There are more real estate agents than homes for sale

The number of Realtors has increased in the last year by 4.8%. Realtor is not an occupation. It denotes people who belong to the National Association of


Realtors and right now there are 1.45 million of us, which is an all-time high.  Not all members are real estate salespeople. Some are in real estate-related careers, some are retired, real estate agents.

Considering that about 4.8 million or maybe 5 million houses will be sold in the US this year it seems possible that right now there are more Realtors than there are houses for sale. I can’t find a number for how many real estate licensees there are in the US.

In the local market, I am sure there are more Realtors than there are homes for sale. There are real estate offices that have 100 agents and 20 listings.

Getting a real estate license is fairly easy to do and inexpensive. It takes about six weeks. New agents start out charging the same rates that experienced agents charge.

The failure rate among real estate agents is very high. Everyone knows someone who “tried it out” and then quit. If you plan on working with a real estate agent to sell your home you should be able to negotiate a lower commission. Being a buyer’s agent right now is extra tough because each buyer may need to make an offer on a few houses before one works out.

The current housing market is unique.  I feel strongly that we will need to build more housing preferably affordable housing to end what I believe is a housing crisis.

If you were planning on getting a real estate license this year and go into real estate sales expect a lot of competition from experienced and inexperienced agents.  Real estate agents are self-employed and without benefits and have bills to pay even when there isn’t any money coming in.

Maybe vaccinations will help the housing market

If you are a homeowner who wants to sell the housing market is amazing. If you plan on buying a house this year the market isn’t so great. The prices are high and the competition is fierce. The low number of houses on the market is a nationwide challenge and here in the metro area, this is year 7 of a strong seller’s market.

It is possible that more people will want to sell after they have been vaccinated for Covid-19. However, home sellers will still have a hard time finding a house to buy.

Here is a look at the national housing market curtesy of the National Association of Realtors.

Locally new listings were down by 12% in February with prices at all-time highs and rising

Houses for sale


Peculiar signage

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. St. Paul is full of signage. It isn’t unusual to have to read everything on a clump of signs to figure out if a parking space is legal. People park, get out of their cars, and do some more reading before getting back in the car and driving away.

When I walk I see some unique signs that I wouldn’t ordinarily notice.

This one is somewhat of a mystery:

Survey marker

Yes I see the address I can write to for more information . . yet I haven’t . . written. I wonder why they don’t use email or text messages like the rest of us.

This sign leaves me with more questions than answers. Do blind people drive? Should I be walking on the other side of the street for my own safety?

Blind alley

My all-time favorite sign was in an elevator at a nursing home. It instructed people to “hold your cough and sneeze”.   As the readers of this blog know I am not a fan of punctuation but I just write a blog I am not responsible for signs in elevators.


New regulations for landlords

A new ordinance went into effect in St. Paul at the beginning of the month. Here is ab outline of the new rules. There are pages and pages of words in the new ordinance, which can be found on the website on the S.A.F.E housing page.


Here are some of the new rules:

Tenant Screening Guidelines
The Tenant Screening Guidelines policy ensures fair access to housing by creating uniform guidelines related to the use of rental, criminal and credit history in applicant screening.
Security Deposit Limitations
The Security Deposit Limitation policy ensures equitable access to housing by limiting the upfront charges related to Security Deposits and Prepaid Rent.
Just Cause Notice Policy
The Just Cause Notice policy improves housing stability by ensuring owners establish one (1) of ten (10) Just Causes and provide renters with written Just Cause Notice when nonrenewing a renter’s Lease.
Advance Notice Policy
The Advance Notice policy supports the preservation of affordable housing and addresses the displacement pressures renters may face during ownership changes by ensuring that current owners provide notice of proposed sale to the City of Saint Paul and renters before an *Affordable Housing Building is placed on the market and new owners provide a notice of sale after the transfer of ownership occurs, coupled with a Tenant Protection period.

Here is a list of reasons tenants can be evicted under the new rules:

Non-payment of rent, Repeated late payment of rent, Material non-compliance, Refusal to renew, Occupancy by property owner or family member, Building demolishment and dwelling unit conversion, Rehab and renovation 8. Complying with a government order to vacate, Occupancy conditioned on employment, Exceeding Occupancy 

Also, see St. Paul has more renters than owners

Learn and get involved

The city of St. Paul is split up into 17 district (neighborhood) councils. St. Paul loves to redo the city website and during their last makeover, they removed a lot of information about district councils, and most of the links from this site are broken and I am in the process of removing them.

Stpaulnhood  The city of St. Paul has 17 district community councils.  Community Councils are a way to give residents a voice in the decisions that affect their neighborhoods and our city.   Each of the city’s planning districts has a Community Council as its official citizen participation organization. When considering which St. Paul neighborhood to buy a home in, the district council staff and websites can be an excellent resource.

The map is an old one to use as a guide to figure out which district each neighborhood is in. If you are buying a house in St. Paul this is a wonderful way to learn more about each neighborhood.

Here are the actual names of the district councils. Just put the name in a search window and you will get to the correct website.  District councils have information on neighborhood issues and there are opportunities to volunteer.

District Neighborhood District Council name
1 Eastview – Conway – Battle Creek – Highwood Hills District 1 Community Council
2 Greater East Side District 2 Community Council
3 West Side West Side Community Organization
4 Dayton’s Bluff Dayton’s Bluff Community Council
5 Payne-Phalen Payne Phalen Community Council
6 North End North End Neighborhood Organization
7 Thomas-Dale/Frogtown Frogtown Neighborhood Association
8 Summit-University Summit-University Community Council
9 West 7th/Fort Road Fort Road Federation
10 Como District 10 Como Community Council
11 Hamline-Midway Hamline Midway Coalition
12 St. Anthony Park St. Anthony Park Community Council
13 Union Park Union Park District Council
14 Macalaster-Groveland Macalaster Groveland Community Council
15 Highland Highland District Council
16 Summit Hill Summit Hill Association
17 Downtown Capitol River Council


Your offer is my mulch


I don’t use a lot of paper these days but I still use some. There are actually people living among us who do not use the internet or have email accounts or even a smartphone.

That makes my job a little harder. Instead of using electronic signatures and email, I print paper documents deliver them for signature, and then scan the signed documents and email them to Realtors, title companies, and lenders.

After the documents have been scanned I need to dispose of the paper documents. There are people who keep paper records forever but I am not one of those people. For me everything is digital and everything is automatically backed up.

If you made it this far this is where the mulch happens. I run the paper documents through my paper shredder. The resulting pieces are small and the recyclers do not want them. I hate throwing anything that is reusable or recyclable in the trash which is why I use it as mulch. I have also experimented with composting it.

I don’t use it to mulch vegetables. I use a layer of it around ornamental plants and I add a layer of dead leaves on top.

If you have a neighbor or friend or loved one who doesn’t use the internet or have a cell phone or email or uses some technology but not much and if they live within the city limits of St Paul or nearby. I am happy to help and I can always use more mulch for my hostas.