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June
10

COTTAGE GROVE, MN, June 10, 2021RE/MAX Professionals is pleased to  announce the official launch of OfferWriter™, a revolutionary tool available exclusively to RE/MAX Professionals agents in Minnesota and Wisconsin through the brokerage's proprietary agent-only ProSuite 2.0 app. The app gives agents real-time access to manage all business activities including transactions, commissions, listing changes, seller reports and more. Patent pending as of June 15, 2021, OfferWriter allows agents to draft offers and send them to their clients for e-signatures in under three minutes, all from their smartphone.

The idea for OfferWriter originated from the observed need for more efficient offer writing processes, especially in the competitive, low inventory markets where offer deadlines and bidding wars are common; offers need to be submitted very quickly and agents are frequently writing multiple offers per client. While most of a realtor's business is conducted via their mobile devices, much of the day-to-day business, including writing offers, is not mobile-compatible.

Justin Fox, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Professionals and creator of OfferWriter shares, "Nothing like this exists in our industry. It currently takes agents 45 minutes or longer to pull together just one offer and it must be written from a desktop computer. A client's decision to write an offer is a big one. Now, our Professionals can be at the ready to do so, thoroughly and completely, without significant, menial prep-work that takes them away from their time with their clients."

OfferWriter is fully integrated with a live MLS data feed so that the appropriate data and forms are automatically pulled for the agent. With just a few simple steps, agents can easily enter in all information and quickly generate a purchase agreement to be shared and signed by the client. Ultimately, the tool expedites the offer writing process, giving agents more time in their day to further consult with clients.

"Most clients don't realize the back-end work that goes into crafting an offer," says Sonya Fox, COO and Owner of RE/MAX Professionals. "With OfferWriter and the full ProSuite 2.0 package, RE/MAX Professionals agents will be able to continue providing clients first-class service by helping them purchase the home of their dreams, even in the most competitive markets."

Over the past few years, the brokerage has been focused on uncovering ways to save their real estate Professionals time by reducing busy work. Their goal is to provide agents the ability to spend more time coaching and guiding their clients in this challenging market, as well as give them more balance in this always-on industry. ProSuite 2.0 and OfferWriter are a step in this direction towards bringing more balance to agents.

For more information about this innovative solution, visit www.professionals.net/offerwriter and to view all of the details about ProSuite 2.0, visit www.professionals.net/prosuite.

For more information about RE/MAX Professionals and the areas it serves, please visit www.professionals.net.  

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About RE/MAX Professionals:

RE/MAX Professionals is a locally owned and operated franchise of RE/MAX, the world's premier real estate company. In 2005, we opened our headquarters office in Cottage Grove, and since then, expanded to downtown Stillwater, and Saint Paul's Downtown/Lowertown. Our associates specialize in the Greater Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin real estate markets.

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October
3

ST. PAUL, MINN. – Recently, local broker/owner Justin Fox announced the opening of RE/MAX Professionals in St. Paul's Lowertown. The office will be the first major full-service real estate office in the Lowertown area of St. Paul. It is slated to open this November.

"Significant redevelopment is happening in the Lowertown area and with that comes a great need for professional real estate services." Fox said. "Our new office will be serving a population of homebuyers and sellers who currently do not have an office of local real estate experts in their neighborhood."

This will be the fourth office for RE/MAX Professionals, whose other locations include Stillwater, Cottage Grove and Rosemount. Founded in 2005, RE/MAX Professionals has quickly emerged as a top brokerage for attracting full-time, experienced professionals. In 2016, RE/MAX Professionals was recognized nationally by Real Trends as an "up-and-comer."

Conveniently located where I-94, 35-E and Hwy 52 intersect, Lowertown is the heart of St. Paul. "The office will be located directly across from Mears Park, offering our agents a lot of visibility to serve the community," Fox said. The new office will be fully equipped with private offices, two conference rooms with glass walls, plenty of open work space areas for collaboration and will take on the character of the community with an industrial vibe. "It's going to be a creative place industry professionals will want to come work at and meet clients," Fox said.

 "We are very excited to see RE/MAX Professionals expand to the Lowertown area. Their leadership team has always been very progressive, and opening the first major full-service real estate office in an up and coming neighborhood exemplifies that," executive vice president and regional director of the Midwest region for RE/MAX INTEGRA Fiona Petrie said. "RE/MAX is an incredible place for driven, entrepreneurial REALTORS, and we look forward to this new location being able to help even more people achieve the dream of home ownership."

The new office will be located at 356 N Sibley Street #A in St. Paul.

October
28

The Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and Werner Electric Supply hosted a forum for local candidates to interact with business leaders and share details about themselves and their values.

Watch here:

January
23

There has been a lot of buzz lately regarding the decision to buy or rent when looking for a new home. Well, the numbers are in and it's not what you would expect. Last year, we saw house prices increase 5% to 7% on a national scale. However, we saw rent prices increase at a dramatic rate all over the country. In November of 2015, rent prices were 13.8% higher from the previous year. It is expected for this trend to continue as the year goes on.

 

2016 is expected to be THE YEAR for buying a new home. As rent prices skyrocket, it is predicted that the price of new homes will start to decline. That is due to the focus on affordability. If you are a first-time home buyer, this is great news. If you are looking for an older home, one with more character and its own history, you need to consider repair costs. Nonetheless, it is more cost effective to buy vs. rent a home.

 

Setting data aside, what else goes into making the final decision? You need to consider how long you intend to stay in that location. There is a handy interactive map that shows you the best location to buy. All you have to do is enter your zip code and the number of years you intend to stay there. It is suggested to look to rent if you're looking at less than 4.5 years. Especially if you are a college student. However, it is more cost effective to buy a home if the stay exceeds 4.5 years.

 

January
21

After two consecutive months with falling home sales, December roared back with 6.1% more sales than one year ago. On a month-over-month basis, December sales were much higher than expected at 22.5%. In all of 2015, nine months saw home sales higher than the same month one year ago.  

January 2016 National Housing Report

 

December
8

Are you trying to sell your home? Do you have a renovation dilemma? Here is a list of items you should fix if you're selling.

 

Walls and Floors

 

"Replacing or refinishing your flooring and painting the walls are the quickest and least expensive ways to give a house new life." Paint color matters. Shades of gray are in with buyers right now; stay away from tan and beige hues. The same goes for new carpet. A sturdy, builder-grade fiber in a neutral color that doesn't compete with your wall color is the way to go.

 

Doors

 

Replacing your existing front door with a new steel door could help you get a 101.8% return on resale. It's the first and last thing you'll touch on your home visit, it makes an impression. Installing a new garage door has an impact on buyers, too.

 

Roofing and Siding

 

When it comes time for inspection and appraisal, having those repairs done will not only increase the value of your home but also reduce the likelihood of being forced to make fixes or adjust pricing later in the process.

 

Kitchens

 

A modern kitchen is a top draw for buyers—but don't try to overhaul a dated one, which could cost a lot. Buying new cabinet drawer pulls, painting or refacing old cabinets (white is in right now), and installing sleek light fixtures are all low-cost upgrades that will make your kitchen sparkle.

 

Upgrades to skip

 

Thinking about finishing an attic or basement? Adding a deck? Well, don't. Those upgrades tend to be pricey, and buyers will likely prefer to remodel those areas to their own tastes.

Other areas to avoid doing a major renovation: bathrooms, bedrooms, and home offices, according the Remodeling report.

With this list, you no longer have a renovation dilemma. These are easy ways to make your home more valuable when it comes for your home to be inspected and appraised. 

If you're looking to buy a new home in 2016, enter our #DearRemax sweepstakes for a chance to win a free Home Warranty! Click here to enter.

 

For more information on these renovations visit realtor.com: http://www.listotic.com/35-easy-diy-gift-ideas-everyone-will-love/11/

November
13

RE/MAX Professionals was just named one of the top 30 brokerages in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin, based on total units sold. RE/MAX Professionals was ranked 26th out of over 1,400 brokerages.

 

"It is the amount of experience that our associates bring to the industry, that has allowed us to achieve this level of production," says Broker/Owner, Justin Fox. This industry is highly referral based and the fact that our associates are referred again and again by past clients, speaks volumes to their professionalism."

 

RE/MAX Professionals associates sold a total of 385 units between Oct. 1st 2014 to Sept. 30th, 2015. With that, RE/MAX now has over 19% market share in the 13 county metro.

 

"We want to thank all of our associates and their clients who have helped us achieve this great milestone," said Fox. "We look forward to continuing to help our clients with their buying and selling needs."

  

*The counties included in this report are within the 13-county metro area: Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Pierce, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, St. Croix, Washington and Wright.

October
8

Cottage Grove Area Housing Market Update

The Cottage Grove Area housing market saw positive increases this past summer and into September. According to the latest housing data, Homes Sold were up, the Median Sold Price was up and the Days on Market was down. All positive indicators for the local real estate market.

According to the latest housing data, the number of homes sold in 2015 increased 10.4%, from 657 homes sold in 2014 to 733 homes sold in 2015. Cottage Grove saw an increase of 14% with 526 homes sold in 2014 to 611 homes sold in 2015. The median sold price for homes saw a minimal rise in the area by 4.5% from $165,000 in 2014 to $172,000 in 2015. St. Paul Park had the largest increase in sold price with 8.3%; $157,675 in 2014 to $172,000 in 2015.

 

In addition, Washington County saw an overall 6.5% increase for days on market, with 43 days on market in 2014 and 46 days on market in 2015. For the Cottage Grove Area, the total percent for average days on market was down 9.5% in 2015 with 46 days on market in 2014 to 42 days on market in 2015. St. Paul Park saw the largest decrease, down 16.7% from 2014 with 49 days on market in 2014 and 42 days on market in 2015. Newport came in a close second with an overall percentage of days on market, down 15% with 46 days on market in 2014 to 40 days on market in 2015.

For more information on the market updates, contact the REALTORS® at RE/MAX Professionals.

 

September
23

Choosing the Right REALTOR For You!

 

Are you looking to sell your home, but you don't know where to start? That's where a REALTOR comes in. A REALTOR is someone who is there to help you with all the aspects of selling your home; from putting it up on the market to assisting with closing it. Since this process can sometimes be long and tiring to go through, you want to make sure you find the right REALTOR for you.

So now you're thinking, how do I choose the right REALTOR? We've got your solution! Follow these 10 tips and you'll find the right REALTOR for you.

 

1. Go with a Pro
The terms agent, broker and REALTOR are often used interchangeably. The term "REALTOR" identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to its strict code of ethics, which in some cases goes beyond state law.

  

2. Experience Counts
"One of the first questions you should ask a potential REALTOR is how long they've been licensed and how long they've worked in the area," says Richard Roll, president of AHA.

 **For a list of questions to ask your potential REALTOR, go to the NAR Magazine Website.

 

3. Get Referrals
Friends, neighbors and co-workers are often good sources for referrals. Get as many details as possible about their buying or selling experience with a particular agent. You can also check the local yellow pages or search the Internet to scope out your options and find leads. If you're selling, look for sold signs in your neighborhood.

  

4. Think Locally
"Both buyers and sellers should look for a REALTOR who is familiar with the area," notes Roll. "Ask what they have sold or listed in the neighborhood recently." A REALTOR should be able to provide you with information on the community, the schools, taxes and other facts.


5. Listing Agent or Buyers Agent
When contacting a listing agent direct, many home buyers don't realize that REALTORS legally work for the seller. They're making their commission from the purchase price, so they want to sell a house quickly and for the most money possible. The majority of the time, it's most beneficial for you to have a REALTOR solely representing you in the transaction. 


6. Stay in your range
Choose a REALTOR who concentrates on your price range.

 

7. Interview a Few Candidates

Once you've done some background work, set up interviews with three or four REALTORS you're considering. You might           also want to visit open houses to observe the agent in action.

 

8. Don't Let an Agent "Buy Your Listing"

If one agent says he or she can sell your house for substantially more money than the other agents quoted you, they're probably telling you what they think you want to hear in order to get your listing. Or, they may not be familiar with the market in your town or neighborhood. "Statistics show that properties which are over-priced when they are listed stay on the market longer and sell for less than if they had been properly priced from the start," says AHA's Roll.

 

9. Agree on Expectations

If you're selling a house, ask your agent to put together a written marketing plan detailing the steps they will take to sell your home. The agent should offer advice on how to prepare your home for the market and have enthusiasm for your property.


10. Look for a Personality Match

Once you know you've narrowed your search down to qualified professionals with the right expertise, make sure you choose someone you trust and who you like. "You'll be spending a lot of time with your REALTOR and it should be someone you feel compatible and comfortable with," says Roll.

 

After reading these tips and having a long list of questions to ask your potential REALTOR, you are ready to start your search!

 

Why not start your search with our team of REALTORS at RE/MAX Professionals? They specialize in both buying and selling, working with both traditional buyers and sellers and investors, being the go-to resource for all of your real estate needs. Give one of our experienced REALTORS a call, they're looking forward to hearing from you!

 

**For the more detailed list of '10 Tips for Choosing the Right REALTOR', go to the AHA Website.

July
9

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today's housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less and the number has increased through the first quarter of the year as shown by the graph below:

 

2. FICO Scores

The survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a "good credit score" is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower:

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective purchaser who is 'ready' and 'willing' to buy but not sure if you are also 'able', get in touch with us and we'll help you explore your options with a great lender.

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