Are you ready to dive into the exciting journey of building your dream home? Whether you're starting from scratch or undertaking a renovation project, creating a space that reflects your personality and meets your lifestyle needs is a thrilling endeavor. However, with so many decisions to make and details to consider, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. That's why we've compiled three essential tips to guide you through the process and help you bring your dream home to life.

  1. Plan meticulously: Building your dream home starts with a solid plan. Take the time to envision how you want your space to look and function. Consider factors such as layout, room sizes, storage needs, and architectural style. Create a detailed blueprint or work with a professional architect to bring your vision to life on paper. Remember, every detail matters, so don't overlook the small things that can make a big difference in the overall design and functionality of your home.
  2. Prioritize functionality alongside aesthetics: While it's tempting to focus solely on aesthetics when designing your dream home, it's crucial to prioritize functionality as well. Your home should not only look beautiful but also serve your practical needs and enhance your daily life. Think about how you use each space and tailor the design to accommodate your lifestyle. Incorporate features such as ample storage, efficient layout designs, and durable materials that can withstand the test of time. By striking the right balance between aesthetics and functionality, you'll create a home that not only looks stunning but also works seamlessly for you and your family.
  3. Don't rush: Building your dream home is a significant investment of both time and money, so it's essential not to rush the process. Take the time to research, plan, and make informed decisions every step of the way. Explore different design ideas, visit showrooms, and gather inspiration from magazines, websites, and social media platforms. Don't be afraid to ask questions or seek advice from professionals in the industry. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is your dream home. Be patient, stay focused on your vision, and trust the process. In the end, your patience and attention to detail will pay off, resulting in a home that exceeds your wildest dreams.

Building your dream home is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it's also a complex and challenging one. By following these three essential tips, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the process with confidence and create a space that reflects your unique personality and lifestyle. So roll up your sleeves, unleash your creativity, and get ready to turn your dream home into a reality. Happy building!

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on April 24th, 2024 12:24 PM

Welcome to our Spring Cleaning Series! As we bid farewell to winter and embrace the fresh beginnings of spring, it's time to give our homes a well-deserved makeover. Follow along as we guide you through a week-long journey to refresh every corner of your space.


Day 1: Let the sunshine in! 

Today, we're starting with a clear view. It's time to tackle those windows and let the sunlight flood in. Say goodbye to smudges and streaks as we give your windows a sparkling makeover. A brighter view awaits!


Day 2: Get ready to bloom! 

Now that the windows are shining, it's time to turn our attention to the great outdoors. Join us as we transform your yard into a sanctuary of spring blooms and greenery. From mowing the lawn to planting flowers, we'll help you create the perfect outdoor retreat.


Day 3: Out with the Old, In with the Organized! 

Clutter, be gone! Today, we're diving deep into decluttering. Say goodbye to items you no longer need and hello to a space that's both tidy and serene. With a clear space comes a clear mind, ready to embrace the joys of spring.


Day 4: Take Away the Chill, Bring on the Thrill!

Winter may be over, but its remnants linger. It's time to pack away those heavy coats, boots, and blankets, and make room for the lightness of spring. Join us as we bid farewell to winter gear and welcome the warmer days ahead.


Day 5: Shedding Light on a Brighter Home!

Last but not least, we're shedding light on your home's brightest features. From light fixtures to switches, we'll ensure every corner is illuminated for the season ahead. Get ready to bask in the glow of a well-lit space.


Join us on this spring cleaning journey and refresh your home for the season ahead. Follow along each day as we tackle a new task and breathe new life into your space. Let's make this spring the freshest yet!

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on April 17th, 2024 11:46 AM

As the seasons change, it's the perfect time to breathe new life into your home. This spring, why not embark on a mini home makeover? You don't need a complete renovation to make a big impact. With just a few simple updates, you can refresh your space and welcome the season with open arms. In this blog post, we'll explore four easy ways to update your home for spring.

1. Fresh Paint: There's nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to transform a room. This spring, consider painting your walls white for a clean and airy feel. White walls not only make a space feel larger and brighter, but they also serve as a versatile backdrop for any decor style.

To achieve a fresh look this spring, start by painting your walls white. White paint can instantly brighten up a room and create a sense of openness. Whether you're going for a modern minimalist look or a cozy farmhouse feel, white walls provide the perfect canvas for your design vision.

2. Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the ambiance of a room. Swap out outdated light fixtures for new ones that complement your aesthetic and brighten up your space. Consider adding statement pendant lights or sleek recessed lighting to give your home a modern touch.

Upgrade your lighting fixtures to illuminate your space and enhance its atmosphere. Whether you're looking to create a cozy ambiance or brighten up a dark corner, updating your light fixtures can make a significant difference. From pendant lights to chandeliers, explore a variety of options to find the perfect lighting solution for your home.

3. Sometimes, it's the little details that make the biggest difference. Give your kitchen or bathroom a mini makeover by updating the hardware on your cabinets. Swap out old knobs and pulls for new ones in a fresh finish or style to instantly elevate the look of your space.

Refresh your kitchen or bathroom cabinets by updating their hardware. Swapping out old knobs and pulls for new ones can give your space a refreshed look without breaking the bank. Choose hardware that complements your existing décor and adds a touch of personality to your cabinets.

4. Upgrade your faucets for a stylish and functional update. Whether in the kitchen or bathroom, modern faucets can instantly elevate the look of your space while also improving functionality. Opt for sleek designs in finishes like brushed nickel or matte black for a contemporary touch.

Upgrade your faucets to add style and functionality to your kitchen or bathroom. Modern faucets not only enhance the aesthetic of your space but also improve water efficiency and performance. Choose from a variety of designs and finishes to find the perfect faucet upgrade for your home.

With these four simple updates, you can breathe new life into your home this spring. From fresh paint to stylish faucets, there are plenty of ways to refresh your space without undertaking a major renovation. So why wait? Start your spring home makeover today and enjoy a fresh, revitalized space all season long.

Ready to give your home a spring makeover? With these easy updates, you can refresh your space in no time. From painting your walls white to upgrading your faucets, there are plenty of ways to welcome the season with style. So roll up your sleeves and get started on your spring home updates today!

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on April 15th, 2024 10:08 AM

Are you ready to take the leap into homeownership? It's not just about finding the perfect place to call home—it's also a strategic move toward building lasting wealth. As your trusted real estate resource, we are here to guide you through the exciting journey ahead.

Why Buy Instead of Rent?

Let's start with the basics: renting versus buying. While renting provides flexibility, it doesn't offer the long-term benefits that homeownership does. When you rent, your monthly payments go toward someone else's investment. But when you buy a home, each mortgage payment is an investment in your future.

Building Equity with Every Payment

One of the most significant advantages of owning a home is building equity over time. Equity is the difference between your home's market value and the remaining balance on your mortgage. With each payment you make, you are increasing your stake in your property and moving closer to full ownership.

Appreciation: Your Home as an Investment

Property values have historically trended upwards over time, making homeownership a potentially lucrative investment. While there are no guarantees in the real estate market, owning a home gives you the opportunity to benefit from appreciation. As your home increases in value, so does your wealth.

Tax Benefits and Financial Stability

Beyond the financial gains, homeownership offers valuable tax benefits, including deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes. These deductions can lower your overall tax burden and increase your disposable income.

Moreover, owning a home provides stability and security for you and your family. You have control over your living situation, free from the uncertainty of rental agreements and potential landlord changes.

Your Path to Financial Freedom Starts Here

At RE/MAX Select Properties, we believe that homeownership is a powerful tool for building wealth and securing your financial future. With our expertise and personalized guidance, we will help you navigate the home buying process with confidence.

Ready to take the first step toward homeownership? Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Let's turn your dream of owning a home into a reality and unlock the doors to wealth together.

Kelsey Bergey 507-251-0281

Posted in:buyingPosted in:buyer and tagged: buyinghome buyer
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on March 14th, 2024 5:00 PM

In the heart of winter, there's nothing quite like a comforting, home-cooked meal to warm your soul. Today we are sharing a delightful comfort meal idea that's perfect for cozy evenings in Fillmore County—Homemade Lasagna! I am a pasta girl at heart, it’s the ultimate comfort food, my personal specialty!

Why Lasagna? It’s the ultimate comfort food! Layers of pasta, rich meat sauce, and melted cheese come together and promise to bring comfort with every bite. Plus, the aroma of a baking lasagna fills your home with a sense of warmth and anticipation. (Side note: don’t forget to burn that locally purchased candle for an extra cozy effect.)


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


  • In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until beef is browned; drain excess fat.

  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, basil, and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese and beaten eggs.

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

  • In a 9x13-inch baking dish, layer noodles, meat sauce, ricotta mixture, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Repeat layers, ending with a generous layer of mozzarella and Parmesan on top.

  • Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 25 minutes until bubbly and golden.

  • Let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.

Share this meal with loved ones or savor it as a solo treat. After all, comfort food is meant to be shared and enjoyed. Stay warm!

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on January 25th, 2024 6:09 AM

As you search for real estate, it's essential to recognize the significance of having a seasoned guide by your side. In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons why hiring an experienced local agent is a game-changer when it comes to real estate in our beloved small towns.

**1. Local Expertise: An experienced local agent is a walking encyclopedia of Fillmore County's real estate landscape. We know the towns, market trends, and the unique charm each community offers. 

**2. Navigating Market Fluctuations: Real estate markets can be dynamic, and Fillmore County is no exception. As experienced local agents we have insight to navigate market fluctuations, providing you with strategic guidance whether you're buying or selling.

**3. Community Connections: The relationships we have as experienced local agents have within the community can be instrumental in your real estate journey. From local vendors to fellow agents, these connections can open doors and create opportunities that may not be accessible otherwise.

**4. Understanding Your Needs: Every buyer or seller has unique needs and preferences. An experienced local agent takes the time to understand your goals, lifestyle, and priorities, ensuring that the properties presented align with your vision. When you value the lifestyle Fillmore County has to offer it’s important to work with an agent who feels the same, we live in Fillmore County and appreciate it! 

**5. Negotiation Prowess: Real estate negotiations require finesse and strategy. An experienced local agent brings negotiation prowess to the table, working to secure a deal that works for you, whether you're buying your dream home or selling a property.

Embark on your real estate journey with confidence by choosing to work with us as your local real estate expert with years of experience! 

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on January 23rd, 2024 4:08 AM

Homeownership is not just a transaction; it's an investment in your future, your community, and your well-being. Let's talk about five reasons why homeownership.

**1. Community Roots: Homeownership fosters a sense of belonging and stability. When you own a home, you become an integral part of your community. Your roots deepen in our small towns and who wouldn’t want that in this wonderful place we call home!?

**2. Financial Investment: Beyond the emotional benefits, owning a home is a sound financial investment. Homeownership has long been known as a cornerstone of wealth-building. Not sure if you’re financially ready to own a home, let’s talk about it and connect you with a lender. You might be surprised at what you learn and the options you have for financing. 

**3. Personalization and Stability: Your home is your canvas. When you own a property, you have the freedom to personalize your space, creating a haven that reflects your style and values. This personal touch contributes to a stable and comforting environment. I’ve rented and I’ve owned, so I can personally attest to this one! There’s something so special about owning your space and being able to customize it to your needs and wants. 

**4. Fillmore County's Real Estate Potential: Dive into the unique real estate opportunities that Fillmore County offers, one of the most fun parts of buying real estate in our area is that there are no “cookie cutter homes”. 

**5. Long-Term Vision: Homeownership provides a long-term vision for your future. It's an investment in your legacy, offering stability and a place where cherished memories are made. 

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or looking to make a strategic move, understanding the importance of homeownership is important. As your local real estate expert I am here to help you make the move that is important to you.

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on January 8th, 2024 1:05 PM

New Year, new dreams! As we bid farewell to 2023, it's time to set our sights on the exciting possibilities that lie ahead. If one of your aspirations for the coming year includes finding your dream home or making a strategic move in the real estate market, you're in the right place.

We'll be your guides to mapping out your real estate journey in Fillmore County. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, looking to upgrade, or considering selling, the beginning of the year is the perfect time to set clear goals and intentions. Once you’ve decided on your goals and intentions please share them with us so we can help you achieve them!

Here are a few topics we'll cover:

  • Defining Your Real Estate Goals: Identify your priorities and what you hope to achieve in today’s real estate market.

  • Understanding the Local Market: Get insights into the current market trends by talking with us, allowing you to make informed decisions. We are more than happy to visit with you over the phone or in person!

  • Preparing Your Home for Sale: If you're planning to sell, discover tips for preparing your home for a successful and timely sale. There’s no need to go searching for these tips on your own, we are here to guide you as your local experts.

  • Exploring Dream Home Criteria: For homebuyers, we'll delve into creating a checklist of must-haves and deal-breakers for your dream home. We have a home buyer guide we have created for you to educate you on the buying process and help make it smoother for you. We would love to meet with you and go through this guide, which also includes other recommended professionals who will be part of your transaction such as lenders. 

  • Navigating the Homebuying Process: Understand the steps involved in purchasing a home, from mortgage pre-approval to closing we are here to guide you along the way. 

Let’s begin this journey with us as your local experts, your dream home awaits! 

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on January 2nd, 2024 1:54 PM

As we stand on the cusp of a brand-new year, it is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and set goals to pave the way for your future. As local real estate experts who love our community, we are passionate about helping you turn your homeownership dreams into reality. Let’s start the new year together and explore how setting New Year’s goals can be the key to unlocking your homeownership dreams. 

  1. Create Your Vision: The first step in any successful journey is to define your vision clearly. What does your next home look like? Where do you see yourself living? Take a moment to visualize the kind of space that brings you joy and fulfillment; is it an open floor plan or cozy separate rooms, do you need more bathrooms or bedroom space, how much garage space is ideal? Personally we love using Pinterest to create an inspirational board. 

  2. Establish Clear Objectives: Break down your vision into tangible, achievable objectives. Whether it is saving money for a down payment, improving your credit score, or determining your ideal location, setting clear and realistic goals help you make steady progress towards homeownership. 

    1. TIP: If you think your house payment will be more than your current rent or your current mortgage payment, start saving the difference in a savings account. This will give you the comfort of knowing you can afford a larger payment and allowing you to save money to put towards a down payment or closing costs at the end of the day. 

      1. Anticipated payment $1,500 - Current $1,000 = $500 to savings 

  3. Prioritize Financial Fitness: Financial health is the backbone of any real estate venture. Evaluate your current financial situation and set goals to put yourself in a better position. This might look like reading a budget, reducing unnecessary expenses, or exploring investment opportunities to accelerate your savings. 

    1. Need help getting started with a budget? Let us know! We have a template you can use and solid advice for how to get started. 

  4. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power in the real estate market. Set a goal to educate yourself on the local market, mortgage options, and home buying process. The best way to do this is to schedule a time to meet with us for a Home Buyers Consultation, over the years we have gathered and created many resources we would love to share with you! Our home buyers who take the time for this meeting greatly appreciate all we have to share and find it makes their buying experience easier. 

  5. Celebrate Milestones: Celebrate your achievements along the way! Whether it is reaching a savings milestone, improving your credit score, or getting pre-approved, each step forward is a win! 

As your local real estate experts, we are here to support you every step of the way. Let’s make 2024 the year you turn your real estate dreams into a reality! With a clear vision and a dedicated professional by your side you can do this. Remember, we can’t help you if we don’t know you’re looking! Cheers to your real estate success in the New Year! 

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on December 27th, 2023 8:22 AM

While the market is ever-evolving, the importance of pre-approval doesn’t change. It’s a crucial step in your home-buying process, and one that promises to make your life easier. 

  1. Clear Understanding of Budget: Securing a pre-approval provides you with a clear understanding of your budget. It established the financial parameters within which you can comfortably search for your next home, helping you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a property that may be out of your means. 

    1. TIP: If you have worked through your budget and have a house payment amount you are comfortable with, let your lender know! This way your lender can work with the current interest rate to help you determine an ideal purchase price range. 

  2. Competitive Edge: In a competitive real estate market, being pre-approved gives you a distinct advantage. Sellers typically prioritize offers from pre-approved buyers as it shows you have serious intent and financial readiness to proceed should the seller accept your offer. You should know, a seller may not even consider an offer without a pre-approval if they have other options. 

  3. Faster Closing Process: Time is of the essence in real estate, and a pre-approval expedited the home-buying process. With your final documentation already reviewed, the closing process tends to be smoother and faster, allowing you to move into your new home faster. 

  4. Focused Home Search: Knowing your budget helps you focus your home search on properties that align with your financial capacity. This targeted approach saves you time and energy, allowing you to concentrate on homes that are within your reach. 

  5. Increased Confidence: Walking into the home-buying process with a pre-approval letter instills confidence in both you and the sellers. It showcases your commitment and ability to follow through, creating a more positive and efficient home-buyer experience. 

    1. TIP: Check in with your lender on a monthly basis. With the shortage of homes on the market we realize it can take a bit longer to buy, this makes it important to have a relationship with your lender. 

The value of getting pre-approved as a home buyer remains steadfast in todays’ real estate climate. It provides clarity, a competitive edge, negotiation power and a faster more efficient path to homeownership. In a market where every advantage matters, securing pre-approval is not just a good idea - it’s an essential step towards turning your home. And lastly, remember you’re not on your own! As your trusted real estate experts we are always here to guide you, which includes helping you choose a reputable lender! 

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on December 22nd, 2023 10:13 AM

As the crisp winter air settles over Fillmore County, it’s time to infuse your home with the warmth and magic of the holiday season. Whether you’re a local resident or dreaming of calling Fillmore County home, these simple tips will help you create a cozy and festive atmosphere that captures the spirit of the season!

1. Embrace Local Charm - Fillmore County is known for its small-town charm, and the holidays are the perfect time to highlight this. Decorate your home with locally sourced ornaments, wreaths, or even a centerpiece crafted by a talented artisan. Incorporation local elements is sure to warm your heart as it does mine, and supports our community. 

2. Warm Colors, Cozy Textures - Infuse your space with the rich and inviting colors of the season. Deep reds, forest greens (you know I am all about green!), and earthy browns paired with cozy textures like flannel, faux fur and knits to create an instant feeling of warmth. Consider updating your throw pillows and blankets to transform your living space into a snug retreat. 

3. Fillmore County Foliage - Celebrate the beauty of Fillmore County’s winter landscape by bringing nature indoors, whether it’s a DIY project or you let a local business help you out! Adding pine cones, branches, and a Christmas tree are natural elements that not only add a touch of authenticity but again connect your home to the beautiful outdoors. 

4. Memories Display - Create an area in your home to showcase cherished memories and local holiday traditions. Whether it’s family photos, ornaments, or holiday cards, this personalized touch adds sentimental value and a sense of community to your home. 

5. Local Treats and Flavors - Incorporate local treats and beverages from our area business, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious treat on a cold day. 

6. Candlelit Evenings - Illuminate your home with the soft glow of candles. (This is my FAVORITE! You’ll never stop by my house and not find a candle burning and a few fake ones adding to the vibe.) Opt for scents reminiscent of the season, such as fraser fur or cinnamon. The ambiance created will make your space feel instantly cozier, I promise. We have several options for fabulous candles locally, even hand poured in our small towns!

7. Holiday Soundtrack - Create a playlist inspired by your favorite seasonal tracks. Music has a unique way of setting the mood and making your home feel truly festive. 

As you go about on this journey to create a festive and small-town inspired home, remember that it's the personal touches that make the holidays truly special. These simple tips are about to upgrade your space with the magic of the season. From our cozy homes to yours, happy decorating! 

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on December 6th, 2023 4:03 PM

Here's our 5 tips to help you embrace cozy this fall!

1. Decorate with Fall Colors: Bring the warm and inviting colors of fall into your home. Decorate with earthy tones like deep reds, oranges, and browns. You can add throw pillows, blankets, and even consider changing the color of your curtains or tablecloth to create a cozy ambiance. 

2. Light a Scented Candle: Choose a scented candle with warm, seasonal fragrances such as pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or apple pie. Lighting candles can create a comforting and inviting atmosphere in your home. Side note: Only light candles when you are home, please do not leave candles burning for your showings. While it sounds like a nice idea; it's dangerous and buyers may have sensitivities you won't want to trigger. 

3. Create a Reading Nook: Arrange a cozy reading nook with plush cushions and a soft blanket. Make the perfect spot to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate or coffee on a chilly day. 

4. Bake Fall Treats: Fall is the season of baking am I right!? Try your hand at making pumpkin bars (with cream cheese frosting of course), apple crisp, or maybe even cinnamon rolls! The aroma of freshly baked goods will fill your home with a comforting scent. 

5. Incorporate Natural Elements: Bring the outdoors in by decorating with natural elements. Use fall foliage, pinecones, acorns, and gourds in your décor. If you have a little one in your life this is a great way to get outside and include them in exploring! A vase of freshly picked fall flowers can also add a touch of beauty to your living space. 

These tips will help you create a warm and cozy atmosphere in your home that we are all craving right now with the change in temperatures! 

Posted in:home owner and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on November 7th, 2023 1:03 PM

Taking care of your home in the fall is crucial to ensure it's well-prepared for the changing weather in Fillmore County, Minnesota. Here are five simple tips to assist homeowners during this season:

1. **Gutter Maintenance:** Clear your gutters of leaves and debris regularly. Clogged gutters can lead to water damage and ice dams during winter. Ensure that downspouts direct water away from the foundation to prevent basement flooding.

2. **Check for Drafts:** As temperatures drop, check for drafts around doors and windows. Seal any gaps with weather-stripping or caulking to keep your home warm and energy-efficient. This will help reduce heating costs.

3. **HVAC System Inspection:** Schedule a professional inspection of your heating system to ensure it's in good working order. Change your furnace filter and consider having your ducts cleaned for better indoor air quality.

4. **Outdoor Maintenance:** Trim trees and shrubs away from your home to prevent branches from damaging your roof or siding during heavy snowfall or windstorms. Drain and store garden hoses, and consider winterizing your irrigation system.

5. **Prepare for Winter Storms:** Stock up on winter essentials like salt or sand for icy walkways, and make sure your snow shovels and snowblower are in good working condition. Have a supply of flashlights, batteries, and non-perishable food items in case of power outages.

By following these simple tips, homeowners in Fillmore County can help ensure their homes are ready for the fall and the winter season that follows. It's a great way to protect your investment and maintain a comfortable living environment.

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:54 AM

A recent survey from the International Association of Home Staging Professionals shows that staged homes sell three times faster and for a sales price of 5 to 20% more on average than competing nonstaged home. These 10 Steps will help prepare your home for photos, showings, and impress buyers to obtain the best price possible when selling your home.

1) Declutter - Start the packing process by sorting items into pack, pitch, sell, or donate. Choose one space in your home or garage to store boxes and totes. The goal is to clear walkways, open floor and wall space allowing buyers to view the home, not your belongings.

2) Depersonalize - Remove trophies, knick-knacks, posters, most family photos, collections, and don’t forget the refrigerator magnets. Depersonalizing allows prospective buyers the ability to picture themselves in the home by removing distractions.

3) Pack up Seasonal Items – Off season clothing, décor, tools, and things that you will not use for the next 4 to 6 months. This will clear closets and storage spaces, allowing buyers to appreciate the storage the home has to offer. 4) Clean - After you have decluttered, depersonalized, and packed unused items, its time to focus on detailed cleaning. Start with lighting, wall switches, outlets, baseboards, trim, windows, and doors, working your way to the floor. Using a painter’s tape to mark areas to come back to for touch up paint or fix is an easier reminder.

5) Lighting - Clean your fixtures inside and outside your home. Remove dust and bugs, along with replacing missing or non-working bulbs, covers, & globes. Check that your lights are all the same color glow such as a bright white. Electrical is a safety concern and an appraisal issue. Good lighting is important as it is inviting and brightens up walkways and small rooms feel larger.

6) Floors – When cleaning your hard surface floors, check over grout areas and corners, carpets should be vacuumed weekly. Consider a professional cleaning and use a recommended product for pet and household stains. Cleaning up spills and mess right away will help keep you ready for showings on a short-term notice.

7) Painting - Paint color is one of the most inexpensive updates to a home selecting neutral colors such as a beige or gray, will give your home a fresh look and impress buyers. Make sure to choose the right type of paint for the area you are painting, your local paint expert can help you decide on flat versus satin vs eggshell, latex, or enamel.

8) Windows – Clean the glass and the windowsills, painting or staining areas that needs attention. Broken glass and screens can usually be repaired by the local hardware store or a glass company. Well maintained windows impress buyers.

9) Window Treatments - Curtains, drapes, along with the rods and blinds are all considered to be attached to a property and included in the sale. Cleaning the window treatments and ensuring they are in working order is helpful in preventing a surprise later. Removing window treatments not included, dated, or worn is recommended prior to photographing the property.

10) Curb Appeal - House numbers should be easy to read with well-lit entries clear of clutter and clean swept. Store away equipment like rakes, sprinklers, and outdoor toys. Keep up seasonal needs such as mowing, maintaining landscaping, and removing ice and snow.

First Impressions Are Important When Selling Your Home!

Roxanne Johnson, Broker/Owner

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:54 AM

There are closing cost associated with closing a real estate transaction that are traditionally identified as a Sellers Expense or a Buyers Expense. 

Sellers closing cost typically include real estate commission, attorney/title company fees associated with preparing documents required by the county and state to transfer the property to the new owner(s), real estate property taxes prorated as per agreed to between the parties as stipulated in the purchase agreement, state deed tax, and recording fees as applicable.

Buyers will have their own closing expenses associated with title work, loan processing, and closing attorney/title company fees

In the event there are questions or discrepancies regarding the property lines a survey may be required and this is typically a seller’s expense.  It is reasonable to expect an owner of a property to know where the property line is located to avoid future issues with neighbors. In some situations it maybe reasonable for  the buyer  to pay or portion of the expense.

When selling rural properties dependent on a private water and septic system, the property will be valued with the condition of the well and septic in working order and meeting state and county requirements unless otherwise noted.  

Wells are typically a simple water test for bacteria and nitrates. IF bacteria is present chlorination by a professional will be required.  IF e coli bacteria is present and does not clear up after a couple chlorination’s the well maybe contaminated from a failing septic system or other neighboring fecal matter.  Nitrate levels of under 10 ppm are desired in the state of Minnesota. IF unable to clear up with chlorination, water filtration systems may be effective to provide clean filtered water. 

In rural areas that require a private septic subsurface system the local county and state requirements must be met to transfer a property and record the sale. You must have a septic inspection providing a system that  fails to meet current code requirements the septic will need to be brought up to date, typically as a sellers expense and done prior to closing. IF unable to the county will allow the sale to transfer when funds are held in escrow with the closer to provide payment the septic once completed with unused money remaining being refunded to the seller.  In a few situations the buyer and seller may negotiate for the buyer to take over the escrow and possibly even pay for the septic.  Typically, this will be reflected in the purchase price paid to seller.

NOTE: Because wells and septic systems are costly improvements lenders require both the well and septic be in compliance as required by local and state ordinances  or funds are escrowed out of the closing proceeds to cover the expenses and ensure issues are addressed to protect the property taken as collateral for the loan.

There may be some other expenses that related to your property specifically outside of these traditional expenses, such as probate or other estate and trust situations, these expenses will vary and are personalized to the transaction.

Have questions? Feel free to contact us for all your real estate needs! 

Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS,GRI

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:53 AM

Looking for a new home can be excited and stressful at the same time, to make the experience less daunting. We like to start with a meet and greet to simply listen to your needs & wants to better educate us on how we can best assist you with your home search.  Next, we will connect you with an experienced lender to help dial in the home loan best for your needs, an get you pre-approved.

What does it mean to be “pre-approved”? 

A mortgage pre-approval is a statement from a lender that says you are qualified to borrow up to a certain amount. Lenders take into consideration the same factors they would consider for a traditional mortgage approval, including your debt-to-income ratio and your credit score. The better your financial situation looks, the more you’ll be pre-approved to borrow. Ideally lenders would like to have a few days at minimum to gather your information and to consult with you regarding loan types, interest rates, payments, and closing costs. 

Why is this piece of paper so key?

Let’s start with saving time and possibly even saving money! When you know how much you can qualify to borrow it translates into how much you can spend, giving you a price range for shopping for a home.  As a result, you won't waste time (and endure unnecessary heartbreak) by shopping in the wrong price range. 

It Makes You a More Attractive Buyer to a seller, as the pre-approval letter is typically required in our area when submitting an offer on a property.  It lets the sellers know you are a serious buyer, as sellers are attracted to an offer with less risk of falling through.  Which in the event of a home inspection that results in requesting repairs or improvement, sellers are more comfortable spending money to address items needing to be repaired. 

Multiple Offers- We continue to experience multiple offer situation on desirable properties, having the Pre-Approval letter is a must and your lender will need a few days to gather and process information. Without the letter it is unlikely your bid would be on the top of the list for a seller.

The Pre-Approval letter lets you know whom you are working with and gives you a handle on the not only the monthly payment based on your offer but also closing costs expense that you can expect. It’s a great comfort to have an experience Realtor and lender to guide you through the home buying process and personalizing the service to meet your needs.  

There is so much to consider when you’re looking to purchase a new home, from location,  to need & wants, to end up with the best home for you and your family. When making one of the most important decisions in your life, we are here to get you off on the right path to homeownership. 

 Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS, GRI

Posted in:buying and tagged: home buyer
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:53 AM

When making an offer on a property Buyers may have contingencies that need to be considered when making a purchase. These contingencies are conditions that need to be addressed to not only meet lending requirements but also to give the Buyer a sense of safety nets while taking each step in the process of purchasing.

Here are the four common contingencies that every Buyer typically addresses when making an offer to purchase a home and what protection they provide to Buyers.

Home inspection contingency – This is a Buyers Continency and provides the opportunity for the Buyer to bring in a home inspector of their selection to provide an in depth look at the property overall condition including mechanicals, radon, moisture testing and more.

  1. This is at the buyer’s expense, and a buyer’s contingency.
  2. Has a stated time frame to perform all inspections and to accept, negotiate, or cancel.
  3. If accepting or amending the purchase agreement by mutual agreement the buyer and seller will move forward with the purchase agreement.
  4. IF the buyer elects to cancel within the stated time, earnest money is refunded to the buyer.
  5. A home inspection does not provide or imply a home warranty by the seller or the home inspector for future condition. It is simply an inspection on that given day providing an overall property condition report.
  6. The sellers may leave their home on the market for back up offers only subject to the first offer being cancelled and not miss marketing time.
  7. Allowing the Buyers to inspect the property to their satisfaction also provides an additional record to the Sellers Property Disclosure as to the condition of the property.

Financing contingency -This is a Buyer Continency that states the purchase is subject to loan approval by the Buyers lender for the loan type and conditions stated in the purchase agreement.  This information is provided by the lender with a pre-approval letter and an estimate of monthly payments and cash needed to close, if any.

  1. The Lender typically requires an application with information from the buyer regarding credit, employment, and current payments  and information regarding the property  such as an appraisal, clear title, and  plat drawing are typical.
  2. A pre-approval letter should be provided to your realtor when writing an offer to purchase.
  3. If the loan does not get approved, earnest money will be refunded to the buyer when specified in the purchase agreement.  

Appraisal contingency – An appraisal is typically required by the lender when financing the purchase of the property and is not typically wrote in as it is by default falls under the Financing Contingency. However, IF you have financial capabilities to purchase regardless of the appraisal you may want this clause added to your offer.  I recommend you talk to both your lender and realtor about the appraisal continency.

  1. This is the Buyers expense as part of your lender fees
  2. It provides the lender and buyer with confirmation the property’s value is supported   by the sale of other like kind properties
  3. If the property does not appraise at value the Buyer has the option to pay the difference in value, negotiate with the seller for the lower value, or cancel the offer and receive a full refund of earnest money paid

Home sale contingency – This contingency gives the option for a Buyer to make an offer to purchase a home subject to their current home selling within a given time frame. This acts a safety net for the Buyer not to get caught owning two homes with two mortgage payments.

  1. This contingency requires the buyer to list their home within a specified time frame.
  2. There is also a time frame implied for a Buyer to sell their current home and perform by the date of closing on the purchase agreement.
  3. This contingency will allow the Seller to continue to market their home and the option of accepting an offer as a backup offers and at any time may request you to remove the home sale contingency or cancel with in the specified time frame that is stated in your accepted offer.
  4. IF you are unable to sell your home during  in the time period stated the  earnest money will be refunded to you and you will sign a Cancellation with the seller, which will allow the seller to move forward with the backup offer.
  5. This contingency allows the seller to accept an offer and not miss marketing time.

Well & Septic Inspection Contingencies – This contingency is added to a purchase agreement when the seller is waiting on the inspections for their well and septic tests.   Most buyers are wanting to ensure the well water test meet the Minnesota Drinking Water standards and the septic complies with the County and State requirements for selling a property.   IF the well or septic do not meet the requirements the buyer and seller may come to a mutual agreement or cancel if they do not come to a mutual agreement.  

Home Purchase Contingency- This is a sellers contingency that may be used when a seller knows they need to find a home where they are moving to. There is not a specific form for this continency in the state of Minnesota but a clause maybe added to the purchase agreement much like the contingency to sell a home.  This provides the seller the opportunity to offer their home for sale subject to finding suitable housing of their choice within a time frame. When accepting an offer and moving forwards a seller must be mindful of the buyers’ contingencies in the offer. IF they do not find a home typically the earnest money paid by the buyer would be refunded to the buyer.

Other Contingencies – Other conditions may be a concern to a buyer that need to happen to make their move.  For example, subject to accepting a new position of employment, identifying property boundaries, property survey, shared well agreements, and easements are some of the additional conditions that maybe applicable.  These contingencies be added and personalized to your situation, keep in mind the contingencies should be reasonable to both parties, have a deadline, and outline what the buyer and seller can expect and who gets the earnest money if it doesn’t work out.

Contingencies offer a sort of “safety net”. Contingencies are conditions that need to be met to satisfy a concern by one or both parties.  We offer free consultation for buyer and sellers, if you are considering making a move, reach out and let us know what questions you may have specific to your situation.

Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS, GRI

Posted in:buying and tagged: home buyer
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:53 AM

Are you thinking about selling your home? Here are 10 things to consider when preparing to sell your home.

  1. Updated to neutral paint colors - Yes a buyer will appreciate this!
  2. Update flooring that is worn and outdated.
  3. Clean woodwork & cabinets, touching up marks as needed. 
  4. Update hardware on cabinets.
  5. updated light fixtures as needed.
  6. Change lighting to LED white light to brighten your home. 
  7. Replace broken blinds and remove dated window coverings.
  8. Replace broken switch plats & outlet covers. 
  9. Clean sweep your basement and garage - Buyers want to see your storage space looking neat!
  10. Make your entry inviting inside and out. 

Of course some things are clean, retro and add a charming style to perhaps that is part of the appeal. We offer a free staging consultation in preparing to market your home for sale, helping you save money and time while addressing the items that matter.

Roxanne & Kelsey, RE/MAX Select Properties

Call us whether you're buying or selling, "Because Every Move Matters!"

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:52 AM

A simple trip can spoil your day….

GFCI outlets are used to safeguard and trip off the electrical. GFCI is integrated in the outlet itself. When you plug in an appliance, such as a hair dryer, the GFCI outlet monitors the amount of power going to the device. If you accidentally drop the appliance into sink full of water, the GFCI detects the interruption in current and cuts the power...and possibly saves your life.

Do Not plug in your refrigerator or deep freeze to a GFCI outlet, should it trip the electrical current will be cut and power off your appliance, not only spoiling your day, but spoiling your food if not caught in time.

Roxanne & Kelsey, RE/MAX Select Properties

Posted in:Home MaintenancePosted in:home owner
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:51 AM

Remember it’s time for a checkup when starting your homes heating. Having a professional clean and service your furnace is good practice for safety and efficiency. And lastly, remember to change your filter once a month. 

Roxanne & Kelsey, RE/MAX Select Properties 

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:51 AM

Kelsey Bergey- Realtor, GRI, - Licensed Real Estate Assistant and Transaction CoordinatorJoined RE/MAX Select Properties in 2011.

Kelsey joined the team in 2011 while attending Upper Iowa University, starting first as an assistant and quickly receiving her Minnesota Real Estate license allowing her to assist with everything from showing homes to closing the deal. Kelsey’s top priority is our clients, starting with the day a seller invites us into their home and the day a buyer decides it's time to start the search.   Kelsey coordinates showings, home inspections, appraisers, and closings and is a major asset to our team bringing her organization and communication skills to the table for smooth transactions and successful closings for our buyers and sellers.  

Kelsey is Harmony native, growing up on the family farm, where her family still farms today.  Kelsey married her high school sweetheart Josh Bergey who is employed at Preston Protein Products.  Kelsey and Josh keep busy with their little boy and enjoying experiences the area has to offer.  In her down time, Kelsey enjoys sipping a latte, having lunch with friends, and reading. 

Roxanne & Kelsey have been recognized as one of the top 5% of RE/MAX agents in the state of Minnesota and top 50 team for transactions closed.  

Put their experience to work for you as the local experts you want on your side!

Posted in:Community
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:51 AM

Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS, GRII. Licensed since 1994 and franchise owner of RE/MAX Select Properties.

AWARDS:  RE/MAX 100% Club, RE/MAX Platinum Club, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award, Multi-Million Dollar Producer

In 25 years as a leader in Southeast Minnesota, Roxanne Johnson is dedicated to providing professional service to her clients, assisting hundreds of buyers and sellers make their move, putting their best interest as a top priority. Roxanne provides buyers and sellers with expert advice to guide them through the process for a successful closing and enjoyable process in the move. As a woman in business owning a boutique franchise office in a small town, Roxanne takes pride in providing personalized service and excellent exposure as a boutique franchise with one of the top leaders in the industry RE/MAX International. 

Roxanne grew up just south of the MN boarder near Decorah Iowa and moved to Harmony Minnesota marrying her high school sweetheart Bill Johnson. Bill and Roxanne raised their two children on the family farm in Harmony where Bill manages an All-Natural beef cow/calf operation with rotational crops taking pride in sustainable farming practices Roxanne enjoys time on the farmwalking the bike trial, time with children & grandchildren, photography and traveling. She serves as President of Harmony Area Community Foundation (non-profit), an organization that has been very instrumental in improving Harmony and creating resources for the residents. 

Roxanne & Kelsey have been recognized as one of the top 5% of RE/MAX agents in the state of Minnesota and top 50 team for transactions closed.  

Put their experience to work for you as the local experts you want on your side!

Posted in:Community
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:51 AM

Do you want or need to move but you are struggling with the prices in today’s market? We understand there may be a bit of sticker shock for some, especially if you are comparing to certain years in the past. The real estate market is ever changing.

If you have sticker shock, we want to remind you of the historically low interest rates. If you currently own a home, buying a move up home can still be within your budget because of the low rates. Before you fixate on the asking price, look at the monthly payment. How does the payment with the low interest rate compare to the payment you have now?

For example...

Purchase Price



Mortgage Years



Interest Rate



Monthly Principle & Interest




Give us a call today to schedule a free buyers consultation, virtually or in person!

Roxanne & Kelsey


RE/MAX Select Properties            



These calculations were made using a mortgage calculator on, the information is not guaranteed, specific individual situations and lenders will vary.


These calculations were made using a mortgage calculator on, the information is not guaranteed, specific individual situations and lenders will vary.

Posted in:buyingPosted in:Education and tagged: home buyer
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:50 AM

Should I list my property this winter? This year the season is quite different as the pandemic has limited social gatherings and events.  We find ourselves reassessing our living space and our day-to-day lifestyle. With a shortage of homes and pent-up demand, buyers are watching the market for new listings and are ready to make an offer when the property fits their lifestyle.  Wooded and Ag land are also in demand, as it has become a bit of a challenge for buyers to find a place to hunt, camp, or build their dream home.   You may have an ideal parcel to sell or split off that could give you the cash make improvements to your property, purchase a second home, or invest in other ways.

In November, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 30,000 and the interest rates hit another low, home prices have risen 15% and selling in an average of 45 days, according the SE Minnesota Association of Realtors MLS reporting.  The economic indicators support a positive market moving forward for sellers.  We find buyers are looking to take advantage of the low interest rates.   We are happy to visit with you about selling options available, the selling process, and guide you step by step along the way.   Call today for your free confidential consultation and put our experience to work for you!


Roxanne & Kelsey, RE/MAX Select Properties


Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:50 AM

Harmony is known as “The Biggest Little Town in Southern Minnesota”, Harmony offers the perfect balance of community and convenience. The Harmony community is inviting and vibrant.

While Harmony supports all your daily needs it is also ideally location between larger towns including Rochester MN, La Crosse WI, and Decorah IA. With many employment opportunities as well as a progressive minded Economic Development Authority Board who offers a free service to entrepreneurs and can be supportive to you in starting your own business locally to support your lifestyle. Harmony has several active businesses from daily living needs to dining and entertainment. If you are unfamiliar with our small town here is a summary of businesses it has to offer, if you don’t see what you are looking for maybe there’s an opportunity waiting for you!

  1. Grocery Store, Mercantile
  2. Clinic, Drugstore, Senior Housing, Ambulance, Fire Department, and Helipad
  3. Floral Shop & Greenhouse, Home Décor & Retail, Clothing, Salon
  4. Restaurants, Liquor Store, Bar & Grill
  5. Automotive Repair, Gas Stations, Body Shop
  6. Bank, Attorneys Office, Post Office, Accountant, Investments, Insurance
  7. Movie Theatre, Library, Parks, Golf Course, Bike Trail, Niagara Cave, Splash Pad Coming Soon
  8. Kids Learning Center/Daycare, High School, Football & Baseball Fields

Harmony has something for everyone, regardless of age, as it is home to many community organizations for young and old alike with community events and celebrations; as well as various organizations for different interests such as garden club, historical society, a community foundation that has given over $400,000 back to the community, churches, trap club, and volunteer EMS. You are sure to find yourself at home in Harmony.

As “The biggest Little Town in Southern Minnesota” Harmony is known for its welcoming community spirit, where the quality of life never goes out of style. Southeast Minnesota is known for its freshwater stocked trout streams, miles of trails, as well as many recreational activities; Historic Bluff Country is an outdoor and nature lover’s paradise.


Here’s why people of the Harmony community love where they live...

“I enjoy walking down the street and seeing faces I know.”                            “Love the parks.”

“I love supporting people I know via small business.”                                       “The pace of life.” 

“Close community feel! Everyone supports each other!”                                  “Love having dining options.” 

“Community feel. People care about one another.”                                           “Great walking community.” 

“We enjoy the nice golf course & trails.”                                                             “Healthy lifestyle.” 

Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:50 AM

Preston is an easy town to “Get hooked on.” Known for their Trout Days celebration, Preston sets beautifully on the Root Rivers as the county seat of Fillmore Count. Preston offers various job opportunities and community attractions, and a hometown feel to the community.

Preston’s community boasts numerous businesses available to you, to fit your lifestyle and daily needs. Active Businesses in Preston include:

  1. Grocery Store, Hardware Store, Dollar Store
  2. Clinic, Pharmacy, Ambulance, Fire Department, Senior Housing
  3. Floral & Gift Shop, Antique Store
  4. Restaurants, Liquor Store, Bowling Alley
  5. Automotive Repair, Gas Stations, Body Shop
  6. Bank, Attorneys Office, Accountant, Insurance
  7. Library, Parks, Bike Trail, Golf Course, Bait Shop, Fishing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Tubing, National Trout Center, Tennis Court, Historic Forestville, Mystery Cave, Forestville  State Park (Hiking, Horseback riding, and camping), Tack Store
  8. Hotel & Motel Lodging, Camping  
  9. Childcare Center & Elementary School
  10. State Veterans Cemetery, Serviceman’s Club & Veteran’s Home to Come

Preston is home to many community organizations for all ages with community events and celebrations; as well as various organizations for a variety of interests including several recreational activities, an active community foundation, churches, and volunteer EMS.

Take one visit to Preston and you will “get hooked on” the lifestyle Preston has to offer. Their Economic Development Board welcomes businesses. While the small town offers several necessities and businesses to support, it is an easy drive to Rochester MN or La Crosse WI. Preston is a Telecommuter-Friendly city, a designation given to communities that have committed to coordinating with broadband providers, realtors, employers, and others to promote the availably of telecommuting options. Love where you live, work where you live, keep it simple!


Here’s why people of the Preston community love where they live...

“Easy access to the Root River for fishing, and the trail for walking.”

“Working locally saves me so much time, no commute!” 

“Supporting my friends in their business adventures.” 

“The simplicity of it, less distractions. The further off the map the better.” 

“People know, care and support each other.”

“Tight knit community support.”



Posted in:Community
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:50 AM

We may wish we had a crystal ball to tell the future when making one of the most important financial decisions in our lifetime. Making real estate decisions can be much easier when you have our experience with the market to guide you through the steps of buying and selling.

You probably have a few “what if” scenarios running through your mind which can be stressful. With over 25 years as a Real Estate Broker, I have developed a step-by-step guide to buying and selling with RE/MAX Select Properties. This guide is here to help you and answer your “what if’s”. 

Our first step is to meet with you so we can listen and learn how we can best assist you with your move. This will allow us to make recommendations personalized to you. While we follow industry procedures for our clients, we go a step above to ensure each situation is a personalized to you.  We can recommend local professionals to assist with home inspections, lending, and closing on your new property.

When planning your move, we will take into consideration your current living situation; are you renting? Do you need to sell to buy? Are you comfortable owning two homes?  

Buying and Selling at the same time leads to many more good questions.

  1. How do I sell my current home and buy my new home without owning two homes? 
  2. I am afraid of selling and not finding a house, what do I do?

The answer to both questions is to use a “contingency” that protects you. The appropriate wording and legal forms need to be included as part of the purchase agreement to safeguard you from owning two homes at once or ending up without a home at all. This “contingency” is essentially a safety net that will spell out the terms of the contingency.  It may seem complicated to you, but we have successfully assisted hundreds of clients make their move pulling it all together to meet your needs and manage risk. 

We understand the concerns and are here to guide you as your local Realtors. Simply reach out via phone or email to set up an appointment for a free consultation with us that fits your schedule.  Whether you are buying or selling we are here to guide you and provide you with resources along the way when making a move.

Do not let fear of the unknown stop you from the opportunity to love where you live or make a change that opens a new chapter for you.  We may not have a crystal ball, but we have something more valuable, it’s Experience You Can Count On!

Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS, GRI      

Kelsey Bergey, Realtor

Posted in:Education
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:49 AM

6 Tips to Get Your Home Cold Weather Ready

October is one of my favorite months! I love everything from the colorful mums and pumpkins to the falling leaves and crisp clean air! It’s easy to be caught up in visiting corn mazes and haunted houses and forget the cold weather moves in and we will soon be scraping frost from your car windows.

Here are 6 tips to help prepare your home for winter and save on your heating expense.


  1. Disconnect your exterior water hose and drain the hose. If your faucet is not a drain back style you may need to shut it off, then drain the line in the basement to prevent the hose bib from freezing and cracking the water line.
  2. Check the exterior of your home and garage for loose or missing caulk around windows, doors, AC unit piping, and other openings. Apply caulk wherever you see cracks, gaps, or holes to prevent cold air, insects, and rodents from getting in.
  3. If your basement windows are not double paned add a 1-inch insulation board on the inside. Remove debris from exterior basement window well and cover with a hard plastic window well covers. This will keep snow and rain out of the window wells and help prevent leaking.
  4. Hire a professional to inspect your heating system annually to ensure it is operating properly and efficiently. Change the furnace filter monthly for efficiency, this is also helpful to reduce dust and allergens in your home.  SAFTEY TIP: for gas mechanicals and appliances ensure your CO2 detectors are in your home to the state guidelines.
  5. Clean the rain gutters, removing leaves and debris before winter as this will help snow thawing and rains come spring while maintaining the integrity of your gutters. Make sure your downspouts are clean and in place directing water 3 to 6 feet from your foundation.
  6. Check the Insulation level in your attic to prevent heat loss and ice dams. Insulate the rim joist in your basement which will prevent heat loss and drafts.  This will save on your heating costs and keep your warm your toes!


Tips for Fall Showings


                What a fun time to decorate your home inside and out! While preparing your house for fall showing keep in mind, we are on the countdown to cold temperatures. Pack away items such as outdoor furniture and lawn art to ensure its not frozen in when it comes time to move!  

                Curb appeal is important all year round. During the autumn months keep up on mowing, trimming trees and shrubs plus raking leaves and cleaning up the landscaping.  We recommend placing a few mums and pumpkins for color and creating a festive and inviting feel for buyers.

                Indoors, keep the house cozy and well-lit. Make sure your windows sills and glass are clean and maintained, many buyers like to check over windows and doors considering colder weather is on the way. Take care of the little To- Do List as a well-maintained home is a great first impression.

 If you really want to make every effort to impress, bake. There is nothing more inviting to a potential home buyer in the fall than the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie, breads, and cookies for your guests.  Supper in the crock pot is always a welcoming aroma for potential buyers and is a great way to have supper ready when you get home!

Posted in:sellingPosted in:Home MaintenancePosted in:home owner
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:49 AM

Deciding to make a move begins with why you are moving and identifying what you truly want in your next home. The following steps will get you off to a good start and give you experienced professionals to guide you along the way.

  1. Make a list of things you are needing in your next home, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, living space, and outdoor space.  
  2. Outline the perimeter of the geographic area you are willing to consider living in, giving consideration to commute time for work, shopping, and community attributes you may enjoy.
  3. Identify your budget and how much you feel comfortable paying monthly for a home payment. 
  4. Start saving. Most loans require a down payment plus there are moving expenses, utility deposits and home inspections that will need to be paid. 
  5. Check your credit score, there are a few free ways to check without affecting your credit score.
  6. DO NOT open new credit cards or make large purchases, If you do need to trade vehicles make sure you run it by your lender first.
  7. Online mortgage calculators are easy to use as a quick reference when starting your home search but they do not replace an experienced lender. 
  8. Get pre-approved for a loan, if you do not have a lender, we can recommend an experience professional.
  9. Give us a call and schedule a free Home Buyers Consultation. Start out right with a personalized home buying plan designed for your needs. 
  10.  We will schedule home showings that work for your busy schedule and guide you with experience and professional care every step of the way. 


For many buyers making a move is based on a change in lifestyle whether you are buying your first home, making a move to your dream home, buying a second home, or retiring, this move is important.  We are honored to have the opportunity to guide you are you venture ahead!


Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS, GRI

Posted in:buying and tagged: home buyer
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:48 AM

Your home mortgage is a monthly payment based typically on principal and interest.  When you pay less than 20 % down on the purchase price of your new home, you are required to have the real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance included in your monthly payment.

The amount for the real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance is put in a separate account with your lender called an escrow account.  Therefore, we refer to your taxes and insurance being escrowed. 

The lender maintains the account and is required to pay your real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance as it comes due. Your monthly payment may be adjusted annually based on your property tax and homeowners’ insurance rate change.  

When you payoff your mortgage or sell the property, the lender is required to credit you for unused portions and typically the credit is reflected in your payoff amount.

Many homeowners elect to escrow the property taxes and insurance including it in their monthly payment as it eliminates large expenditures every six months and is easier to work into a monthly budget.


Roxanne Johnson

Broker, ABR, CRS, GRI

Posted in:buyingPosted in:home owner and tagged: home buyerloans
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:47 AM

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25 W. Center Street PO Box 425
Harmony, MN 55939