Buying or selling a home is no ordinary transaction. It’s a huge undertaking that involves a lot of planning, strategizing, and concrete action. That’s why partnering with a qualified Minneapolis REALTOR® can make your real estate experience a successful one. With a REALTOR® by your side, you have a professional who will act as your representative and provide the real estate expertise you need.
Read more about finding the right REALTOR®, why you need to work with one, and what makes them stand out from the rest.
Known for its thriving business scene, affordable cost of living, and Midwestern charm, it’s not surprising why many are making the move to Minneapolis. One half of the “Twin Cities” (the other being St. Paul), Minneapolis is home to around 400,000 people and covers around 53.97 square miles.
There’s a property type for everyone in Minneapolis. Residential real estate here is made up of single-family properties, condos, townhouses, and multi-family homes. Single-family properties and condominiums dominate the city’s real estate market, offering prime locations and gorgeous views. The city also eliminated single-family zoning recently, allowing for multi-family properties to be built in former single-family-only neighborhoods.
The influx of new residents and the COVID-19 pandemic has ignited a housing boom in Minnesota’s largest city. Low inventory combined with high demand contributed to rising home prices. The current prices have risen by 10% from the previous year, with the median price sitting at $370,000. Interest rates, which fell to historic lows at the height of the pandemic, are starting to hike up again.
Entering the Minneapolis real estate market now can be a challenge, especially for first-time home buyers. CBS Minnesota reports that first-time homebuyers are more cautious when looking for homes due to the frenzied and competitive environment.
As for home sellers, the Minneapolis real estate market is in their favor. The first half of 2022 saw inventory slip down to just 1.1 months. According to news site KARE 11, the number of homes listed decreased by 7%, giving sellers an edge in the current real estate market.
What does a REALTOR® do?
Real estate professionals come in all shapes and sizes. The role of a real estate agent, broker, and REALTOR® are often confused and the terms are used interchangeably. However, there’s a clear distinction between all three titles.
A real estate agent is a title given to a licensed individual who represents buyers or sellers during a real estate transaction. An agent matches a buyer to the right seller and vice-versa, submits offers, handles the negotiation process, and finalizes the paperwork. Although the requirements to become a licensed real estate agent depend per state, aspiring agents must complete around 30 to 90 hours of classes and pass a final exam.
A broker, on the other hand, has a higher level of credentials than a real estate agent. To attain a real estate broker license, a real estate professional must complete a state-mandated training course and pass the broker licensing exam. A real estate professional is required to work as an agent for at least two years before they can become a broker.
A REALTOR® is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). One of the largest professional trade organizations in the world, NAR has over 1.5 million members and abides by a strict Code of Ethics. REALTORS® have access to a wide variety of resources, from educational courses to networking opportunities. A real estate agent and a broker can also be a REALTOR®.
REALTORS® typically offer the same services as that of a real estate agent and a broker. REALTORS® provide you with relevant market statistics, negotiate for the best deal on your behalf, and connect you with the vendors and service providers you need in the transaction.
One thing that you can expect from a REALTOR® is honest, fair, and ethical treatment. Since REALTORS® follow the NAR Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice, they have a set guide on how to approach clients, the public, and other REALTORS®. NAR’s Code of Ethics is updated regularly to reflect the changing real estate industry.
When you work with a REALTOR®, you can trust that they have your best interests at heart. They make sure that your real estate transaction is one that fits your real estate needs and goals.
Why work with a local Minneapolis REALTOR®?
- No one knows the local area better
A Minneapolis REALTOR® is a local expert and for good reason. Aside from knowing the current real estate market and trends, they also know the best areas for education, recreation, and entertainment. They are more than familiar with the local businesses, local parks, and even the commute times to the downtown area.
If you’re looking for homes for sale in Minneapolis, a local REALTOR® can point you in the right direction. With their knowledge of the available neighborhoods and your home buying criteria, they can easily narrow down your options to ones that fit your needs, wants, and lifestyle.
A part of a Realtor’s local expertise is their knowledge of the local laws. They have a good understanding of the zoning laws and regulations of that particular area, which lets you know what you can and can’t do with your property.
- Knowledge of real estate trends
Real estate evolves and is shaped by various factors and trends like interest rates, housing inventory, and the local and national economy. A REALTOR® understands these trends and uses it to create a better home buying or selling experience for their client.
This particular expertise comes in handy when it’s time to market a seller’s property. There’s more to marketing a home than just listing and posting about it online. A REALTOR® is updated with the latest real estate marketing trends that are successful in generating leads.
- Access to a large network
A REALTOR® has access to connections that can make your real estate transaction better. They have a list of vendors, contractors, home stagers, appraisers, and home inspectors that are trusted and have already been vetted. Being a part of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) already provides the agent access to other local and national REALTORS® and affiliated businesses.
Being part of a large network is useful when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing. If you’re selling your house, for example, a REALTOR® can spread the word about your Minneapolis home for sale within their network and give your listing the widest exposure possible.
- Access to more listings
A benefit of working with a Minneapolis REALTOR® is the Multiple Listing Service. Also known as the MLS, this online database allows you to explore the available listings in your chosen area. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, the MLS helps in comparing properties (especially when making a comparative market analysis) and getting up-to-date information. The MLS can only be used by licensed real estate professionals, including brokers and REALTORS®.
In addition to properties listed in the MLS, REALTORS® also have access to off-market properties. These listings, which are properties that aren’t publicly listed for sale, are kept off the market to maintain the seller’s privacy and to maintain exclusivity.
- Expert negotiation skills
Negotiations in a real estate transaction is no easy task. Since buying or selling real estate is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, there’s plenty of emotions involved. That’s where a REALTOR® comes in. An experienced REALTOR® brings an outside perspective and looks at the transaction from an objective point of view.
A REALTOR® also has effective negotiation strategies and tactics that will help you get the best possible deal. Their in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market and current trends also comes into play, which lets them determine the terms that are worth negotiating and the ones that are not.
- A local REALTOR® is community-oriented
One of the best things about working with a local Minneapolis REALTOR® is their involvement in their community. They are invested in the community and want to make sure that it is the best place to live, play, and work in. Some local REALTORS® are even active with civic organizations, volunteering, and various community projects.
How do I choose the right REALTOR®?
The Minneapolis REALTOR® you work with can make or break your home buying experience. That’s why it’s crucial to have a real estate professional who can best represent you and help you reach your goals. The best way to evaluate a potential REALTOR® is to ask questions and to take a look at the qualities they possess.
Questions to ask before hiring a REALTOR®
Finding the right REALTOR® starts with asking the right questions. By interviewing a potential agent, you can determine if they’re a good fit to your needs and preferences.
- How long have you been a REALTOR®?
Experience is an important factor to consider when assessing a REALTOR®. Although decades of experience aren’t required, the experience of knowing how to respond to difficult situations is a huge plus.
How well do you know the area?
Aside from experience, your REALTOR® should also know your chosen area like the back of their hand. Whether you’re looking at a specific city, town, or neighborhood, you want to work with a REALTOR® who specializes in that particular location.
- How do you communicate with your clients?
Communication is key in any real estate transaction. When you have a transaction as big as buying or selling a home, you want to ensure that you are kept informed and up-to-date.
Every real estate agent has their own way of communicating with their clients, whether it’s through email, text, or call. Ask your REALTOR® how they usually connect with their clients and see if this matches your preferred communication method. Set clear expectations on how your REALTOR® will be communicating with you and vice-versa.
Ask them how often they will be in touch with you as well. While there’s no given schedule on how many times in a week or month a REALTOR® should contact you, an agent should always be available for you and should provide regular updates without you having to chase for them.
- What’s your schedule like?
Availability is another factor to consider when assessing a REALTOR®. Since the Minneapolis real estate market remains red-hot, it’s crucial to act fast. Ensure your Realtor’s availability by asking about their client load, how they serve several clients at the same time, and how responsive they will be to your queries.
- How will you help me land the right home?
Today’s real estate market is a competitive one for buyers. With low inventory and high demand, it’s not uncommon for buyers to have some competition for a particular property. If you’re looking for a REALTOR® to represent you as a buyer, ask them how they plan on getting your offer noticed.
- How do you plan to market my home?
For home sellers, it’s important to see how a potential REALTOR® plans to sell your home. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to real estate. Since each real estate transaction is different, your REALTOR® should come up with a personalized plan that caters to your property and the neighborhood that it’s in.
- Can I have a list of references?
Getting in touch with past clients can also tell you more about a REALTOR®. Once you are able to get a hold of a reference, ask them about their experience. How often did the agent keep in touch? How well did they know the local market? Are you happy with how the real estate transaction went? This will give you a better idea of what it’s like to work with a potential REALTOR®.
Qualities of a good REALTOR®
Aside from asking questions to know your REALTOR® better, you also have to look out for certain qualities that show your agent’s trustworthiness and dedication. Here are the top qualities that your REALTOR® should have:
- Honesty and integrity
Trust is the foundation of any relationship, including one between you and your real estate agent. A REALTOR® who exhibits honesty and integrity has your best interests at heart, and will put your real estate needs and wants above all else.
A REALTOR® must also be determined to help you achieve your goals. They make decisions with a purpose and aim to overcome any obstacles thrown their way. Determination also comes with the ability to solve problems. A good REALTOR® has sharp problem-solving skills and is always focused on finding the solution.
- Attention to detail
A real estate transaction has plenty of dynamic parts. A mistake or error made during any part of the process can be costly, or worse, cause the deal to fall through. That’s why being detail-oriented is an important quality that your REALTOR® should have.
An agent should be thorough and know the real estate process from start to finish. Whether they’re comparing the features of similar properties or reviewing the fine print of a contract, each aspect is taken care of, no matter how small.
- Good negotiation skills
The ability to effectively negotiate is crucial when buying or selling a home. With good negotiation skills, a REALTOR® can make the most out of the deal while satisfying both parties. Having good negotiation skills also comes in handy when the situation calls for more creative solutions.
- Good communication skills
A Realtor’s communication skills aren’t limited to how often they update you. When it comes to how they communicate, you also want an agent that asks questions and listens well. An agent with this quality will get a better understanding of your real estate needs and wants. Good indicators that someone is a good listener are eye contact, encouragement, and being fully present.
Work with the best Minneapolis REALTOR®
With a REALTOR® like Scott Haubrich by your side, you’ll have no trouble navigating Minneapolis’ hot housing market. A Minnesota native, Scott has more than 25 years of experience when it comes to buying and selling homes in the Twin Cities. His in-depth knowledge of the local market, effective negotiation skills, and high quality professional network has made Scott one of the top brokers in Minneapolis.