Thursday, November 19, 2015

Does a Home Buyer need to pay a Retainer for REALTOR in Minnesota?


 
Most home buyers, even first time home buyers, realize there will be fees to pay over and above the cost of the house itself. There are fees to the lender to originate the loan, fees for homeowner’s insurance and closing costs. Most home buyers also know it is a good idea to work with a REALTOR® to help them find the perfect home. Having an agent to represent you when purchasing a home is extremely important. As a professional real estate agent working in Anoka County, I have knowledge about homes, neighborhoods, taxes, school districts and contract negotiation. All of these skills are invaluable when it comes to writing a purchase agreement. But how does a REALTOR® get paid?

Most agents are paid at the time of the closing by the SELLER of the home you purchase.  So in many instances, as a buyer you do not pay commission to your REALTOR®


However, in Minnesota our buyer’s representation contracts do allow agents to charge a retainer fee from the buyers they are working with. The amount of time spent with a buyer from first contact to closing can be several months, even years. As agents we put in quite a bit of time showing homes to our buyers. Since the bulk of our commission comes from the seller of the property purchased, we work long hours without payment upfront. It is becoming more common for agents to request a retainer fee of several hundred dollars to offset these costs in case a buyer decides to give up their home search. This fee may or may not be refunded at the time of closing if when the agent receives the commission from the seller.  


How do you know if your prospective REALTOR® will be charging a retainer? You have to ask. Make sure you agent takes the time to explain the contract to you prior to signing. If you don’t feel comfortable paying a retainer fee, interview other agents before putting your signature on the contract. Remember you will be obligated to work with this person for several months until your closing. Find someone you like working with and trust.  Buying a house is an important investment and one of the biggest decisions you might ever have to make.


I personally do not charge a retainer fee. I use the Minnesota contract for buyer’s representation that has a spot for a retainer fee and I write in ZERO. It is my way of showing to the buyer, we are in this together. I will put in the time knowing I will be paid by the seller when we find that perfect place to call home.


Need to know more about buying or selling a Twin Cities home? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report.http://terieckholm.com/buying-house-search.php I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2015 www.terieckholm.com




Friday, November 13, 2015

Private Road on a “City” Street? How can that be?

 
We’ve all see the humorous signs for private parking or private roads. One of my favorite "better not park here"  signs is Dragon Parking Only! All Others Will Be Toast! 

But in the community of North Oaks, the private road/no trespassing signs are not a joke. This unique community is not specifically a "gated community" as one might expect in other areas of the country. However, every entrance to the city is posted as a private road.  North Oaks, originally a 5000 acre farm, was developed for upscale, mostly acreage properties, built around Pleasant Lake and the concept of persevering the natural beauty of the area. Though there are 600+ conservancy acres and 500 acres of residential open use land, the city owns no property. All parks, trails and recreational facilities are owned and maintained by the homeowners association. Each homeowner owns the road frontage to the middle of the street, effectively making all roads resident owned and private.

So what does this mean? If you have not been invited into North Oaks by a resident, you are quite simply trespassing. There is a sheriff that patrols the community on an exclusive basis. Interestingly, residents who are selling a home can only have “invitation only” open houses or private scheduled showings. Public invitation open houses are not allowed as residents must know specifically who is coming and going from their homes.


The residents of North Oaks take their privacy and private roads very seriously. With or without gates. 



Featured North Oaks Listing: 
5 BRAINARD WAY 4BR/4BA/4+Car Architecturally designed rambler on 2 Acres Take tour & download flyer 


Need to know more about buying or selling a Twin Cities home? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday (Almost) Mountains not Mole Hills.


Living in Minnesota there are hills and valleys but no mountains. (Ski hills like "Spirit Mountain" do not count at all). In Anoka County we do have a lot of mole hills, though. 

As we flew into Seattle last fall, the view was impressive. From above the clouds, the world is in a word, breathtaking. It makes all the "big" issues in the my job of real estate seem quite small. 

Of course when there is an issue in a transaction, it is my job to see the big picture, keep everything in perspective and make any hiccups in a deal as minute as possible for my clients.  Keeping mole hills from becoming mountains could be a new motto for this REALTOR®.

Need to know more about buying or selling a Twin Cities home? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2015 www.terieckholm.com


Monday, November 9, 2015

How Valuable is an Indoor Sport Court in Minnesota?




I was watching a handful of boys playing basketball at the as I took lap after lap on the running track last week. Their game was interrupted continuously. Several interruptions were to retrieve a ball from another pick up game using a different hoop but then there was the mom who had to chase down her stray toddler that ran after a bright green basketball on the way to the indoor playground. The young players didn't seem to mind too much. However, the game would have had more momentum without the constant interruptions. While these courts are a great place for a low-key pick up game, it is not a place to get in serious practice.

This made me think of how awesome it would be to have a personal indoor sport court at home...especially in a Minnesota winter.  It is not just a dream idea either. Builders are starting to put them into homes throughout the Twin Cities metro. Wouldn't an indoor court at home be  a great place to for kids to blow off steam after school? Or for aspiring athletes to train on a daily basis for team tryouts? 

Scientific research shows that it takes 3 hours of practice daily over the course of a decade to raise a talented athlete to the elite status. Most aspiring players end up spending countless hours away from home training for their sport but what if those hours could be spent at home instead? This is one of the big appeals of an indoor sport court.

When my son was in baseball years ago, we installed a batting cage in our backyard. We live on acreage and had the space. It was great in the spring, summer and most of the fall, but it didn't provide any advantage in the winter. Spring baseball tryouts are usually well before all the snow has melted. There are few options for playing catch or practicing pitching in January and February. We had to pay for camps and drive our son all over the metro several times a week to get in a few hours of training. It would have been a dream come true to have a court with padded walls and a net for practicing pitching and hitting off a tee in the winter.

A few miles away our friends had two daughters in gymnastics and dance. This family repurposed their huge polebarn into a mini gymnastics practice facility complete with a beam and trampoline indoors. because it wasn't heated, it lost it's appeal during the winter months. It's hard to warm up and perform when the temps are below zero in the barn.

This is a common issue for Minnesota moms and dads of young athletes. Where does a parent bring a child to get in that very important daily practice without jeopardizing time spent on schoolwork and other activities. Having a gym at home is would be very valuable to many sports minded families.

As parents, we would have loved the luxury of an indoor sport court whether for our teens to enjoy a friendly afternoon of basketball or to practice and train for baseball tryouts. Indoor courts are can be designed to be very versatile spaces with something for every member of the household. They are fast becoming  a very attractive selling point in the luxury market but can be incorporated into mainstream homes too.

Is a indoor sport court worth the investment cost? That depends. Like any other home feature, it will only be worth it if it is used. But if you have an active family and it's winter in Minnesota, the odds are good that an indoor court could be the favorite room in the house.

FEATURED LISTING: North Oaks home with an indoor sport court!
A luxurious 4BR/4BA/4Car executive rambler with walkout basement and indoor sport court. Download flyer and take virtual tour here.



Need to know more about buying or selling a Twin Cities home? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How Do I Sell My Lino Lakes Home?


Are you planning to sell your home in Lino Lakes, Minnesota soon? Do you need more information on where to start? 

When you need to sell a home in the Lino Lakes area, I will help you get the process started quickly. My innovative marketing and top notch negotiating skills will get your property sold FAST and at the best possible price too.  A market analysis by a professional REALTOR® is your first step in the home selling process. 

The Lino Lakes fall market is still active! Home buyers are still searching for homes but few good, affordable options are listing in the north and east Minneapolis/St. Paul metro. Since August 1, 2015, 69 homes have sold in the city of Lino Lakes. These homes sold in an average of 42 days! Prices ranged $129,900 for an entry level starter home to the mid-$900,000's for a lake front executive home on Reshanau Lake. Currently there are 102 homes listed in Lino Lakes with only a handful priced at a number affordable to a first time home buyer.

For additional information about working with me, visit my website and read testimonials from past satisfied clients. Or better yet call me, Teri Eckholm/Boardman Realty 651-336-7073 and arrange a no cost/obligation market analysis on your home today.

FYI-- I do answer my own phone so when you call, you will be talking directly to me!

Need to know more about buying or selling a Twin Cities home? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2015 www.terieckholm.com