clients to being facilitators.

    The rules are broken often as agents from two offices of the same real estate company under the same broker both advocate for their clients.

    Home buyers need to be aware when they go into an open house or new construction the nice agent who is showing them around is representing the seller and anything they say can be to their detriment later on. Buyers should choose an agent to work with who will work for them as an advocate and not just a facilitator.

    Many consider dual agency to be unethical and in some states it is not allowed.

    Related articles about dual agency Agency and dual agencyAgency in real estateAgency and the open houseAgency? What is agency?What consumers should know about agency