All Blog Entries by Keith -Hittner Sr

Keith Hittner SR is a Certified Public Accountant and has been selling real estate in Minnesota for over 2 decades. He has served on various committees and panels including the MN Association Of Realtors Government Affairs Committee, the Tax Policy Review Committee, the Government Affairs Steering Committee, and the Ethics Review Committee.

Mr. Hittner was a member of a 6 person panel responsible for formulating and writing the test questions used in the Real Estate Exam by the Department Of Commerce in testing new real estate license applicants to ensure they have working understanding of the statutes governing real estate transactions in Minnesota.

Keith Hittner SR is an expert in residential real estate matters who’s advice is sought by consumers, industry collaborators and other real estate professionals.

Found 45 blog entries published by Keith -Hittner Sr.

If you’re home hunting in a competitive market, you’ve probably had the heartbreaking experience of losing out on a place you thought you would make your own. It can be frustrating and demoralizing to find out your offer was rejected in favor of another buyer. How can you do your best to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

When a seller entertains multiple offers, it’s important to understand that many different factors are in play. If you’re an all-cash buyer you tend to have an advantage, as potential financing roadblocks are taken off the table. But if you’re like most people, paying cash for a house simply isn’t an option. What then?

First and foremost, make sure you have 100% of your financial house in order. This means pre-qualification for a

12 Views, 0 Comments

Did you know it’s not uncommon for more than 20% of homes to have one unidentified water leak? Sometimes these leaks go on for years, completely unnoticed because homeowners inherit small leaks, assuming their water bill is normal. Other times, small water leaks are overlooked because owners assume the overall impact to their utilities is relatively small. But the truth is small leaks can add up hugely over time. Periodic inspection for leaks can help plug this problem at the source. Here are some ways to identify and address typical leaks:

1. Track your water bill over time. Most water bills will show your history for several months, if not year-over-year. While there are seasonal reasons for higher water use, especially if you water a lawn or garden,

57 Views, 1 Comment

At times a close relative or confidant believes what is best for you is not quite aligned with your wants or needs.

While it is understood that they may have some valid fears or concerns, it’s important to understand that your agent has an obligation to represent your interests.

This includes identifying and recommending the best solutions available at the time in order to meet your needs as well as respecting your right to privacy.

Agents in Minnesota are contractually bound to their client, and not the client’s friends or relatives. It is an ethical and legal obligation that cannot be neglected or subverted.

If you are being unduly influenced by a close friend or family member I urge you to discuss any issues you have directly with them

51 Views, 0 Comments

Baby Boomers all over are downsizing to properties where they can age in place. Often these buyers are well-qualified, meaning they
 have no problem getting a mortgage or they may not even need one. (An all-cash buyer can truly speed along the closing process!)

 So how do you make your listing more appealing to Boomer buyers? Here are some tips for giving your home an edge:

Baby Boomers in front of a house 1. Market the low-maintenance aspects of your home. Small yard? No yard? Stain-resistant countertops (like quartz)? The last thing your Boomer buyers want are long weekend to-do lists full of maintenance chores they would rather not hassle with or pay someone else to do. If there’s any way you can make your home easier to maintain, consider doing it as part of your curb appeal

79 Views, 0 Comments

Are you doing the math these days around renting versus buying a home? Trying to decide if you can afford to buy? If so, you’ve probably Googled one of the many “rent vs buy” calculators out there to help you get a handle on your budget.

True, they’re helpful, and they can also help clue you into things like insurance expenses and property taxes, but they overlook a number of key factors in the decision.

1. A mortgage is a surefire way to build wealth. Provided you don’t buy more home than you can truly afford, your mortgage is like a mandatory savings account. A portion of your payment each month is going straight into your equity in your home. With renting, it’s your landlord who is building equity, not you.

2. The tax situation has profound

39 Views, 0 Comments


If you’ve been kicking around the idea of some home improvements, but aren’t sure which ones make the most financial sense,

don’t miss “The Renovations That Will Pay Off the Most for Your Home in 2017” published by Realtor.com.

While some renovations sound like they’re a home run for your home’s value, in actuality big-ticket projects recoup far less than some of their simpler counterparts.

For example, adding fiberglass insulation to your attic has an astonishing estimated return of 107.7% compared to a bathroom addition, which averages only a 53.9% return.

The report compares the average cost of the project to the expected value at the time of resale. Here are the top 10 projects and their ROI percentage:

1. Fiberglass attic

59 Views, 0 Comments

What is it about a home that catches a buyer’s eye? Why is it when two homes are comparable to one another, buyers go with the one that just “feels right”? Sometimes the difference is so small, they don’t consciously notice. Little touches can give a home a major edge in the market.

In fact, here are five clever design upgrades which can provide your home with that indefinable feeling that it’s of higher quality than the competition:

Switch Plate1. Light switch plate upgrades. Homeowners always overlook their own dirty, chipped, or cheap-looking switch plates. If you spend a few bucks to swap out switch plates, any room in the house will seem a tiny bit fresher. Better yet: In the bathroom and kitchen, match the color of your new switch plates to the tile. Look

104 Views, 0 Comments

Are you preparing for a move? You probably know to notify your friends and loved ones, but there turns out to be a surprising number of people and organizations who need to know about the address change. A recent article from Zillow included a comprehensive checklist which
covers pretty much everyone you will need to notify:

1. Family and friends
2. Current employer
3. Landlord
4. Postal services
5. Utilities
6. DMV
7. Government agencies
8. The IRS
9. Financial institutions
10. Insurance companies
11. Medical and educational facilities
12. Subscription services and clubs

While certain companies and institutions usual have formal processes for notification of an address change, it can be a good idea to go ahead and get some inexpensive postcards printed 

85 Views, 0 Comments

Great OfferPeople often have preconceived notions about offers and counteroffers. For instance, some people assume every offer requires a counteroffer. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes when a reasonable offer presents itself and the conditions are right, it’s perfectly fine to accept an offer and move forward as quickly as possible. As you review offers, it’s important to keep this in mind.

I always like to encourage my clients to weigh an offer appropriately, and I help them to do just that. As we entertain offers or make counteroffers, we take into account your desires with the property in question, the condition of the house, comparable prices, and how long the home has been on the market. We’ll also look at opportunities where we might improve offers to

114 Views, 0 Comments