How many Realtors are there in 2023?

January 2022 there were  1.599,135 Realtors.  This January there are 1,548,058 In Minnesota, there were 22,711 members in January 2022, this year there are 21,950. National membership fell by almost 3% from December 2022.

The number of Realtors in Minnesota peaked in 2005 at 25,325, which was an all-time high. . . at least so far.

Some of the Realtors that have left the industry have retired.

The NAR is predicting that there will be fewer home sales in 2023 than there were in 2022 which was down from 2021 and that there will be an uptick in 2024.

It is likely that there will be fewer Realtors before the year is over.  At the same time, the low unemployment numbers indicate that there are plenty of jobs.

In Minnesota, the number of Realtors dropped to around 16,000 in 2012. That same year national membership dropped below a million and has been rising ever since. Florida has the largest number of Realtors at 218,906 up from  213,963 in 2022,  followed by California at 202,970 which is down by about 9000 from a year ago.

Not all real estate agents are Realtors. Not all real estate licensees sell real estate nor do all Realtors, yet when we do the math there are more than enough Realtors, yet there is always room for more.

Locally home sales peaked and reached an all-time high in the summer of 2021.

Most real estate agents are independent contractors and work on a 100% commission basis with no benefits.  Commissions are not guaranteed and are only paid after the successful closing of a home sale.

A person needs a real estate license to sell real estate for others for a fee but does not need to be a member of the National Association of Realtors.

Also see

How to get a Minnesota real estate sales license. 

Don’t discriminate when it comes to down payments

coinsMaybe your real estate agent suggested you reject an offer where the buyer is using downpayment assistance in favor of an offer with no down payment assistance.

There isn’t any rational reason to reject an offer based on that alone. Until recently a special box had to be checked on the purchase agreement indicating that the buyer is using down payment assistance. Home buyers using cash or maybe a gift from mom and dad were not required to mention it on the purchase agreement.

That has finally been changed. It is now possible to buy a house using downpayment assistance funds without having to worry about downpayment assistance discrimination.

There are downpayment assistance programs that first-time home buyers can and should take advantage of. Generally, they run out of funds before we run out of year.

Here is a link to find out more about downpayment assistance programs.

The city of St. Paul has spent around 1.5 million dollars on down payment assistance loans and grants.  The city also has rehab/fix-up loans and grants. Available to current home owners.

The City of Saint Paul also offers homeowners no-interest deferred loans for basic and emergency improvements. Qualified homeowners can receive up to $40,000 and homeowners eligible for the Inheritance Fund layers can receive up to $120,000. Once funding is secured, the City of Saint Paul disburses the payments to the contractors when the project is complete. Applications are open year-round until funding is no longer available.

The Inheritance Fund addresses lost generational wealth and lost community wealth separately. Qualifying descendants can receive up to $100,000 in Downpayment assistance to purchase a home anywhere in the city to address lost generational wealth. If they further choose to purchase their home within the boundaries of historic Rondo, they may receive an additional $10,000 in assistance to recognize the lost community wealth being addressed with the homebuyer’s investment in the historic Rondo community.

Sellers do not need to fear these programs. Buyers will have a pre-approval letter from a lender just like any other buyer should have.

Over the years I have worked with several buyers who have successfully purchased a home using downpayment assistance.

Rethinking the refrigerator


Reducing food waste has been a priority at my house. I am not sure that zero waste is doable but it is the goal.

In 2020 when it was time to replace the refrigerator I bought a smaller one. It was a challenge at first, especially with the pandemic and all but the truth is if I fill up the smaller fridge some of the food in it will spoil before we can eat it.

There are not many foods that require refrigeration that stay fresh for very long.

The smaller refrigerator helped us reduce food waste. We have plenty to eat yet the refrigerator is rarely very full and there isn’t much waste.

Fresh produce keeps for about a week. Most dairy products will keep for ten days or so. Eggs keep for a long time and so does butter. Condiments keep for weeks or months.

There were foods that I was putting in the refrigerator that didn’t belong there at all. Sometimes the fridge becomes convenient storage.

The freezer is another matter but frozen foods do not keep indefinitely either. Food tends to get buried or lost in the freezer. Frost kills the flavor and some of it gets dried out.

People who are interested in reducing their food waste should take a closer look at their kitchen and how they are using it. Maybe a smaller refrigerator and freezer will help reduce food waste. It definitely helped us and as a bonus, it uses less energy.

Sometimes it seems as though we do our best to fill up every cupboard and refrigerator shelf. Food prices have gone way up. Cooking takes time but it also saves money and the ingredients seem to take up less space than ready-to-eat foods.

Do you know what is in your refrigerator?


2023 Tax season starts today

Yes, today is the beginning of the tax season. The deadline for filing taxes is April 18th.

As a Minnesota licensed real estate broker I can not give tax advice. People ask me for such advice all the time. There are real estate agents and brokers who do give their clients tax advice.

The best source of information about federal income tax is the website. It isn’t always easy to navigate or to make sense of but that is because there are 6,871 pages of tax code. For state, taxes try

It isn’t ever a good idea to let a relative do your taxes unless that person is a tax preparer. That tax software is pretty good but it is over complicated and it is easy to screw it up.

For people who get all stressed out over taxes letting a professional do the work is the way to go.

Stay away from those tax places that charge by the form. They charge way more than your local mom-and-pop tax service.

Even though we pay taxes the federal government is always in debt. In fact, our leaders may decide not to pay the bills we owe. Apparently, they can do that.

I like to start the tax season by getting my empty plastic shoe box out and putting it on the dining room table. Everything that I get in the mail that is tax-related will go into the box which I have labeled “2022 tax crap”.

Have a great tax season!

Happy Martin Luther King Day 2023

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day 2021, which is a federal holiday. Banks and the post office and government offices will be closed but with so many people working from home these days, it may be hard to tell.   Public schools are closed today too.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr 1963

King stood for equal rights, civil rights, and voting rights. He opposed the Vietnam war. He planned and participated in several protests against housing discrimination, steering, and redlining.

Dr. Martin Luther King Speaking at the University of Minnesota
Dr. Martin Luther King Speaking at the University of Minnesota –

Photograph from the Minnesota Historical Society collection

Make sure your vacant house is insured and winterized

iceiclesHomeowners insurance isn’t like car insurance. There isn’t any law that says a person has to have homeowners insurance but if there is a mortgage the lender will require it.

Most of us pay into our homeowner’s insurance policy and never collect. We have a high deductible plan which is fine. If the place burns to the ground we can rebuild.

Generally, homeowners insurance will cover the replacement cost of a home which isn’t quite the same as the resale value. If a home is totaled the owner has a lot to rebuild on. How much will it cost to build the same home? I don’t have a clue to be honest. Construction costs have gone way up since we purchased our home. We don’t know at this point if we have enough insurance but are going to find out.

Most people don’t realize that many homeowners’ policies do not cover vacant homes. If your home is going to be vacant call your insurance company and ask if you will need to have something added to your plan for full coverage.

Also in the winter, vacant houses need to be winterized. I have seen the damage frozen pipes can do to a home as they thaw and it isn’t pretty, especially when it isn’t covered by insurance because the house is vacant.

Renters should always get insurance. As hard as it is to imagine landlords are not always insured and even if they are tenants belongings may not be covered. In fact, people rent out uninsured property.

People who own condos should also have insurance. It is more like renters insurance and starts where the insurance from the association quits.

People do not always read their insurance policies. They are pretty boring but worth a read.