We get to vote today

Don’t forget to vote in today’s primary. There are several important races. We will be voting for a new Governor, a


Senator to fill Al Franken’s seat and a new attorney general.

Minnesota Public Radio had an election guide for those who need to learn more before they vote.

Minnesota has had 43 Governors. Each one of them has been a man. Your vote could help make history . . . but you have to vote in November too, on November 6th which is just one day after my birthday.

Vote today. Find your polling place and go there.

Time to take advantage of back to school sales


There are a lot of “back to school” sales this time of year making it a great time to buy office supplies, computers, small electronics, bedding and other household items.

A couple of years ago I took advantage of the “college” section in one store and bought a toaster and a new crockpot. Both were on sale. August seems to be the best time for sales on items that might be used in a dorm room.

Microwave ovens, laundry baskets, bedding, towels and other items can be found discounted at back to school sales. Kind of like Christmas during the summer.

This year I bought a new laptop on sale $200 dollars off the original price. I am considering a new sheet feed scanner and looking for sales.

August and September the months that I buy all of my office supplies. My business is fairly paperless but I do use some office supplies and this is the time of year that I stock up for the whole year. I’ll buy paper, pens, notebooks, folders, glue, markers and art supplies.

My own offspring are beyond school age . . which means I have more money that I can use to buy school supplies to be donated to children who need them.

This summer is going way to fast.

City sidewalks what could possibly go wrong?

Bird Scooter

I walk a lot. At least three miles a day, often closer to five or more miles a day. Many of those miles are in the downtown St. Paul area. I can tell you the sidewalks in St. Paul are a challenge. There are a lot of cement heaves caused by tree roots and actual potholes in many locations. I have tripped more than once and gotten injured more than once.

People walk down the street in downtown St. Paul without ever taking their eyes off of their phones.  Usually, they are moving slow enough so that I can stay out of their way.

In the downtown area, there are places where it is impossible to ride a bike in the street so people ride the green Nice Ride bikes up on the sidewalk.

There are other obstacles too like entire restaurants on the sidewalk leaving a thin walking path right next to the pothole-filled street with no bike lane.

Crossing a street at an intersection is a challenge. I end up yelling and pounding on car hoods to get them to see me. I have been thinking about getting some kind of a flag I can wave.

Now there are electric scooters on the sidewalk. I am told that it isn’t safe to ride them in the streets downtown so they ride on the sidewalk. Apparently, the train tracks and potholes are just too much for them.

What could possibly go wrong with scooters on the same bumpy broken sidewalks where people dine, walk, look at their phones and ride bikes?

Walking can be a good source of exercise. We should be able to safely walk on city sidewalks. How walkable a neighborhood has an impact on property values.

What is a real estate broker?

I rarely introduce myself as a real estate broker. I usually say I am a real estate agent or a Realtor®. Most people do not know what a real estate broker is or does but they do understand what a real estate agent does.

Being a broker means that I have a brokers license which in Minnesota requires that I first have a real estate license for a few years and that I get additional training and pass a test. My license is also more expensive and costs more to renew.

Real estate agents need to work under a broker if they want to sell real estate. We say that a real estate licensee’s license is held by a broker. If the broker loses his or her license then the real estate agent is unlicensed until they find another broker.

There are real estate companies that just have a broker and no agents.

A license is not required to buy or sell real estate for yourself. A license is required to represent another for a fee when they are buying or selling real estate.

Some brokers sell real estate and others have are more like managers. Associate brokers have a brokers license but are not “The Broker”. Each real estate company must have one broker of record who is responsible for all of the transactions of his or her licensees.

In some of the bigger companies, there is one broker of record and each office has a manager who often has a broker license. The manager supervises the agents and checks the paperwork. In some offices, it is an unlicensed administrative person who checks all of the paperwork.

Even though real estate agents are independent contractors brokers are required to provide supervision which is really more like oversite. Every home buyer or seller who is being represented by a real estate agent is doing so through a broker.

When there is a problem with an agent some brokers are reluctant to confront the agent because it is the agents who bring in the money. The more agents a company has the more real estate they sell and the more money they make.

Some real estate companies are run owned by huge corporations. They spend a lot of time recruiting and training agents and giving them fancy offices so that the agent will work under their brand.

Being a broker and having my own company is a good job especially for those who do not mind paying for their own health insurance and never getting a paid vacation. There are a lot of risks involved but it is mostly worth it. I have some control over my hours and a lot of control over who I work with.

Also, see:

Counting Minnesota Realtors

The Truth about Real Estate Companies

How to get a Minnesota Real estate license

Real estate teams are not always what you think they are

Real estate is not quite like retail

lake superior
Lake Superior

Tomorrow is July 4th which is a national holiday.  Many people will be off work but not everyone. There will be no mail delivery and the banks will be closed.

Many real estate companies are closed for the day including Boardman Realty. People do buy houses on July 4th. If buyers and sellers are both available and have internet and or access to email access they can transact.

It gets complicated though. Sometimes a buyer has an offer but the seller cannot be reached. Maybe the seller can be reached but the seller’s agent cannot be reached.

If the buyer made an offer on July 3rd the seller may actually see it on the 4th but by then the buyer is off the grid.

All I can say is patience is needed. For everyone, July 4th is a national holiday. That means we really cannot count on everyone working. If real estate were more like a retail store it would all be more predictable.

I totally understand when real estate needs cannot wait until the 5th. Anyone who believes there is no such thing as a real estate emergency has never worked as an agent, broker or loan officer.

I’ll be around on the 4th and sometimes I answer my phone but I become unreliable on major national holidays and sometimes I get so involved in being with my family I forget where I left my phone.