Buyer Frequently Asked Questions

Contact your Realtor if you do not see your question listed here.

What is the MLS?

MLS is an acronym that Realtors use when referring to the Multiple Listing Service. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the central database that Realtors use to find out about properties currently for sale, properties that are pending, and properties that have sold.

After I locate a home, how long before I can move in?

A Closing Date will be negotiated as part of the Purchase Agreement. Typically, if you are taking out of loan, you can expect this to be 45-60 days from an accepted offer. Your Loan Officer or Mortgage Broker will need this time to process the loan, have an appraisal performed and to receive final approval from the lender. Cash Buyers can close much quicker.

What is a Pre-Approval/Pre-Qualification Letter?

Prior to searching or viewing homes, you will need to obtain a pre-approval letter from a Loan Officer or Mortgage Broker for an accurate assessment of what you can afford. A pre-approval letter is a document that you receive from a lender that takes into account both your income and your expenses. Upon your Realtor presenting an offer on your behalf, most Sellers will require this letter as proof that you will likely be able to obtain a loan to purchase the home and that there is a low probability of the sale falling through.

Who pays my Realtor’s Commission?

Although there are a few exceptions, the Seller typically pays the commission of both the Listing Agent and the Selling Agent. The Commission is usually a percentage of the sales price which is paid to the Listing Agents Broker. The Listing Broker in turn pay your Realtor's Broker a percentage of the commission. No commissions are paid unless the closing is successful.

Should I get a Home Inspection?

Yes. There are several reasons why getting a home inspection is a smart choice. A home inspection will help determine the condition of the home and any items that need to be addressed. An Inspection Addendum can be made part of the Purchase Agreement which allows you an agreed upon time period to complete an inspection. If there are any repairs that need to be done, it is best to uncover them during this period. A home inspection is a very valuable tool to orient you to all of the features of your new home and inform you of routine maintenance items that you will need to do as a homeowner.

Who Pays for the Home Inspection?

The Home Inspection is most commonly paid for by the Buyer. There are some occasions where the Seller will hire a Home Inspector to prepare a report as a courtesy prior to listing the home.


Seller Frequently Asked Questions

Contact your Realtor if you do not see your question listed here.

What factors can influence the price of my home?

You want your home to sell for the highest price possible, but also in a timely fashion. Here are some factors that influence the price of your home:

  • Current real estate market conditions including recently sold homes as well as current competition
  • The expertise and market knowledge of your broker and Realtor
  • Condition of the home inside and out
  • Hard facts such as lot size, square footage and location
  • A thorough real estate marketing plan

What can I do to help in the selling process?

No one has a more important role in the selling process than you. Here are some ways your participation can contribute to a successful sale:

  • Maintain the property including keeping it clean and tidy inside and out
  • Ensure the property is easily accessible for showings
  • Communicate - let your Garnet Realtor know how to contact you at all times
  • Remove or lock up valuables
  • Limit conversations with buyers/agents regarding price

When is the best time to sell my home?

There is not a general answer for this question due to the fact that every real estate market is different. In most cases, the spring months are the best time to be selling a home. Since every home seller's situation is different, you should discuss the timing of your home sale with your Realtor. In some cases, selling a home during the winter months may actually may be better than waiting until the spring real estate market. This is due to a combination of many factors including lower competition and that Buyers may be more seriously shopping for a home.

Why is it important to price my home competitively when it is first listed?

Most of the Buyers that come through your home will come through during the first two weeks that the home is listed. Studies show that most Buyers have been researching their desired areas on average 6 months before they make a purchase. The Buyers and their agent are keenly aware of current values. If a house is overpriced, it has to compete with correctly priced houses at that higher price level, which are almost certainly larger, newer, higher in quality, superior in location, view, etc. Overpriced listings typically end up with price reductions, longer market times and end up with an even lower price because buyers factor market time into the offer that they make.

What should I do to get my home ready to sell?

As they say, "You only get one chance to make a first impression."

You can start by decluttering countertops, walls, closets, walls and rooms. Too many "things" make it difficult for the buyer to see their possessions in your rooms or on your walls, however don't strip everything completely or it will appear stark and inhospitable. Then clean and make attractive all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It's especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless. Organize closets. Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work and get rid of leaky faucets and frayed cords. Make sure the house smells good: from an apple pie, cookies baking or spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Hide the kitty litter, and possibly put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house. Pleasant background music is also a nice touch.

The second important thing to consider is "curb appeal." People driving by a property will judge it from outside appearances and make a decision then as to whether or not they want to see the inside. Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard. Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. Also make sure that the doorbell works.


Renter Frequently Asked Questions

Contact our office if you do not see your question listed here.

How do I make a rent payment?

You may make a rent payment in the following ways:

  1. Pay Online through your Tenant Portal
  2. Pay by mailing payment to Garnet Real Estate Services at 305 Greeley Street S. Suite 200, Stillwater, MN 55082
  3. Pay at the office Monday-Friday 10:00-5:00 or place in after hours drop box

Can I use the property in my business?

There are strict rules regarding Business use in rental properties. Please contact the office.

What if I decide to get a pet after I move in?

Pets must be authorized by management. Be sure to get permission before getting your pet. If permission is granted, you will need to sign a Pet Addendum to the Lease and pay a Pet Fee. Pet Fees are typically $300.00 per pet and are non-refundable. Any damages caused by the pet will be deducted from your Security Deposit. For insurance reasons, the following pet breeds will not be accepted: AKITAS, AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER, AMERICAN STAFFORD SHIRE TERRIER, CHOWS, DOBERMAN PINSCHERS, MIXED WOLF BREEDS, PIT BULLS, PRESA CANARIO, ROTTWEILERS. We also do not allow PUPPIES AND KITTENS LESS THAN 1 YEAR OLD. Other Pet restrictions vary by property and are subject to change at any time.

Can I be charged for maintenance at the property?

A move in condition report and photos will be taken upon move in. If damage due to negligence or neglect to the home are caused by you or anyone you allow into the home, these will be billed to you. Normal wear and tear items will not be charged to you.

How do I let management know that I have a maintenance request?

If you need maintenance in your rental home, there are several ways to let us know.

  1. Go to the Portal Login page and submit a Maintenance Request after logging in.
  2. Call the office at 651-491-8005 during business hours.
  3. For emergencies after hours, please call the Emergency number at 651-492-5652.


Property Management Frequently Asked Questions

Contact our office if you do not see your question listed here.

Do you guarantee the tenants that you place in my rental property?

Garnet will guarantee every tenant that we place for you for the first 6 months of the lease. If for some reason the placed tenant breaches the lease and cannot fulfill the full term of the original lease, Garnet will place a new tenant for you with no Leasing Fee. Any maintenance or turnover fees not covered by the tenant or their security deposit will be the responsibility of the Owner.

Do I get to hold the tenant’s security deposit?

No. Security Deposits paid by the tenant are held in a trust account during the tenancy. As required by Minnesota Law, Garnet will return the deposit to the tenant within 21 days of move out minus any damages beyond normal wear and tear. The Tenant will also earn interest on their security deposit for the period that it is held as required by the State.

Do you inspect the home while it is being rented?

Garnet offers Spring and Fall Inspections to all Owners or by request at any time. These highly recommended inspections include an interior and exterior report with photos that will be emailed to you. A copy will also be uploaded to your Owner Portal. The purpose of these inspections is to check for deferred and preventative maintenance items, evaluate tenant care of the home, check for any unauthorized pets or persons or any breaches of the lease.

Garnet will also periodically perform drive-by inspections. Any time there is a maintenance request at the property, our staff will keep an eye out for any noteworthy items.

When can I expect to receive my monthly payment from Garnet?

Rents are due from the tenants on the 1st of each month. Our goal is to have a direct deposit initiated to your account by the 15th of the month. This may vary due to weekends, holidays or late tenant payments. The ACH Direct Deposit will reach your account within 2-3 days after it is initiated by Garnet. The deposit will include rents collected minus the management fee and any repairs or expenses. You will have Statements uploaded to your Owner Portal each month.


Tenant Frequently Asked Questions

Contact our office if you do not see your question listed here.

How do I report a maintenance item?

Go to the Portal Login page and use the Maintenance Request login or call 651-491-8005.
After hours emergency please call 651-492-5652.

Do I need pre-approval to paint the home or make other changes?

Yes. Improvements to your unit require prior approval.

Can I install cable or satellite TV at the property if not already installed?

Each rental situation is unique. Any installation of any sort requires prior approval.

Can I sublease the property?

Subleasing is not allowed and is clearly stated in your lease.

Can I get a pet after move-in?

Contact the office to confirm pets are allowed - if so, all criteria (owner approval, pet fee, association restrictions) would still apply.

When and how should I give my notice to vacate?

Your lease will state the required amount of time to give your NOTICE TO VACATE - usually it is 60 days.

What happens if my roommate moves out?

If all parties agree to the move, and the remaining tenant/tenants qualify - a roommate can be removed from the lease. All other instances - the roommate is contractually obligated to fulfill the lease.

What if I want to add a roommate before the end of the lease?

All tenants/prospects must complete an application and be approved to move INTO a property.

What happens to the disposition of a roommate’s security deposit after move-out?

All refundable monies is divided equally to each person listed on the lease.

When is rent due?

Rent is DUE on the 1st day of the month. Late fees are applied at 5:00p.m. on the 4th of each month.

Can you waive my late charges?

Late fees can not be waived.

Can I be charged for maintenance at the property?

Yes. Damages caused by you, your guests or your pets can be charged to you.

Where can I find more information on my rental Property and/or Landlord Tenant laws for the State of Minnesota? will have answers to LANDLORD AND TENANT rights and responsibilities.


HOA Frequently Asked Questions

Contact our office if you do not see your question listed here.

In general, what services are provided under a management fee?

~ Board assistance and on-going training and support
~ Attendance at board meetings and board workshops; member mediation
~ Collection of monthly fees (A/R)
~ Monthly accounting services (A/R) and reporting
~ Annual budget preparation; reserve study preparation
~ Handle bid process for contract services and major repair work
~ Litigation assistance
~ Rule enforcement
~ Oversee all resale transactions
~ Assist board or committee with obtaining appropriate insurance coverage.

Can you provide training for Association board and Committee members?

Garnet Real Estate Services enjoys working with and encouraging board directors in the process of leading the community, directing the day to day operations of the association, and offers online and in person training for all members.

Do you provide assistance in writing and keeping our Association policies and procedures?

We provide assistance and direction to your board of directors in determining the policies and procedures that will enhance the betterment of your community.

How do we schedule you to come present to our board members?

Simply call our office and schedule one of our Agents to come to your next meeting and share what Garnet can do for your Association.

How do you handle “after hours” emergencies?

We have a Maintenance Specialist on call. Just call the Emergency number and someone will be out to handle the emergency.