Rochester MN Homes Team Blog

Information provided in hopes of educating our buyers and sellers so they are well prepared for their next real estate transaction. Contact us if you have questions about anything you see, or if you have an idea for our next blog article!

Dec. 3, 2014

Would YOU like to improve, re-design or update your home?

Call me! I know people.

If you’d like to make an update, do an expansion or a re-design of all or part of your home – let’s talk! I know people who excel at different areas of home improvement. A free, no obligation 10-minute phone conversation can help me understand your needs – and get you pointed in the right direction to professional, reliable, and talented local experts who are awesome at what they do. Call me! 507-358-0188

Dec. 2, 2014

The top 3 things you can do to improve your home's re-sale value.

1: Hire a professional to help. Whether you hire an interior designer, a professional stager, or a home inspector – it’s important to hire someone who can look at your home – and tell you what areas you can improve to add value to your home in a resale. A few hours will help you understand how a buyer is going to look at your home. This will save you a LOT of money, in the long run.

2: Improve your kitchen’s flow, visibility, and function. It’s all about the triangle between your cooking/prep area, your dishwasher, and your sink. You want to make these areas work well together – without obstructions. People spend a lot of time in their kitchens, entertaining, cooking together, and eating with family – so having a kitchen that functions well is a key element of ensuring you get  a great value on your future home sale.

3: Lose the popcorn ceilings and wood paneling. A great, cheap way to improve the value of your home is to lose any wood paneling you have. You could take it out and put in sheetrock, or at a minimum, paint it. And losing the “popcorn paneling” ceilings is key, too. Few things “date” a house more than this – and $2,000 can go a long way toward replacing of all the popcorn ceiling panels in your home.

Nov. 25, 2014

How Close Are You To Owning A Home?

Dear Renters:

Do you know how close you are to being able to own a home?

IT IS TIME for you to test the waters on what type of mortgage you may qualify for.

Many people who are renting don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage, for one or more reasons. Maybe they think they don’t earn enough. Maybe they think they have too much debt. Maybe they think their credit score is too low. But you know what – you should ask – because until you do, you won’t know where you stand when it comes to owning a home.

Why not? What do you have to lose? If you check, you may not qualify for a mortgage today, but you can surely put yourself in a better position to potentially qualify for one a year from now.

Rent rates are on the rise – and there are still some low-cost homes in the Rochester area. Why rent, when you can own? 

Call me – let’s have a free, no-obligation, 10-minute conversation – and I’ll help you get in touch with someone who can help you learn what you may qualify for – and what you can do to better position yourself a year from now, to own a home.


Posted in Peace of Mind
Oct. 9, 2014

What’s the Best Thing About Being a Real Estate Agent?

Veteran Rochester real estate agent Mike Hart says it’s tough to say what the best thing about his work is, but a few things come to the surface…

People who come to town tend to have more rich life experiences. “I’ve met some very high profile people. From CEO’s of companies to surgeons, to FBI and secret service employees. It’s interesting to learn the paths they’ve taken in their lives to get to where they are today. I learn a lot from my clients and from their past experiences.”

Hart says he enjoys building relationships with people. “A lot of my clients become like family to me. They see me as a trusted source and call and ask me to help them find a trusted service provide – for everything from painters to auto mechanics. I enjoy the relationship aspect of this job.”

Posted in Peace of Mind
Oct. 8, 2014

Pay Attention to More than Just the House You’re Buying

Veteran Rochester real estate agent Mike Hart says people investigate their prospective houses, and they should also investigate the neighborhood.

“You’ll want to check the neighborhood at different times of day to get a sense of what’s going on, as well as to learn more about your new neighbors.”  

Find out what’s nearby. Is there a park? Bus stops? Is there anything that could be a source of a lot of noise (like an industrial plant, or a concert venue) nearby? Check how traffic is through the neighborhood – check it out in the morning, and the evening to see what it will be like for you if you end up living there.

And what about crime?

“There’s a website called that will show you what types of crimes happen, and where.”


Posted in Peace of Mind
Oct. 6, 2014

Why the Fall is a GREAT Time to Sell Your House.

In April of 2014 there were 853 new home listings in Rochester.

In September of 2014, there were 548.

If you were selling a home for about $200,000 – and you’d put your home up for sale in April – you would have competed against 24 other homes. If you put your house up for sale in September, you’d only compete with 14.

Rochester veteran real estate agent Mike Hart says the numbers speak for themselves.

“It makes it easier to beat your competition, when you have less competition.”

Hart also says potential buyers are less busy in the fall, and more available because they stick closer to home than they do in the summer months.

Sept. 18, 2014

Top 5 Mistakes Home Sellers Make

1) Don’t Over Price Your Home.

This is a problem because the first three weeks your home is on the market is when it will generate the greatest activity. Not only in terms of online views, but also in-person showings – so you want to make sure it’s priced properly. If you overprice it, you could miss out on a sale opportunity. Missing out on sales opportunities in this first wave has another negative impact, because if your house stays on the market for too long; you could raise this red flag question to buyers: “Why hasn’t this house sold yet?”

2) Don’t Be Emotionally Attached to the Home.

From the time I place your “For Sale” sign in your yard, your “home” becomes “property”. Try to remove your emotions from the process. You want to disconnect and stop looking at it as your house. It’s a home for sale, and the market will dictate how it sells. Don’t be offended by a low offer – or if you hear a statement from a potential buyer like “I hate the kitchen.” It’s not the buyers intent to attack you personally – they’re entitled to their opinion. It can be really stressful on you as a seller if you stay too attached to the home. 

3) Don’t Flat-Out Reject Offers.

Some of my listings have sold after an initial offer that was 20 percent below the asking price. By negotiating your way up, you may come to terms that result in a sale; or at least put some pressure on other potential buyers when they realize you have other offers. As a seller you hire me to facilitate a sale. Part of this – is making sure everyone knows what’s going on, at all times. A low offer from one buyer could help you land a better offer from another.

4) Don’t Fail to Prepare the Home for Viewing.

People who don’t invest time upfront in preparing their homes for selling are not only going to have fewer showings, but they’ll receive less money for their home. Make sure your home is bright, touch up any dings on walls, floors, etc. Fresh paint is a great way to brighten things, and a deep cleaning is a great move. You’ve likely heard it’s key to de-clutter your house. It’s also important to make your garage look orderly and spacious. I provide free staging consultations for all of my clients.

5) Don’t Allow for Poor Photography on Home Listing Websites.

Make sure your agent has the ability to get great photos of your house. If you were on an online dating site – wouldn’t you use pictures that make you look your best? Use the same mentality for your house. With a few mouse clicks, potential buyers are judging your property – and you only have one chance to make a first impression with buyers, make it count.




Sept. 16, 2014

Q & A with veteran real estate agent Mike Hart: Evidence that Rochester's housing market is a strong one.

What Proof is there that Rochester’s Housing Market is Better Than Most Other Markets?

"From September of 2013 to September of 2014, we had 5,252 sales for residential properties. That’s a lot of home sales.

The average household income in Rochester in 2000 was $49,000.

Today the average is more than $62,000.

The median household/condo value in 2000 was $110,000. Today it’s $160,000.

This tells us that not only are people making more money while they’re here, but the large jump in home prices tells me that the demand is on the rise – for people to live here."

Sept. 15, 2014

Q & A with veteran real estate agent Mike Hart: Recent Trends in Rochester's Housing Market

What Trends Have You Seen Lately in the Rochester Housing Market?

"There’s been a lot of relocation people coming in – people moving here to take new jobs. This is a sign the economy is doing better – companies seem more apt to make a move by offering their new hires financial assistance than I’ve seen in the recent past.

There’s a lot more new construction across all price ranges. This is a sign of a better economy when you see new construction of upper price range, new homes."

Sept. 12, 2014

Q & A with veteran real estate agent Mike Hart: Some Impressive Amenities I've Seen In Homes

What Are Some Amazing Features You’ve Seen in Rochester-Area Homes?

"I saw a new house a few years ago that had a fabricated rock wall with a waterfall coming down it with a bridge crossing a moat that had goldfish in it."

 "I’ve seen houses with hidden rooms. A common practice is having a large, ornate bookcase where you can flip a lever and go into another room."

"I’ve seen some neat wine cellars. My favorite was a wine cellar with a tasting room along with a smoking room and a full-size humidor."

"One of the most impressive things I’ve seen were three, 500-gallon aquariums that were built into the back of a bar – it was salt water and black lights caused the fish to glow. It was very cool."

Posted in Amenities