A few of my favorite Thanksgiving quotes; reminding us all that this holiday is about gathering around the table with friends and family and giving thanks for what we have.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
- Oprah Winfrey

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Happy Thanksgiving!

Neighborhoods Matter

We didn’t realize how important our neighborhood would become when purchased our home. Then we moved in,  had children and realized that we got lucky, we moved into an awesome neighborhood! Our neighbors threw us a party when we moved in. Our kids really could go outside at any minute and run into a playmate. When we walked to school on our first day of kindergarten, 7 years ago, 14 kids from the neighborhood walked with us. We participate in yearly chili cook offs, progressive dinners and the neighborhood block party.

I’ll never forget that first day of school, I often repeat that story to others when they ask what I love best about my neighborhood. Why am I telling you this? Because neighborhoods build strong communities and strong communities lead to higher home values, where homes sell quickly and if you find yourself looking to move one day, this is a good thing. So before you buy your next home take a look around the neighborhood, visit it often; are people outside, do the neighbors take care of their homes, their yards, is there a park nearby, where are the closest local establishments and ask questions because these are the things that will tell you if the neighborhood will make you happy.



Marketing your Home Online

An online presence is essential for today’s REALTORS, because 92% of all home buyers use the internet to search for a home. RE/MAX Results and the Matt Engen Group understand the needs of today’s home buyer, we have the features and the capabilities they’re looking for. Did you know that RE/MAX Results sends its listings to over 900 national websites every day and displays up to 50 high resolution images of your listing. Good pictures of your home can make the difference between scheduling a showing and never knowing they were interested. The pictures are then converted into a video which is uploaded to  In addition to the work RE/MAX Results does to market your home online, the Matt Engen Group showcases your home on,,, and we continuously promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google +. We’re meeting the buyers where they are and that’ s important in today’s real estate market.


Your role in Selling your Home.

Agree to a Six Month Listing Contract

By committing to a defined and reasonable time frame, you allow us to commit to the efforts and expenses listed in the Marketing Plan.

Market Your Property at a Reasonable Price

Even the best home will languish if not priced competitively.  “Fishing” for a higher price is a strategy that can backfire and result in a seller accepting a lower price than necessary.  With true comparable and honest counseling, we will help you determine a price that is both winning and competitive.

Keep Home Clean and Orderly for Showings

Potential buyers can be immediately turned off by dirty dishes, cluttered rooms or unmade beds.  It is important that the home be made ready for every showing.

Follow Through on Minor Repairs

All appliances, light switches, door handles, etc. should be in working order.  Minor paint touch-ups should be completed.

Be Flexible with Showing Times Between 9am & 8pm

This is crucial.  Perhaps the one mistake made most often by sellers is that they are inflexible about showings.  Many relocation buyers may only have a day or two for their home-finding trip.  Being turned down for a showing may mean no showing at all.

Vacate the Home for All Showings

Buyers expect to view the home without the seller present.  This allows the buyer to visualize themselves living in the home – a feeling not cultivated by the seller’s presence.

I Heart the Twin Cities Marathon



This past weekend I’m happy to announce we ran the Twin Cities 10 mile! I’m proud of our accomplishment and overwhelmed with pride for the Twin Cities for 2 reasons, and they happen to be the very reasons we choose to live here. The first is the coarse, it winds you through the most beautiful parts of both Minneapolis and St. Paul, it’s absolutely beautiful, at certain points breathtaking. I had to fight the urge to stop and take a few pictures along the way. The second is the fans (the people) they’re crazy and I say that in a good way. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling over and over again, they kept me happy and my spirits up, making the run so much easier than it would have been had I been running alone. The creativity of the signs people make, the parties, the bands/music and the cheering. I’m assuming after a long day of encouraging others the fans have to be just as exhausted as the participates, I imagine many lose their voices. A few of my favorite signs; I’m sure this seemed like a good idea 4 months ago. Find a cute butt and follow it. You paid to do this! and If you think this is hard try growing out your bangs. Thanks for keeping it fun.

Thanks also to Twin Cities in Motion the organizers of this event, the City of Minneapolis and the City of St Paul for keeping our cities beautiful, the police officers, the firefights and the 100′s of volunteers it takes to pull off an event this large and once again to the fans – you’re simply the best!

Selling your home in the Fall

According to data from the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® the housing market is showing year-over-year improvements and a strengthening economy is making now a great time to sell your home! In Minneapolis there’s still an active market with strong demand. Our tree lined streets are at their very best, everyone’s spirits are lifted by the cooler temps and the stress of the holidays are still a few months away. Houses are selling quickly and multiple offers are not un-common as we move into fall.



Staging with Feng Shui

Everything we tend to associate with modern day staging can also be associated with the centuries old design philosophies of Feng Shui.  Staging and Feng Shui are focused on how certain area’s of your home affect how you and those entering your home feel. When prepping your home to sell following the Feng Shui strategies outlined below will promote positive energy and hopefully lead to a quicker sale. It’s fun and the strategies we picked are easy to do.

1. Declutter. Our previous blog post already talked about the importance of this step. Decluttering allows the buyer to visualize living in your home. Do not skip this step, pay special attention to your bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom. Decluttering not only clears your home it clears your mind, preparing it for the move.
2. Open the windows and let the light shine in! A fresh home that is light and bright promotes positive energy.
3. Pay attention to the front door. The front door is where good luck and good fortune enter. Make sure your front door works, the key fits properly, it opens without a push, no creaks. Next make sure the front door if clean and free of scratches and dents.
4. Pay attention to the flow of your home. Buyers and energy need to be free to move about your home. This is especially important when arranging furniture. Do not block a path to the next room, or the window with a gorgeous view. Rooms should be inviting and welcoming.
5. Use mirrors but use them carefully. Mirrors open up space and create more light. Mirrors should never face each other and their placement should be thoughtfully considered in the bedroom. A mirror over the bed works, a mirror facing the bed does not.
6. Decorate with house plants. Plants promote harmony and good air quality. Dying plants do not, if you kill a plant quickly dispose of it and try again.
8. Keep the toilet lid closed. And not just because it’s not nice to look at! An open toilet in Feng Shui is like throwing money down the drain, the energy is escaping your home.

Declutter to sell!

Decluttering your home should be at the top of your list when it comes time to getting your home ready to sell. Trust me when I say this, decluttering and organizing your home goes a long way, and doing it now will make your move easier, I promise.

When potential buyers walk into your home, they need to see your home, not your model train collection or your family pictures. These items, although loved by you, are distracting to a potential buyer. A buyer needs to be able visualize living in your space and unfortunately those adorable pictures you love so much may stop the buyer from seeing the lovely fireplace; your model train collection may distract them from seeing this room as the actual third bedroom. Your overflowing closets and cupboards send a silent message to the potential buyer, this house is too small, there’s not enough storage or space for their stuff, how will mine fit?

So now that you understand why you need to declutter, the next step is to do it! My advice is to take it one room at a time, and keep it simple, for every item you have 3 options; keep, throw or donate. Ask yourself; Do I love this? Do I use this? Do I have a need for this in my new home?  If the answer is no, it’s time to toss or donate the item. If the answer is yes but it’s a personal item or well loved trinket, pack it away. Leaving only the essential items you need to showcase each room.

And don’t forget that this can be fun! Donating items that haven’t been used in years or giving them to someone who has a use for them feels good. Throwing away that broken chair in the corner of the room that’s been stressing you out feels good. An organized and clutter free home gives the impression that the house has been well cared for and that will  make the potential buyer feel good, it’s a win-win!

We live, work and play in Kenny!

IMG_2464We live here, we work here and it turns out we play here! The Matt Engen Group came together with their families and neighbors to play in the 1st Annual Kenny Neighborhood Kickball tournament. We didn’t take home the trophy, although we came close, but we had a ton of fun! If your neighborhood has a annual get together we strongly encourage you to attend. It was a beautiful night to get some exercise and make new friends!

Strong Communities, Strong Cities.