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Friday, November 27, 2015

Did You See This Press Release?

2015 Best of St Paul in the REAL ESTATE AGENCY Category is:

Sarah Marrinan

An agent of Keller Williams Premier Realty and owner of Call Sarah First, Inc

Each year, the Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. 
These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the area a great place to live, work and play. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

Learn More about Sarah Marrinan

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

704 Lake View Dr Woodbury, MN 55129

Property Site:
This is affordable one-level living in a prime Woodbury location! Quick closing possible!
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.00
Price: $209,999

For more information about this property, please contact Sarah Marrinan at 651-964-0289 or You can also text 3201937 to 67299.

See more listings at:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

301 Cherry Street W Stillwater, MN 55082

Property Site:
This beautiful home has been updated throughout from mechanicals to insulation! Freshly painted throughout with soothing colors.

The updated kitchen including granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances will be sure to impress. Enjoy your morning coffee, grilling or just relaxing on the deck off the kitchen.

Just off the main living room is a room perfectly suited for an office, toy area or sitting room and a formal dining room.

The upper level features 3 bedrooms and an updated bath. The main level full bath has also been updated with fixtures and tile that complement the beautiful era in which this home originated.

The cozy unfinished basement is currently used as a TV and reading area and storage as well as laundry.
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 1.75
Square feet: 1,920
Price: $299,999

For more information about this property, please contact Sarah Marrinan at 651-964-0289. You can also text 3200071 to 67299.

See more listings at:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Chisago schools, Built in 2014, Lots of Extras and Upgrades!

10773 251st St Scandia, MN 55073

Come and visit this home!

MLS Number: 4640950
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2 full and 1 half
Garage: 3 Car

Open layout

Gourmet kitchen

Main floor laundry

Walk-in pantry

Gas fireplace

Main floor den
Fenced yard

3 Bedrooms upstairs

Private master bath

Double vanity main bath

Walk-in closet
Walk-out basement
Skip the headaches of building, your NEW home is ready! This 2014 custom home with open main level layout features a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, walk-in pantry, and stainless steel farm sink! Cozy up in front of the gas fireplace in the living room or gaze out into the expansive backyard through the dining area patio doors. The laundry/mud room has custom lockers. A level, fenced yard with space for a garden, yard games & more! OVERSIZED GARAGE! See supplements!


Sarah Marrinan
Keller Williams Premier Realty


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Real Estate Gimmicks

GUARANTEED - Your home sold
Good advertising is good for sales.  It's marketing 101 really.  But when it comes to real estate advertising, who is being sold?

Let's look at some programs (a.k.a. gimmicks) that are presented to home sellers.

GUARANTEED SALE in XX DAYS: a.k.a. Guaranteed price reduction that you must pre-approve them to do when you list and the reductions happen quickly - like every week or two and they are often large - like 10-20%.
So, if you really do take a hard look at the data real estate agents have and you are removed from the history you have with your house, you will know if it's possible for you home to sell in your timeframe and the most probable price and that information is more important than any guarantee.

GUARANTEED SALE or WE BUY IT: a.k.a. First off, the “guaranteed sale” will not be at the price you expect. The Realtor who markets this type of plan is backed by investors who will purchase your home at a wholesale discounted price. Meaning that you may get $.60 to $.70 on the dollar.  That puts a different spin on it, doesn’t it? I mean, isn’t the phrase “acceptable price” extremely ambiguous. Acceptable to whom? The truth is that the “acceptable price” will be determined by the real estate agent, and it will be a price that is WAY below market value. If you do not agree to the “acceptable price” then you do not qualify for the guaranteed program. Most sellers that have looked at the market data know the "we buy it" price is BELOW the market value so they don't agree to the program and and therefore they don’t ever buy homes. Many of the so called “guru” real estate trainers around the country who recommend this marketing method tell agents how to structure their guarantee so that no informed person would even want to take the “guarantee.”

“I HAVE A BUYER FOR YOUR HOME”  a.k.a. If you would just talk to me I would love to list your house and then if I market it right, I will have a buyer.

OPEN HOUSES EVERY [SUNDAY]: a.k.a. Buyer Bait. Listing Bait.  The agent is HOPING that the neighbors come by so they can recruit future listings. They are also hoping that potential buyers without agents stop by so they can pick up some new buyer leads.  If one likes the house (according to the latest survey, less that 10% do) and they want to buy it, that's a double bonus as they get paid on both sides of the deal!

Let's look at some offers (a.k.a. gimmicks) that are presented to home buyers.

LOVE YOUR HOME GUARANTEED: a.k.a. If you don't love it, we will sell it for you and if find you another home to buy through us. And while we may waive our sale side of the professional fee (commission), you will still need to pay the buyer commission and we will need to hold Open Houses (see above).

MY SERVICES ARE FREE TO THE BUYER: Well, almost, a lot of the time.  The buyer representation contract almost ALWAYS include an admin fee or retainer fee and there is a possibility the seller doesn't agree to pay the buyer's agent's commission (though in most cases they do).  83% of agents are independent contractors which means they are self-employed/own their own business.  How would they stay in business if their services were free?  Ask them to explain how they get paid.

If you’ve considered calling on a “Guarantee” like these, be aware. Do you want to work with a residential real estate firm who is selling on gimmicks instead of truth and value from the start?

So, are there any guarantees you SHOULD take?

100% GUARANTEED Authentic
This is probably the biggest transaction you will have in your life. Trust is a vital part of an agent's value. The guarantee that you should be looking for is honest advice - even when the truth is hard. And a guarantee that they will follow up as promised.
Agents promising the world (high sale prices, fast sales, hot deals, etc) without data and plan to support the promise most likely are on the "sign now, explain later plan." Meaning they will be asking for price reductions or back pedaling when things don't go as planned.
Take the time to let your agent educate you to make a good decision instead of looking for the best gimmick. Review the agent's marketing plan.  Find an agent that asks a lot of questions and really understands your situation and goals. You will thank yourself!
See another version of this article at:

Other articles you may enjoy:
Home Seller FAQs
Why are all those home search sites free?
Feng Shui 101

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Will You Save Money if You Go Straight to the Builder?

Can you save money if you skip the real estate buyer's agent and go straight to the builder?

Save money building a new home
The better question might be, why would you want to use a real estate agent when you can tour models yourself and go straight to the builder to build a new home?

A Realtor is a professional who is on your side in the transaction. No other person represents you -- not the builder, or architect, or the GC. The agent in the sales office ONLY represents the builder, not you. The agent in the sales office is often trained to tell buyer's agents that they will "take it from here" and work directly with the buyer while still paying the buyer's agent so that they have more opportunities to upsell the buyer without a buyer's agent looking over their shoulder.

A good Realtor should be able to provide you with comparable sales to make sure you are not overpaying. They can point out possible issues with resale of your planned home which you might not be aware of and help you determine if you are "getting what you pay for" when it comes to quality.

Not only can I help buyers tour models privately and meet with builders, I often accompany clients in making their selections to help them decide which options will actually add value to their home vs. which ones are likely not going to pay off on resale.

Some people think that if they don't use an agent, they can save the money the builder would pay an agent. Realtors are paid out of the builder's marketing budget, so having one involved doesn't cost you extra.  Plus, having two real estate agents make sure things get done (from paperwork to selections) instead of one (just their own) is often a benefit to the builder so they are happy to work with a buyer's agent.

Also, consider that the builder is always a licensed agent themselves or has a licensed agent representing them. In MN, when an agent is selling a house themselves, we have to disclose this. Agents are considered "wolves" and buyers "sheep" because of the knowledge gap.  As a sheep, would you want to approach a wolf alone?

When choosing an agent to represent you for a new construction build, be sure they have represented a buyer in building before AND they have the education in working with the new construction process.  This is the best way to be certain they are going to be valuable in the process.

Lastly, if you have a home to sell, an experienced agent will make sure you understand your options when it comes to coordinating the building, selling and the financing of it all.

Best of luck with your home build, whether you decide to go it alone or hire an experienced buyer's agent (like me!).

Interested in reading more about new construction?
Check out these articles:
Tips for Buying new Construction
Should I Choose a Custom Builder?
Should I Choose a Production Builder?
Questions to Ask When Interviewing Real Estate Agents
Search for a New Construction Home
What is Your Current Home Worth?

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