Home Buying & Selling Tips

Scroll through our blog posts that have useful information about buying and selling Minnesota real estate.

Found 29 blog entries about Home Buying & Selling Tips.


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

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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

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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 

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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

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House of cashHome buyers often do not realize how complex and competitive the lending process can be. For
many (especially first-time buyers) there’s only a hazy idea of “the bank” approving or denying
them a mortgage. So many don’t understand how to shop for a loan or that investing a little time
upfront can result in profound savings and a sense of satisfaction.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal recently revealed “in a recent survey, 21% of home
buyers regretted their choice of lender.” ( Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/about-one-fifth-ofmortgage-borrowers-were-unhappy-with-their-lender-1481738583 

 Among first-time buyers, that figure crept up to 27%.

As the piece details, there are some good ways to avoid this disappointment. First and foremost,

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There are lots of good reasons to hire a moving company. It lowers your moving day stress, saves your back, and with the right company can ensure that your goods are safe from accidental damage. 

But for every sweet song of a smooth move, there are an equal number of "moving company blues" tunes out there. From a few sad notes of regret to total devastation, making a mistake when hiring a moving company can be an experience you'll never forget.
Here are some tips to help make the right move when it comes to choosing partners for your move:

1) Get in-house estimates for your move from anywhere between 2 to 4 companies. Many may say they don't need to see your stuff to estimate the cost, but the fact is a reputable company will want to see your place

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Moving is often listed as one of life’s most stressful events, but there are a few things you can do to make the transition easier. While you probably know some of the basic tips such as having a garage sale before you move, labeling your boxes by room, and filing “change of address” forms with everyone, there are some less-common tips which can save you time, money, and moving-day headaches.

Here are 5 often overlooked moving tips to help make your move a smooth one:

1. Measure doors at your destination and measure your large furniture. There’s no point in moving heavy, large objects if they won’t make it in the new house or condo. Find out what won’t fit and sell it before hand. You’ll save money on the move and the proceeds from the sale will

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One of the most important decisions you can make as a real estate investor is hiring the right property manage for your investment property. The difference between a cash-flow positive property and a drag on your finances can be an experienced, professional property manager.

You should always interview more than one property management company when you’re evaluating property managers, but do you know what to look for in a property manager? If not, these tips will help put you on the right path.

1. Find certified property managers first. Consult the National Association of Residential Property Managers (http://www.narpm.org/) to seek out property managers with certifications and designations.

2. Look for property managers with ten to fifteen miles

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We live in an area where extreme cold is likely during the winter months. Don’t risk thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs… take the time to protect your pipes from bursting. When water freezes in your pipes, the ice expands, adding to the overall pressure in your home’s plumbing. When this force builds, it can cause pipes to split. In addition to plumbing repairs, you might find yourself on the hook for flooding damage, too.

The pipes most at risk? Those exposed to the lowest temperatures, of course. This includes plumbing on the exterior of the home, in exterior walls, and exposed pipes in those unheated zones of your home. Did you know that even a frozen garden hose can cause enough pressure to split an interior pipe? Be sure to disconnect and

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Price per square footagePrice per square foot is a concept in real estate which is easy to understand and just as easy to misuse. The formula is pretty simple: To determine price per square foot, you take a price, such as sale price of a home, and divide it by the square footage of the property.

 Price per square foot is useful in looking at broad market comparisons, such as comparing one entire metro area to another, or looking at an area’s average change over time. It is not, however, terribly accurate in figuring out the value of your home.

 Why? Well, price per square foot fails to take into account the most important factors when pricing a home.

 First and foremost, it makes assumptions about the home’s amenities. We all know the quality of materials used in home

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