It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Social media experts are suggesting that as a business owner I need to be on Snapchat. They suggest it is mandatory if I want to “market”. I have to say even after reading that Snapchat is now the number one social network for teens I am not even tempted. Yes I have a Snapchat account but that isn’t the same as using it.
If you are an adult who is in need of real estate services you will easily find me on several popular social networks and Google can find me with the greatest of ease. I’ll be happy to work with you and hope you will accept the fact that we won’t be snapchatting at each other. For those who don’t use the internet much I also have a phone and I accept both voice calls and text messages. If you are a teenager looking for a real estate agent ask your parents to help you.
General Real Estate News
The city of Saint Paul Has 27 vacant lots for sale. Fill out and application by May 20th 2016 and you too could become a land owner. In the real estate business we call it buying dirt.
How to make a lot vacant
Here is how it works:
Individuals and businesses have the opportunity to submit an application to purchase the vacant lots, and will be considered and accepted according to four priorities:
1. Sale for construction of commercial or residential structures that create
jobs or housing opportunity and increase Saint Paul’s tax base.
2. Neighborhood uses that provide a public benefit, such as community gardens,
pocket parks, public plazas, public art installations, or others.
3. Sale as a vacant lot to adjacent property owners.
4. Sale for the purpose of land banking.
Note: Commercial uses are not currently being considered.
Learn more on the city web site
All too often these lots are sold to adjacent neighbors who incorporate them into their existing property which is kind of a shame because living in the city isn’t about large lots, which is why suburbs were invented.
I don’t like the big gaping holes left by the housing market crash, and the great recession. I would like to see small rental units put on the lots. Tiny houses or housing pods. If we can build ginormous houses on little lots why can’t we build a few small affordable places to live on a little lot?
How to make a lot vacant
Our MLS (Multiple listing service) made some enhancements so we can upload more photos and higher resolution photos. The data and photos are fed to numerous web sites where home buyers are lurking and waiting for the perfect home to come on the market.
We are happy to announce three major new photo enhancements for NorthstarMLS!
We have increased the maximum number of photos per listing from 18 to 24.
We have increased the maximum photo resolution from 640×480 to 1024×768. Potential buyers will see your beautiful photos in more detail! Be sure to adjust your camera settings or inform your photographer.
Uploading a photo that’s not right-side up? Now you can quickly rotate it within Add/Edit with the click of a button.
Unfortunately local real estate agents will continue take some pretty lousy pictures and now there will be more of them and most won’t be upside down. Actually I am pretty excited about it. I know that high quality property photos result in higher offers on the homes for sale that are advertised on the internet. Savvy home sellers know that high quality photography will help their bottom line more than a cut rate commission or a bunch of open houses.
For Home buyers
It happens all the time. A home owner decides that they want to take a small tree, a bush or maybe a bunch of Hostas with them when they move out after selling their home.
Perennials run with the property which means if you sell your home under Minnesota law those trees, bushes and perennials are included in the sale. Sellers who want to remove some plants should put it in writing and make it part of the purchase agreement. I had one couple several years ago who got the buyers of their home to agree to let them come back and remove a small lilac bush.
Vegetable gardens or “crops” are another matter. Technically the people who planted the garden can come back and harvest the vegetables even if they no longer own the property.
For Home Sellers
It is still a little early for outdoor flower pots but by the beginning of May they will be everywhere. If you plan to put your home on the market one really inexpensive thing you can do it put up a hanging basket, planter or window box with flowers in front of the house. Make sure to keep them watered. A basket full of dead or wilting flowers makes the wrong kind of impression.
Attention real estate agents and brokers. Lets not forget that Continuing education or what we lovingly refer to as CEU’s are due by the end of June and some real estate companies require that agents get it done even sooner. This is our busiest time of year. We used to be on an honor system but now CEU is tracked electronically. I know agents who have had their license expire and brokers who have said it isn’t their responsibility . . . but it kind of is.
It is the brokers job to make sure that each licensee has a license and that the license is renewed and to have it renewed each agent needs at least 30 CEU credits and there are required modules.
As many agents have found out the hard way the required national code of ethics training does not count as part of Minnesota CEU.
Two years ago a local broker forgot to get their own license renewed and as a result all agents in that company became unlicensed. Agents please protect your self by checking your own credits through pulse portal and keep an eye on your broker too.
When an agent or brokers license expires he or she loses access and it is of course illegal to represent another for a fee in a real estate transaction without a real estate license unless you are an attorney.