Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, June 14, 1999

Fogartys: local auctioneers work closer to home

By Andrea Vargo

Local auctioneers Collene and Dan Fogarty of Howard Lake are moving even closer to home, since they joined Lakes Area Realty a few weeks back.

In addition to their auctions, the Fogartys have sold real estate with a firm in Buffalo for the last 10 years, but now they only have to drive a block or so to work.

This is very important to them, because communication with clients has been a big problem in the past.

The drive time to and from Buffalo and scheduling conflicts with their children's activities always proved a challenge, said Collene.

The Fogartys do mostly the "mom and pop" auctions. Those are the household, antiques, and collectables auctions.

This means they get into some sad and very emotional situations with their clients.

Collene said she frequently cries right alongside the client. Many have just lost a loved one; sometimes that person is being put into a nursing home.

Playing the part of a counselor is a part of the job they really didn't count on, but it is a reality, she said.

A real concern for the welfare of the client has even lost them a job to another auctioneer, because they didn't feel the client was ready to make a decision yet, said Dan.

"It was a bad business decision," said Collene, "but we can sleep at night."

The Fogartys have lived in Howard Lake since 1973 and know lots of people in the area, and said they care how those people are treated.

They try to conduct the business of disposing of part of a person's life with compassion.

In addition to their local auctions, they work the Minneapolis Auto Auction in Maple Grove.

Now they add their expertise in real estate to the Lakes Area Realty business, and they will conduct real estate auctions as well.

This is just another way of marketing, said Dan.

A real estate auction gives a chance for all the people interested in a property to gather and bid at the same time. This is happening in the metro area real estate market anyway. Homeowners are getting multiple bids for a property and this just simplifies the process, he said.

There are many lots for sale and a lot of things happening in Howard Lake, said Dan.

They both said they are looking forward to serving the local area with expanded services.

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