It is April

Bloodroot
spring wildflowers -bloodroot find them in the woods

Maybe you were expecting an April fool’s joke? I’ll be saving those up but plant to put some holiday decorations on the house. I have decided that a combination of Halloween and Christmas decorations makes the most sense.

I also have some sidewalk chalk and some candles I can put to use. I look forward to posting pictures of my decorations for this April fools day on April 1,2021.

The local real estate market

There are a lot of businesses that are using the Coronavirus as a marketing opportunity I don’t want to be one of those businesses.

So far COVID-19 and the stock market drop have not impacted local real estate. Buyers are enthusiastic about the lower interest rates. The market has been constrained for a few years now by a lack of home sellers.

I don’t think open houses are a good idea right now. Homeowners should be aware of the fact that open houses are not needed to sell a house. We got offers on two houses last week, both were on the market a very short time and we had no open houses.

I’ll continue to monitor the local real estate market and post updates. My office is at home and that is where I will continue to work.

Please stay home if you are sick. Wash your hands often even if you are not sick. There is information and advice about the Corona Virus on the Minnesota Department of Health website.

 

I stand with St. Paul educators

teacher strike sign
Teacher strike – in the window at Claddagh on West 7th. 

My mother was a teacher. My daughter is a teacher and so is my niece. Three teachers live on my street. A teacher’s job isn’t easy and in St. Paul they don’t have the resources they need.

Today is day three of the strike. Which also means it is the third day that the schools have been closed. There will be talks today. I hope an agreement is reached.

To all the teachers out there I say thanks. Your job is important and you should all be paid more and have better benefits.

If you see teachers carrying signs honk show your support.

Surveys and ratings

Porch

It is hard to find a real estate agent with ratings lower than five stars. I work with real estate agents and I am not buying it.

It is common these days for customers of any business to be hounded until they fill out a survey. One way to get five stars is to only send the surveys to people who are likely to give high ratings.

The surveys ask questions that don’t matter and few that do. Believe me, it is possible for someone to be responsive and still do a lousy job.

For most businesses, the survey isn’t about getting feedback. it is all about getting high ratings that will be noticed on the internet by persons searching for goods and services.

Try giving business honest feedback. Most of the time there isn’t a way to even communicate with anyone outside of the survey. Real estate brokers are responsible for the work of real estate agents. In most cases, it is impossible to find out who the broker is.

Some service providers will hound their clients to fill out a survey. When I hire people to work on my house I tell them up front that I won’t fill out the survey but if they would like some honest feedback I would be happy to send it to them.

One great way to choose a real estate agent is to ask friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers for recommendations and then interviewing the agent.

Keep in mind that one experience buying one house with the help of one agent doesn’t really make someone an expert that is why it is important to interview real estate agents.

Asking people that you know in person is much better than asking all of your Facebook friends to weigh in. The best recommendations come from people who have had recent experience buying or selling a house.

REALTORS are often older women

During the past couple of weeks, several people have been surprised when I mentioned that there are more female REALTORS than male REALTORS. We are on average older than the rest of the workforce too.

When the National Associaton of REALTORS advertises our services they tend to use pictures or videos of young men and young women but that doesn’t represent who most of us are.

NAR believes that they need to actively advertise to younger people. Even if younger members join they will one day become older members and there is never a shortage of REALTORS, in fact, there are more than are needed.

Traditionally younger people are not attracted to jobs as independent contractors working on a 100% commission basis with no benefits. Most REALTORS are independent contractors who work on a 100% commission basis and only get paid after a successful closing.

It is true there are far more buses, bus benches and build boards with pictures of male REALTORS on them but when you get down to it women sell more real estate.

REALTOR isn’t an occupation. A REALTOR is someone who belongs to the National Association of Realtors. We are misunderstood but I don’t think anyone has time to read the thousands of words I could write on that topic. Here are some statistics:

REALTOR® Demographics
65% percent of REALTORS® are licensed as sales agents, 21% hold broker licenses, and 15% hold broker associate licenses.
The typical REALTOR® was a 54-year-old white female who attended college and was a homeowner.

67% of all REALTORS® were female, up from 63% last year.

33% of REALTORS are over 60.

The majority of REALTORS®—84%—owned their primary residence and 38% owned a secondary property.

54% of REALTORS® were affiliated with an independent company. (Like Boardman Realty)

Nearly 9 in 10 members were independent contractors at their firms.

9% of REALTORS® worked for a firm that was bought or merged in the past two years.

REALTORS® with 16 years or more experience had a median gross income of $71,000 compared to REALTORS® with 2 years or less experience that had a median gross income of $9,300.

The largest expense category for most REALTORS® was vehicle expenses, similar to last year, which was $1,370.

[SOURCE National Association of REALTORS]

Members of NAR are held to a code of ethics and standards of practice.

It is hard to survive in real estate sales in the Metro area without being a member of NAR. Most of the local real estate companies make joining NAR mandatory.

Boardman Realty is a 100% woman-owned and operated company.

When I write about bathrooms people read

Bathroom
Bathrooms

This site gets some traffic, a few thousand readers stop by every month. When I look at my analytics I can see that some of the most popular articles I have written are about bathrooms.

Bathrooms can be confusing. Most people understand how to use a bathroom, it is how we define bathrooms that gets confusing. In the MLS we see a total number of bathrooms.

They are all counted the same. When we read the fine print we find that there is a full bath on the second floor and a 3/4 bath in the basement and a room with a sink and toilet on the main floor.  This is super useful information. The total number of baths doesn’t have any fractions.

A full bath has a tub, a shower, and a sink and toilet. A three-quarter bath has a shower or tub, sink, and toilet. A half bath has a sink and toilet. A quarter bath is just a toilet or sink or shower or tub.

I was in one house many years ago that had 3 baths each was a quarter or a half bath. There was a quarter bath on the second floor which consisted of one bathtub. On the main floor, there was a 1/2 bath that had a toilet and sink in it. In the basement, there was a shower stall.

When I look for houses for sale I pay close attention to the bath descriptions. Homebuyers looking for three bathrooms might not consider the home that has one bathtub, one shower, one toilet a match.

People have asked why a house is listed as having 2 bathrooms rather than 1.25, 1.5, or 1.75 baths. That is a question I can’t answer.

Pro-tip for real estate agents and photographers: Close the toilet lid before photographing the bathroom.

Thanks for reading.