• For Home buyers
  • Sellers want feedback

    sculptures in Landmark Plaza along St. Peter street

    Home sellers like to get feedback. They want to know what buyers are saying. Most sellers do not take buyer observations too seriously but some do. Sellers should always keep in mind that the buyers agent is representing the buyer and does not have any duties to the seller and some won’t give feedback at all.

    I generally won’t give an opinion on the price to another agents client. If I am representing buyers and I suggest a home is priced just right and those buyers make an offer that is less than the asking price I just weakened their negotiating position. I regard the buyers opinion about the price as confidential and usually leave the question blank on the feedback surveys I get after I show houses.

    There are some important questions sellers should ask their agents if they want to know how well their home is doing. They should ask what the average days on the market is for a homes like their in the same neighborhood that have been recently sold. They can also ask for the total number of showings they have had and what the average number of showings are before a home gets an offer.

    These days even over priced homes will get a lot of showings, especially on the weekends but they have an above average number of showings before they get an offer.

    The numbers in the screen print are for January in St. Paul:

    days on market and number of showings
    days on market and number of showings

    I like actual numbers and facts and figures.

  • Boardman Realty
  • Local agents have aversion to page numbers

    Screen print

    The pages are supposed to be numbered on purchase agreements and on the first page there is even a space to put the total number of pages. “Page 1 of_______”.  As a broker I don’t accept purchase agreements without page numbers but apparently other brokers do. Our purchase agreements have some pretty specific instructions on how to number the contract pages.

    The little things matter especially when creating legal documents like a purchase agreement.

    Happy Valentines day.

  • Downtown
  • A changing downtown

    The skyway to nowhere was torn down over the weekend.  The skyway once connected Dayton’s to the Wabasha court building which was demolished in 02. Sometimes progress is slow. The Dayton’s building, which was vacated by Marshall’s several years ago, will be converted into this parking, retail skating rink thing that I am not sure I understand but it sounds better than vacant with a skyway to know where connected to it downtown.

    West publishing demolition
    West publishing demolition

    The West publishing demolition has been slow and will forever change the river bluff and the views from the river. The demolition is supposed to be complete in the next few months. Work will continue to stabilize the bluff.

    I wonder what the bluff will look like ten years from now?

  • Boardman Realty
  • A time of vigilence


    None of us can see the future but we can pay attention to what is going on in the world and make some predictions.  I just found this on the Minnesota Home Ownership Center web site:

    “Recently we’ve seen consumers with:

    • dangerously designed Contracts-for-Deed;
    • loan products with Debt-To-Income Ratios of more than 55%;
    • buyers who have been asked to bring cash to closing to cover lender and agent ‘expenses.’ (Yes, actual cash, in an envelope, not included in any of the disclosure statements, if you’re wondering).”

    I have seen this before. People who are almost desperate to own a home are taken advantage of by unethical lenders and real estate agents.  All I can say is that if it seems too good to be true it probably is. There is free advice and help for homebuyers from the non-profit  Minnesota Home Ownership Center.

    If you are buying a home and anyone asks you to bring cash to the closing in bills be very suspicious.

  • St. Paul MN
  • The Inner City

    It is Friday and Fridays are for fun.  The pictures were taken on walks in the downtown area. The bricks are all well over a hundred years old the oldest are 150+ years old.

    They have been covered and painted and patched and uncovered again. If they could talk they could tell us what life was like when horses roamed the mean streets of St. Paul.

    I enjoy photographing bricks and anything that is rusty. The city offer plenty of photo opportunities.

    Brick Wall
    Brick Wall


  • General Real Estate News
  • Tax day coming soon

    20160315_103828I went to the IRS web site and copied and pasted the answers to the most common and obvious questions home sellers ask about taxes. [Ten tax tips for individuals selling their home]

    In general, you are eligible to exclude the gain from income if you have owned and used your home as your main home for two years out of the five years prior to the date of its sale.

    If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases).

    You cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home.

    If you bought a home in 2106 or own a home with a mortgage you may also have some tax deductions. [publication 530- main content]

    There are some in the real estate industry who believe that people buy homes because of the mortgage interest tax deduction.