Tag Archives: Keller Williams

Are Open Houses Really Beneficial?

When someone decides to sell their property, what is the best avenue to take to have their home sell fast? In today’s market most buyers are using the internet to look for houses themselves before contacting an agent to represent them. Much has been said and written about selling homes through open houses. Who benefits more from this…the seller or the agent? The answer is nuanced.

Open Houses have become a never-ending debate, to whether or not they provide value to both the buyer and the seller. Some see the open house as an outdated form of marketing, while others are coming up with unique and fun ways to still incorporate open houses. We will run through pros and cons of open houses, as well as provide some fun and unique ways to host an open house!


  • It Provides Exposure. Open Houses help market the property and pull in viewers. Though it may not always yield a buyer, it may increase foot traffic and feedback on what to improve in your house. While the chances of getting a serious buyer is rather slim, an open house will draw in people especially if your property is priced correctly!
  • Draw in Potential Buyers. An open house gives potential buyers the opportunity to check the neighborhood, walk through the house and envision themselves living in the home.  There is just nothing like seeing the home in person! – Although many buyers start their search online, pictures can only do so much justice.


  • Risk of Theft. Leaving your home open for strangers carries security risks. While the majority of visitors are there most likely to view your property, some may be there for nefarious reasons. Keep in mind that hosting an open house is an open invitation to anyone to enter your home. Make sure when you hire a realtor, you know that you can trust them to keep an open eye at your open houses for suspicious behavior.
  • Attracts NOSY Neighbors. Since open houses are open to anyone, this serves like a beacon to your lovely, nosy neighbors curious about your home that just want to see how your house looks on the inside and gossip about it to their friends. But, actually.
  • Rarely Produce an Offer. Many brokers or even homeowners will agree that open houses aren’t the best way to sell your property. The numbers of houses sold as a result of an open house is staggeringly low. Open houses spark curiosity in potential buyers but it is rare for someone to come look at the home and place an offer to purchase. After all, home buying is a very serious decision homeowner’s make.


  • Promote Your Open House. Make sure you find a realtor who will promote your open house. The open house should be posted all over the web- the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, and all of the realtor’s personal and business websites. If they incorporate social media into their business plan, I would make sure the open house is on there as well. Our team makes sure to incorporate open houses on all social media platforms in a fun way!
    Open House Email Examples
    Open House Email Examples

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  • Signs, Signs & More Signs. Although many realtors focus on web strategies, make sure some of the “outdated” techniques are still incorporated. However, instead of a few signs on the corner, add LOTS of signs. Most realtors will use a mix of signs- specialty signs, company signs, and just plain open house signs. Some signs offer “fresh-brewed coffee” or “an area list of foreclosures”. Many realtors will put up 20-40 signs for 1 open house!
  • Add a Personal Touch. Ask your realtor if they bring anything special to an open house. We’ve all attended open houses where you walk up to the door, and the agent is on the laptop, or watching TV. See if they bring some food or drink to the open house. Lots of agents may bake fresh cookies in the oven to create a pleasing aroma and treat, or brew coffee!

Feel free to contact our team to talk about the pros and cons of an open house for your specific property. The effectiveness of an open house can vary greatly by the style of your home and the location of your home. What will be the most effective avenue to sell your property for top dollar, in the shortest amount of time?

Sandy Erickson Real Estate Team of Keller Williams Realty
Serving the Twin Cities Area 

Direct: 651-269-3487
Email: Sandy@SandyErickson.com
Website: www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com


New Listing! 6608 Lower 12th Street N Oakdale, MN 55128

New Listing!

6608 Lower 12th Street North

Oakdale, MN 55128

Price: $210,000

6608 Lower 12th

This home offers bountiful space, loads of natural light, and is located in a stellar neighborhood. This home features 3 bedrooms up, a master with an attached bath, and a beautiful walkout family room to a large and open backyard w/ fire pit. The large 4th level bedroom offers lookout windows and a full bathroom, perfect for guests, a renter, or a teen. Look forward to spending time outdoors with a multilevel deck, and look forward to spending time indoors with plenty of space to grow and enjoy!

For more property information, visit this link:

For any questions regarding this property call us at 651-269-3487, or feel free to email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com

Sunny living room on main level - large windows facing front of home.
Sunny living room on main level – large windows facing front of home.
Master bedroom with walk-thru bath
Master bedroom with walk-thru bath
Lower level family room with closets - great storage!
Lower level family room with closets – great storage!
Large fourth level bedroom with lookout windows. Great for guests, renter or teenagers.
Large fourth level bedroom with lookout windows. Great for guests, renter or teenagers.

Halloween Spooktacular Coming to Roseville!

Halloween Spooktacular
Mark Your Calendars!

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Saturday, October 25th, 2014
4:30 PM-8:30 PM

Get ready to join in for some fun and adventure! Join other little goblins and their parents or guardians for a night filled with “ghostly games, devilish demonstrations and a fun-filled hayride”! The Halloween Spooktacular is hosted at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center (2520 Dale St. N.) in Roseville, MN. For more information on the event center and the address, visit their website at: http://www.ci.roseville.mn.us/index.aspx?nid=183 or reach them by phone at 651-792-7012.

This event costs a small fee (last year was around $6 for adult & child together), but the price is worth the loads of fun. Please note that adult attendance is required. Each child will walk away with a special Halloween treat bag, and during the event they will enjoy a hayride, popcorn and many different forms of entertainment.

Featured Events:
*Carnival Hall with Prizes
*Themed Hayride
*Face Painting
*Live Animals
*Take-Home Craft
*Fire Circle with Live Music

To pre-register, you may download and fill out this form http://cityofroseville.com/DocumentCenter/View/12820 and bring it to the Roseville Parks & Recreation Department prior to the day of the event. You can also register by phone with a Visa, MasterCard or an American Express card at 651-792-7110. You are available to pre-register by phone Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM. Please note that if you plan on taking the hayride, you must also fill out a hayride waiver and hand it in when you check in. The hayride waiver can be found here: http://cityofroseville.com/DocumentCenter/View/12822

Our team loves working in the Roseville, MN area! We love fun-filled events for all ages and families. If you have any questions regarding real estate in this area, please contact us at 651-269-3487 or email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com.
Our Website: http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com/

Moving Checklist

Checklists can be tedious and overwhelming…but, for a big task like moving, you’re going to want one! Here are some ideas, tips and tricks that we have for a less stressful and more enjoyable move.


Two Months Before:

1. Research

Start investigating moving companies. The best idea is to pick a few top companies and request an on-site estimate. You want to make sure that your estimate is in writing from the company you choose and has a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number on it.

 2. Sort & Get Rid Of

Go through every room of your house and decide what you want to keep, and what you don’t need anymore. Do NOT pack things that you know you’re not going to keep. We recommend donating your clean items that you don’t need anymore (get a receipt for your taxes). Also, consider any items in your house that may need special packaging or extra insurance coverage- make a note of those items.

3. Take Measurements

Check room dimensions at your new home. If you know some of your furniture won’t fit, try selling or donating it. If possible, try to decide if larger items will fit out your doorways. If you know you have large items that may be difficult to fit out the doorway, make sure you mention this to the moving company right away.

4. Create a Moving Binder

A lot of people skip this step. But, we recommend it to keep everything organized. Use a binder to keep track of everything during your move- every estimate, your receipts and an inventory of all the items you’re moving.

5. Organize School Records (if you have children)

Go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to the new school district. 

Six Weeks Before

1. Order Supplies

Order boxes, packing tape, permanent markers and bubble wrap. Don’t forget to order special containers for items like clothing. You can even order colored stickers to keep everything simple. For example: every red sticker=kitchen, every orange sticker=master bedroom, etc… 

2. Start Using Up Supplies

Use up perishable food items that you won’t be moving. Also, consider using up cleaning supplies that are hazardous to pack.

One Month Before:

1. Confirm Arrangements With Mover

Make sure you confirm your move date, costs and other details with your mover of choice.

2. Begin Packing

Start by packing items you don’t use often. This may be some kitchen supplies (the griddle or blender) or decorations. While packing, make note of items that have a higher value (over $100). Note this to your mover in writing & save a copy for your records. Make sure to wrap every item in bubble wrap.

3. Label

Clearly label each box with a number, and write what is inside the box. This is where the sticker idea also comes into place! We recommend writing the room the items will be going to (kitchen, master bedroom, living room, etc.…). This also keeps an inventory of your items. If there are fragile items in one of the boxes, write this large and bold on the outside. Make sure you pack a box of essential items for things you will need right away.

4. Separate Valuables

If you have special jewelry or paperwork, pack a personal box that you will take with you- consider taking a safe with you. 

5. Do a Change of Address

Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form. You can also go to USPS and fill it out online.

6. Notify Important Parties

Alert the following of your move:

  • Post Office
  • Veteran’s Administration
  • IRS
  • Social Security
  • Pension Plan
  • Draft Board
  • Health & Hospital Insurance
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Driver’s License
  • Schools
  • Library
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Banks & Financial Companies
  • Credit Cards & Charge Accounts
  • Stock Broker
  • Housecleaning Services
  • Doctor, Dentist, Optometrist, Chiropracter
  • Lawyer
  • Locksmith
  • Electric, Gas, Garbage, Internet, Telephone & Cable Services
  • Appliance Service
  • Fuel
  • Water Treatment
  • Landscaper & Snow Removal

Two Weeks Before:

1. Tune Up

Take your car to a garage and ask the mechanic to consider different services if you’re moving to a new climate.

2. Remove Contents From Safe-Deposit Box

Place in the safe you are taking with you.

3. Contact the Moving Company

Re-confirm all moving arrangements.

One Week Before:

1. Refill Prescriptions

Stock up on prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks.

2. Pack Your Suitcases

Aim to finish your general packing a few days before the actual move-out date. Pack a suitcase for everyone in the family with essential items, clothes for a few days, and any valuables you don’t want on the moving truck- place valuables in the safe you’re taking with you.

A Few Days Before:

1. Defrost the Freezer

Only if your refrigerator is moving with you! Make sure that it is cleaned out and defrosted at LEAST 24 hours before moving day.

2. Plan the Payment

If not arranged prior, make sure you know whether you are paying your mover with a credit card, a cashier’s check, or cash. Remember to tip the moving company if they’ve done a good job (10, 15 or 20%). If your move is especially difficult, tip each mover up to $100 and make sure to provide refreshments. – Of course, this is all personal preference.

Moving Day:

1. Verify

Make sure that the moving truck that shows up matches the company you hired. The USDOT number on the side of the truck should match the USDOT number on your contract. Scams are possible.

2. Take Inventory

Before the movers leave your house, sign the bill of inventory and keep a copy for your records. Put in your moving binder!

For any questions you may have, please feel free to reach out to our team. 

Sandy Erickson Team of Keller Williams Realty
Phone: 651-269-3487
Email: Sandy@SandyErickson.com
Website: http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

7559 Jeanne Drive, Lino Lakes MN

A very welcoming home situated on a 1-acre wooded lot in the Centennial district. The home features a lovely main level with a formal dining room and large bay windows, a large family room w/vaulted ceilings and a grand fireplace, a kitchen featuring a center island, a full-sized laundry room, and a master suite with double sinks, a whirlpool tub, separate shower and a walk-in closet! Enjoy the private backyard with a pool, large deck, tool shed and extra garage! The unfinished basement is ready for your finishes!

Large front porch at home located on a 1-acre lot with mature trees! — in Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
Kitchen with wall oven and center island. — in Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
Great pool built into a large back deck in the private, serene backyard. — in Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
Formal dining room with large bay windows and newer flooring. — in Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
Large vaulted ceilings and a gas burning fireplace in the living room! — in Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
Extra garage in the back yard- perfect for pool toys, lawn and garden supplies or a boat! — in Lino Lakes, Minnesota.

View the property listing here: http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com/listing/mlsid/152/propertyid/4521778/
Make sure to call us at 651-269-3487 or email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com for any questions you may have!


Just a week ago, I took a day-long class to learn some new real estate techniques. The class was full of fun and useful information so that we, the agents & teams, can provide our clients with new and exciting information. During our class, I came across one tool that I feel is super useful, easy and fun to use! It is called SeeClickFix, and does exactly what it says. If you have ever encountered a non-emergency issue in your neighborhood (an abandoned vehicle, grafitti, a pothole, overgrown grass, a burnt out street light, an overflowing trashcan) and you’ve been unaware of who to contact for this problem, keep on reading!

As agents, we usually come across things in the city or neighborhood that our clients have questions on. For example, we may be showing a great house to a client…but the neighbors grass is way overgrown. Or, a client may be ready to put in an offer on a home, but is really worried about a broken streetlamp or pothole in front of the home. This tool can help resolve those problems and put a client and agent’s mind at ease when viewing homes.

This tool is simple. You see a problem in your city or neighborhood, you take a quick picture of it, and you submit it to the website using the easy app or website. It is completely anonymous  and is the simplest way to help clean up your community in a fast and efficient way. Visit here to read more about SeeClickFix and how it works: How It Works

For example, in Minneapolis, MN- our neighborhood, some of the most recent resolved cases include: an abandoned vehicle, graffiti, and a pothole. There have been over 2,406 cases just in the Minneapolis, MN area. With this quick and easy way to report these issues, our city is more efficient and cleaner! 

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You can see by these photos, that you can submit a picture of the issue. Then, the case will either be “open” or “acknowledged”, and the case will be given a number and you will know when the issue is resolved! 

To download the app and learn more about the app, visit here: SeeClickFix App

As a team in the Twin Cities area, we love seeing issues resolved quickly and efficiently. If a client needs peace of mind before buying that perfect home, this app can definitely help! If you’re looking to sell your home, but embarrassed or worried about that eyesore on your block, this app is also very helpful. 

For more information on our services, please contact us at 651-269-3487 or email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com

Sandy Erickson Team of Keller Williams Realty 

Our Website

Minnesota Summer Destinations You Can’t Miss

Make sure you get to visit a few of these top Minnesota attractions before the next snow fall. If you haven’t had a chance yet this summer to visit these awesome locations, make sure you get a chance!

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#1: The Walker Art Center & Minneapolis Sculpture Garden-

The Walker Art Center was the first public art gallery in the upper Midwest area and was established in 1927. Next to the center is the famous Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which is one of the largest urban sculpture parks in the country. There are plenty of unique sculptures to view and take pictures of. There is also a fun mini-golf course! Some of the favorite sculptures are the Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen Spoonbridge and Cherry. For more information on attractions visit the website: Walker Art Center Website

#2: Minnehaha Falls Park- 

Minnehaha Falls Park has 193 acres of beautiful river outlooks, limestone bluffs and all kinds of nature. The park is halfway between the two downtown areas making it convenient to visit. It is also ranked one of the most popular parks in the area. There is a bike and pedestrian trail, areas to have a picnic or relax and watch the falls, and a bandstand for different concerts.

#3: Grand Avenue-

Grand Avenue is located in Saint Paul, and is always busy with activity and people. There are numerous fun boutiques, speciality shops, spas, and many locally owned restaurants along the strip. Grand Avenue is fairly large…running 30 blocks, and parts of the street are filled with beautiful old homes. The nearby University of St. Thomas and Macalester College add charm to the area. Some of our favorite places to stop along Grand Ave. are: Cafe Latte, Bread & Chocolate, Grand Ole Creamery & Pizzeria and the Wild Onion.

#4: Fort Snelling State Park-

Fort Snelling is conveniently located in the heart of the metro area near the airport and the Mall of America. The park offers great outdoor recreation and historical sites perfect to visit in the warm months of the year. Fort Snelling is located along the Mississippi and Minnesota RIvers, and offers a 18 mile hiking trail, 5 miles of biking trails and canoe rentals for Gun Club Lake. There is also a 9-hole golf course, and swimming available in Snelling Lake. There are numerous historic sites within the fort as well as cannon firing! For more information on pricing and attractions visit the website! Fort Snelling State Park

#5: Wheel Fun Rentals-

Wheel Fun Rentals is located in numerous locations throughout the Twin Cities! Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, Lake Nokomis, Minnehaha Falls and the St. Paul Hotel are a few of the rental areas. If you want to sight see in any of these locations, you can rent bikes, special bikes, kayaks, pedal boats, canoes and surreys. (Different rentals at different locations). Wheel Fun Rentals Website

#6: Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway-

The Grand Round National Scenic Byway is a 50-mile route that loops through tree-lined neighborhoods past rivers, lakes, woods and waterfalls. The byway is part of Minneapolis parkland, and Minneapolis has more parkland acres per capita than any other major city in the United States! You’ll be sure to see something of interest in this route!

#7: The Minnesota Zoo-

The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, Minnesota and has been around for over 35 years! This is a very large zoo with animals arranged by living environment, and six different themed areas. There are three different themed walking trails ranging from 1 to 2 miles in length. The zoo also features an IMAX theatre, and zoo passes range from Free-$18 per person. Visit the website for more detailed information on cost and attractions: Minnesota Zoo Website

#8: The Target Field-

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the newer Target Field yet, it’s a must! The ballpark is located in downtown Minneapolis, and is home to the Minnesota Twins, the state’s MLB franchise. The field was built specifically for the Twins back in 2010. There are lots of fun activities to join in on during the game, and there is plenty of great food and drinks. Visit their website for pricing, tickets, transportation information, and more! Target Field Website

Our team loves the Twin Cities area. For any questions about real estate around the Twin Cities, please contact us at 651-269-3487 or email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com.

Website: www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

Top Minnesota Suburbs


Minnesota is a great state, and a great place to call home. As of 2014, Minnesota’s population is just over 5 million people. The population has seen a grown of a little over 8% since the year of 2000.(http://www.bestplaces.net/state/minnesota).

The median home cost in Minnesota is around $175,000 and home appreciation has grown. The cost of living in the state of Minnesota is around 3% higher than the U.S. average. Overall, the state has seen the unemployment rate drop along with positive job growth (http://www.bestplaces.net/state/minnesota).

Some of the best Minnesota suburbs to live in near the Twin Cities are as follows: 

1. Apple Valley, MN

Zip Codes: 55068 & 55124
Estimated Median Home Value (2012): $203,037

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Apple-Valley-Minnesota.html#ixzz37qK6eYJS

Apple Valley is in the Dakota County. The 2010 census shows a city population of around 50,000 people. One of its well-known neighboring cities is Eagan.

Homes for Sale in Apple Valley

2. Eagan, MN

Zip Codes: 55120, 55121, 55122, 55123
Estimated Median Home Value (2012): $225,517

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Eagan-Minnesota.html#ixzz37qKtRMFD

Eagan is south of St. Paul and is part of Dakota County. The city lies on the bank of the Minnesota River. The 2010 census shows the population around 64,000 people.

Homes for Sale in Eagan

3. Eden Prairie, MN

Zip Codes: 55344 & 55347
Estimated Median Home Value (2012): $286,809

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Eden-Prairie-Minnesota.html#ixzz37qLKz4gl

Eden Prairie is just 12 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis and is located in Hennepin County. Eden Prairie is on the bank of the Minnesota River and the population of the city based on the 2010 census is around 61,000 people.

Homes for Sale in Eden Prairie

4. Shakopee, MN 

Zip Code: 55379
Estimated Median Home Value (2012): $204,634

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Shakopee-Minnesota.html#ixzz37qLycG10

Shakopee is southwest of downtown Minneapolis and is part of Scott County. The 2010 Census shows a population around 37,000 people. Burnsville is a large neighboring city of Shakopee.

Homes for Sale in Shakopee

5. Woodbury, MN 

Zip Codes: 55125 & 55129
Estimated Median Home Value (2012): $252,707

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Woodbury-Minnesota.html#ixzz37qMfGYN4

Woodbury is the largest city in Washington County. It is located along interstate 94. The 2010 census showed a population of around 62,000 people. Woodbury was also named one of the top 10 cities in the entire country to raise a family! Read More Here

Homes for Sale in Woodbury

Our real estate team works and lives in the suburbs surrounding the Twin Cities. We are available for any questions you have about the buying or selling process. 

Contact us directly at 651-269-3487 or Sandy@SandyErickson.com

Sandy Erickson Real Estate Team of Keller Williams Realty 

Website: http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com/


Free Home Search Tool, Home Value Analysis & More!

Have you checked out our website?


Free Home Search Tool:

Our home search tool offers you all of the listings on the market. You can also set up free listing alerts, and properties that match your selected criteria will be sent straight to your inbox the minute they come on the market!


Market Insider Tool:

The data on this page is consolidated from multiple sources so you do not have to go to numerous sites for information. We can help you find current listings, recent sales, neighborhood data, and more. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, the knowledge you gain will help put you in control of your real estate transactions.


Free Home Value Analysis: 

For our sellers, we offer a free home value analysis. You will receive a custom evaluation of your home. We make sure to compare your home to other in your area that have sold, are for sale, or were taken off the market. This ensures you accurate information when you are preparing to list your home for sale.


Free App:

Follow this link to download our free home search app: http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com/cp/free-search-app/. We make it easy for you to search for homes on the go. Download to your smartphone, IPad or tablet!


If you have any other questions about our team and what we can offer you, please contact us at 651-269-3487 or email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com!

Sandy Erickson Real Estate Team of Keller Williams Realty

Fun 4th of July Events in Minnesota

Still no plans for the 4th? Here are a few fun events in the Twin Cities, and a great location for fireworks!


The 4th of July marks the anniversary of the day in which the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England all the way back in 1776. This eventually led to the formation of the great United States. 238 years later, we are still celebrating this day and family, friends and the communities around us are truly what this day is all about. Minnesota, and the Twin Cities in specific, have some fabulous events to celebrate the 4th of July!

1. Taste of Minnesota
Date: July 3-6, 2014

The Taste of Minnesota usually takes place on Harriet Island, but due to our large amount of rain, the event has been relocated to Carver County Fairgrounds. The new location address is 501 West 3rd Street in Waconia, Minnesota, just off of Highway 5. The Taste of Minnesota is one of the largest Minnesota celebrations out there. Some of the entertainment this year includes: 92KQRS, 93X, 102.9, fireworks every night starting at 10:20 pm, and many different exhibits. Some fun food and beverage vendors include: Kemps Ice Cream, Maui Wowi, El Burrito Mercado, Granite City and many more! For more information on the Taste of Minnesota, visit their webpage at: http://www.atasteofmn.com/home-page.

2. Red, White & Boom
Date: July 3-6, 2014

This is a two-day celebration hosted by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. This event is held annually and attracts over 60,000 people. There are plenty of activities, live music and great food. The fireworks are some of the best in the state. Visit their FB page for more updates and information: https://www.facebook.com/MinneapolisRedWhiteAndBoom/info

We love the Twin Cities. We love real estate in the Twin Cities! For any questions about the Twin Cities housing market, contact us directly at 651-269-3487 or email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com

Sandy Erickson Team of Keller Williams Realty
Website: www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com