Things To Look Out For When Buying Real Estate

While we all know searching for new home can be exciting, it can also be quite stressful and discouraging. If in the market to buy a new home, paying close attention to certain aspects may help alleviate that stress. The main aspects include electrical, foundation, plumbing, the attic, and landscaping.


New homebuyers would be smart to have a home inspection. That will ensure that if there were problems, they would be pointed out and then could be fixed. Some buyers tend to assume that if a house is new, everything will work just fine. That may not always be the case.


Homebuyers should pay close attention to the foundation of the house. Minor cracks causing lifting and separation are signs that there may be a problem. However, homebuyers also need to keep in mind that homes usually do have natural cracks due to settling. Home inspections will tell buyers whether the cracks are typical or untypical and if they will lead to problems.


While plumbing problems are not easily seen, they can lead to very expensive repairs if not detected. Homebuyers need to be aware that leaks can also lead to mold. Even if the plumbing problem has been fixed, homebuyers should make sure the other problems associated with the leak were also fixed.

The Attic

The attic can tell homebuyers a lot about a house. If a home had a leak and it damaged a wall, a contractor can repair it to look like new and hopefully function like new. Another sign is if it’s an older house and the insulation is brand new, this tells homebuyers that there was a water leak because the insulation needed to be replaced. Homebuyers can also tell if the roof is in decent condition by paying close attention to the wood and if there is water damage.


Homebuyers should take notice to the landscaping around the house. If landscaping is too close, it could cause water damage, which could lead to foundation cracks. When landscaping is properly placed at least 12 inches from the house, the risk of water damage is less.


Homebuyers should learn as much as possible when looking for their new home. Taking time to learn about the home before closing the deal will keep homebuyers from making a mistake and having to spend more money in the future.


Shakopee MLS Listings Not On Market, More Inventory?

WOW, there seems to be nothing on the market and FINALLY when something nice is listed….gone. The Shakopee MLS listings inventory seems to be depleting. I looked today and there were literally only 187 homes that were “available” with so much inventory sold subject to bank approval. short sales and pending Shakopee MLS listings. The good news is homes are selling. I thought about another spin buyers in finding a quality Shakopee home. Buyers can either contact me, Tom Scott of Remax Advantage Plus and the Twin City Real Estate Team, or the Shakopee Realtor they may be working with and we can sift through past expired and cancelled listings. Shakopee MLS inventory that contracts have expired or sells have thought to take off the market for some reason. I see many of these end up being Shakopee short sale listings that go to the bank, but many sellers want to “give the home a break” as they feel once reintroduced to the market there will be more interest. Perfect opportunity to get out of all those multiple offer situation and be proactive. I or your Shakopee Realtor can set up what is called a one time showing contract so the seller does not necessarily need to go through the hassle of preparing their house if the truly do not want to sell at the moment. I ironically sold my Savage townhome this way prior to moving back to Shakopee. We had our home on the market, decided to take it off and then an agent from the Prior Lake Edina Realty office called up and said, “would you still consider selling your townhome”……um, duh, totally. Obviously it would depend on the price, but in most cases the seller will likely save some $$$ and might be able to come down a little more as well. Just a thought. I like to think outside the box and wanted to share an idea if you feel you are at wits end. Another idea we have done was to target market a specific neighborhood, style of home etc. I have sent out a mailing stating we have a buyer who is pre approved, ready to close in “x” time frame, please contact us blah, blah, blah. Good response and another way a Shakopee Realtor can help. So don’t just rely on what Shakopee MLS listings show up on your favorite home search engine,, be proactive. Hope this helps! Give me a call and I can send you a print out of a list in your price range.

Search All Active Shakopee MLS Listings Here


Tom Scott- Twin City Real Estate Team


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What Buyers Look For In Your Shakopee Home or Town Home and What Helps Sell It

As the housing market continues to remain relatively uncertain, sellers may be curious on what the secret is to selling their house. Sellers want their house to sell quickly while keeping most of the equity that they have built up in their home. Now, there is no perfect method that guarantees a perfect sale of your home, but there are certain factors that will have an effect on how quickly and for how much your home sells.

1) Price – You need to capture your audience and can do that through price. If priced above the competition, buyers may not even take a look. A price that is just below the competition is likely to get a lot of interest and be off the market sooner.

2) Location – This is still a very important component to your house sale. A lot of buyers are very particular on location. Things like major roads, power lines, and airports may deter buyers from your home.

3) Livability – There has been some growing popularity amongst buyers with livability and amenities. Buyers look for neighborhoods that are close to golf courses, parks, restaurants, and shopping. They also want good schools, walking trails, and welcoming neighborhoods.

4) Condition – A home that is well maintained and ready to move in will sell faster than a rundown home in a good neighborhood. While major fixes are more apparent and usually well appreciated, simple fixes such as new paint and clean carpets can also have an effect.

5) Competitive Advantage – Seller’s cannot think they are the only one in this race to sell a house. Past sales, current listings, and foreclosures are all direct competition with your home. You need to consider what the other homes have to offer and what updates they might have. From there, you will be able to make comparisons in order to price your home competitively.

6) Curb Appeal – It is the first impression that you give to buyers. Keep your lawn and yard maintained and make sure everything is in order while you have your home on the market.

7) Staging – Buyers are looking to be impressed when they walk into your home. Remove clutter, personal items, and make sure the space is clean. This will allow buyers to really appreciate the space without being distracted or only noticing the bad spots.

8) Kitchens – Having a good kitchen can sell a house. Minor updates and remodels such as updating cabinets, counters, and floors are a huge advantage.

9) Agents – Choosing to work with an accomplished and knowledgeable Shakopee real estate agent could be your greatest advantage. They will know the latest market trends; have a network of agents, and numerous contacts to help you find the right home.

10) Marketing – Showcasing your home is most easily done through the Internet to millions of potential buyers. Sellers should work with their agent to develop a solid marketing plan. Since the agent is working for the seller, be sure that they earn their commission and do the job that you expect of them.

Shakopee Inventory Down, Shakopee Short Sales Up

The Shakopee real estate inventory seems to be heading lower and lower, however at the same time Shakopee short sales are increasing. The Shakopee real estate market is moving though. I sold a Shakopee foreclosure listing that I put on the market in less than a week and recently  sold a listing of mine on the west side of town on Madison the same day! I did have a buyer for the listing a few weeks in advance and did notify both parties prior to listing the home. With only 260 active homes on the market, good real estate is hard to find. Shakopee town home inventory also seems to be down with only 38% of the active listing classified as Shakopee townhomes. As mentioned in a previous blog, a frustrating stat shows again how few homes are available. Of the 260 active Shakopee homes on the market, 60 actually do have offers, but do still show as active and this does not include the 70 pending homes waiting to close. Those 60 are Shakopee homes that are either subject to inspection, another home or subject to bank approval (which is essentially short sale listings). That brings me to my next CRAZY set of stats including Shakopee short sales :

  • 75 of the 260 active Shakopee homes are short sales, 29% and a high percentage.
  •  If you include Shakopee foreclosures, 39.6% of the market is distressed, which is actually down thankfully.
  • Of the 200 remaining Shakopee homes without offers, 34 are Shakopee short sales, again another positive sign as we are down to only 17% of the market being short sale listings in Shakopee.
  • Only 32% of the remaining 200 Shakopee real estate listings are townhomes. Typically 42-48% of the total sales annually in Shakopee are townhomes.

I remember a time when it was hard to find Shakopee homes for sale under $200,000, today 92 of the 200 listings without offers are under $200,000 and 32 of those are single family homes. Only 36 homes are listed over $350,000 and 15 over $500,000.


How Many Homes Do Shakopee Real Estate Agents Sell Annually?

I think many consumers in the market place tend to think that Shakopee real estate agents tend to sell 20, 30 or  even 40 homes per year. According to the National Association of Realtors, average real estate agents sell eight homes per year averaging a sales volume of $1,100,000.  I think the industry has painted a picture that Shakopee real estate agents are selling homes all day long. Shakopee Realtors tend to have many roles as they are almost running a small business in many ways. Typically the real estate brokerage hold a Realtors license, but many expenses and activities are up to the individual real estate agents. Some of the activities in a typical day may be:

  • Finding (prospecting) new business
  • Maintaining current listing inventory
  • Preparing individual marketing materials
  • Preparing listing marketing materials
  • Accounting for their real estate business
  • Website advertising
  • Marketing current listings
  • Managing the needs for their current clients

Often times Shakopee real estate agents have commission splits with their broker. Their real estate broker who holds the Realtors license may put them on a commission split with the brokerage where some newer agent could potentially be on a 50/50 split with their office and an experienced agent may be on a commission split anywhere from 50-99%. Typically with the higher commission splits there will be a “desk rent” in which the Shakopee real estate agents many need to pay a fee each month to the broker. Some of those fees could vary but from what I have seen it’s anywhere from $200-1650 per month. Some real estate companies will also charge transaction fee to their agents per transaction that may be $50-$100 and also take out corporate fees ranging from 1-3% of the gross real estate commission. Obviously these are all examples of what I have personally experienced in my career and may or may not reflect the industry as a whole because I do not know the structure of every company.

Shakopee real estate agents also have many fees they incur such as:

  • Marketing materials
  • Postage
  • Annual Licensing $450 per year
  • Supra Key Dues $152 per year
  • MLS Access Fee $114 per quarter
  • Errors and Omission Insurance $400 yr est
  • 15 Hours of Continuing Education each year
  • Signs
  • Sign installs and removal, typically $40-60 per listing
  • Business Cards
  • Optional Website IDX search $800-$1200 per year
  • Professional photography, which we sure know not many Shakopee Realtors take care of this!
  • Virtual Tours $89-$199 per listing

Average Shakopee real estate agents can easily spend upwards of $10,000-$15,000 per year in real estate related expenses. One thing we at Remax Advantage Plus and The Twin City Real Estate Team have done is to leverage our time and the real estate team philosophy. We have hired interns to do most of our marketing and prospecting for new business so that we may concentrated on client care and taking care of the needs of customers we are working with. We understand how important  the purchase of a home can be and we want to make sure to accommodate. Knowing the urgency of the Shakopee real estate market having only one Realtor can be a hang up if they are busy. Say a brand new Shakopee listing comes on the market and your agent is out of town or busy. You need to get in that house or it could sell! Having a team gives us the ability to have multiple Shakopee real estate agents on our team with the availability to show you the home. Problem solved! If you are search for a Shakopee home for sale make sure to contact us at the Twin City Real Estate Team.


RE/MAX Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction in JD Power 2011 Survey

 RE/MAX Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction in

2011 J.D. Power and Associates Study


– Results from the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Home Buyer/Seller StudySM, recognize RE/MAX for providing the highest overall consumer satisfaction for both home buyers and home sellers. In last year’s study, two different companies ranked the highest in each category, but this year home buyers and sellers both rated RE/MAX the highest.

“It all comes down to professionalism and a commitment to a premier level of customer service,” said RE/MAX Chairman and Co-Founder

Dave Liniger. “Because RE/MAX agents average more experience and training than other agents, they are better prepared to deal with home buyers and sellers in any kind of market. And, consumer preferences tell the story . . . nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX.”

This is the fourth annual study of home buyer and seller satisfaction with the largest national real estate companies, conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. For the home buying experience, three factors were considered: agent/salesperson, office and a variety of additional services. Four factors were examined for the home-selling experience: agent/salesperson, marketing, office and a variety of additional services.

Details from the study indicate that on a scale of 1,000, homebuyer respondents ranked RE/MAX with a score of 805 and home sellers put RE/MAX on top at 791. The 2011 study includes more than 4,200 evaluations from 3,680 respondents who bought or sold a home in the U.S. between March 2010 and April 2011.

In two other 2011 industry surveys of the country’s top real estate brokerages, RE/MAX agents averaged more transaction sides than agents at the other national franchises. The RIS Media Power Broker Survey and the REAL Trends 500 both showed that RE/MAX agents averaged over 14 transactions sides, more than double the average of many competitors.

The success of RE/MAX agents is the result of its comprehensive educational platform, RE/MAX University, which offers over 1,100 educational programs on-demand, and available online, on television, on smart phones and in classrooms around the world.

About the RE/MAX Network:

RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, real estate industry visionaries who still lead the Denver-based global franchisor today. RE/MAX is recognized as a leading real estate franchise company with the most productive sales force in the industry and a global reach of more than 80 countries. With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $100 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and other charities. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.

About J.D. Power and Associates:

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.


Search All Shakopee MLS Homes For Sale & Real Estate

The Shakopee real estate market is moving even though we are hearing how slow the market is in general. Shakopee Homes for sale are flying off the market at quite the pace. It is almost HARD to find good Shakopee houses and Shakopee homes  out there. So many short sale flood the market and make it so you need to wait 3-8 months to get an answer. There are some good Shakopee foreclosures though and contrary to what many think you can close on them quickly. Sometime even more quickly than an owner occupied home. I recently listed a Shakopee foreclosure in which the bank repainted the home, re-carpeted the home and even put on a new roof. On top of that the bank is providing a 2 year home warranty AND would be willing to pay 3.5% of the buyers closing costs, even before beginning negotiations! Take a look at what is out there and if you would like to set up a showing, make sure to contact us.
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Should You Purchase a Shakopee Home or Look at Shakopee Rentals?

Here are some things that you might want to consider before continuing to pay rent or pass on an opportunity to buy your own property:

1)    Being a homeowner is still one of the best long-term investments that can be made. Not only does it benefit you in the long run, homeownership adds to the financial well being of all American families by generating wealth.

2)    With a loan payment, you are able to keep your payments consistent by locking in the price. A great example of this is comparing paying rent for an apartment or being a homeowner. Through the apartment you have monthly payments and those payments have the chance of increasing over time due to numerous factors. If you are a homeowner, you are able to get a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage where you make monthly payments that are always the same no matter what. In the long term, you would be at a huge advantage to get that fixed-rate mortgage, especially with the low rates being offered today.

3)     Homeowners get big advantages from the IRS like tax breaks. You are allowed to deduct things such as your mortgage insurance and mortgage interest and others, within certain limits. With these great tax breaks, your overall payment may end up being close if not below what you are currently paying for rent.

4)     Home prices have been on the rise when you look at historical statistics. Of course it is hard to ignore the decline since the peak of home prices in 2007, but this is just the cycle that needs to be worked through. If you go back to 1991, there were 16 years of growth before the 2007 decline. History is bound to repeat itself after the high number of foreclosures and unemployment rates are sorted though.

5)     Because social media usually refers to the national housing decline as a whole, you need to remember that this may not be the same for your housing market. Don’t pay attention to the national market, pay attention to your local market. A lot of areas actually saw home appreciation in the last year, which goes against what social media is saying.

6)     In a lot of areas, right now it is a buyers market. Because of the steady rise in the number of homes on the market, buyers have a lot to choose from. And because some sellers are having a tough time selling, they might be more open to negotiations with price and closing costs.

7)     If you are looking for the perfect time to buy, don’t waste your time. In most cases, there really isn’t a perfect time and you don’t want to end up missing an opportunity while mortgage rates are relatively low.

8)    There are still a lot of options for finance available. Each mortgage depends on your current situation, so take some timeto sit down with a lender who is going to explain all the options to you.

We at Remax Advantage Plus and the Twin City Real Estate Team offer free one on one home buying consultation and FREE buyer seminars and no cost. Make sure to contact us if you have any Shakopee Real Estate related questions.


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Shakopee Homes For Sale Under 150k

Shakopee Houses Sold June 2011

There was a total of 73 closed Shakopee houses for the month of June. The average price per square foot was $85.08 and the average sold price was $174,894. Single family Shakopee houses sold totaled 47 while 26 Shakopee town houses sold during June. Shakopee town house dipped to an average sales price of $108,335 while staying on the market an average of 136 days before selling. Of the 26 Shakopee town houses,  12 were lender owned (46%) and 5 were reported as short sales (19%) totaling 65% of Shakopee town houses having bank involvement. Looking at Shakopee single family houses the average sales price settled at $211,714 which was $92.52 per sqft. Those houses stayed on the market for 122 days. 17 houses were Shakopee foreclosures (36%)  3 were short sales (6%) and 1 Shakopee house was not disclosed.  Don’t forget to check out all ACTIVE SHAKOPEE MLS HOUSES FOR SALE. When you’re ready to look at Shakopee houses, or looking at current market values to put your Shakopee house on the market, Remax Advantage Plus and the Twin City Real Estate Team is here to answer your questions and guide you through the process to make sure you have a great home buying or selling experience. We offer a FREE market analysis pricing report, and are willing to show you Shakopee houses without an exclusive buyers contract. You should know how the Shakopee Realtor helping you works for you prior to committing to an agent.

Re/Max Advantage Plus Shakopee Homes For Sale

1935 Boulder Point, Shakopee, MN MLS #4066531

I  Love this area! Single level townhome for $175,000 that is also a handicap accessible one level townhome. Close to walking paths in a great community. 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, a 12×12 sun roomthree sided gas fireplace and more. Association dues are low! Click the address for more information and photos.

1053 Ramsey Street S, Shakopee, MN MLS#4065953

A well-maintained split-entry home, with one previous owner. Located in a quiet neighborhood, it has a great backyard and is close to shopping, schools, and parks. 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, with potential to finish out the remainder of lower level. Listed at $174,900.

523 Barrington Drive E, Shakopee, MN MLS #4066121

Listed by This custom rambler has 4,000+ square feet, a sunroom, vaulted ceilings, and granite counters. Situated on just over an acre sized lot
with views of a private pond and patio. There are 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and a 3-car garage. Listed at $475,000, this home has a great layout with a lower level theater room and bar. Click the address for more information and photos.

1492 Hartley Boulevard S, Shakopee, MN MLS #4065015

Shakopee two-story in Southbridge development with lots of space for $329,850. The  Southbridge Neighborhood is very community oriented and holds many functions throughout the years includeing an easter egg hunt in the spring and neighborhood nights out. This Shakopee home is move in ready with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. The main level has a custom office and a large kitchen and don’t forget the deck leading to spacious backyard.

825 4thAvenue West, Shakopee, MN MLS #4064014

Great Shakopee foreclosure price of only $60,000!  This rambler has 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and a walk out lower level. It also
has a large eat-in kitchen and a large lower level family room. At this price will sell fast. Great opportunity for an FHA 203k rehab loan program.

1353 Wood Duck Trail, Shakopee, MN MLS # 4062248

I have shown this home multiple time. Great house and with some new floor could show like new. This home is situated on a beautiful nearly one acre lot with mature trees and a huge yard. 3 bedrooms on one level and 3 bathrooms while being listed at only $264,850. The lower level is impressive with an amusement room, entertaining spaces, custom built in bar, and game room! Youi coudl easily put in a fouth bedroom in the lower level. Within in walking distance to the lake and Stonebrooke golf course.

9042 Horizon Drive,Shakopee, MN MLS #4062821

This Shakopee home is stunning with 3,400+ square feet. Come see all the great features of this 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home. Custom cabinets,
maple floors, Silestone counters, 2 home theater systems, all for $537,900.

If you would like to set up a showing on any of these Shakopee homes for sale email me at or call me at 612-384-2178

You can also search all Shakopee homes for sale on our website.

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