By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN Katie Gagnon, owner of KG Realty in Howard Lake is looking forward to expanding her business farther west with a new location opening Friday in Dassel.
Gagnon has been in real estate for eight years, having worked previously for both Bradley Real Estate and Lakes Area Realty, before going on her own in 2008, opening an office in Howard Lake.
Working with her as a part-time agent is Gagnon’s sister, Carrie Berggren, who has been teaching physical education at the Dassel-Cokato Middle School for seven years.
“Since I’ve started teaching here, I’ve really liked the community,” Berggren said. Originally, she wanted to be an architect, but her love of children directed her into teaching, Berggren said, who has been in real estate for four years.
“We make a great team,” Gagnon said. “We pride ourselves on working hard to create an enjoyable real estate transaction from start to finish.”
This includes putting people in touch with trusted lenders, inspectors, and closing companies, Gagnon explained.
“Real estate has really evolved into a customer-service industry,” she commented. “We do really try to make ourselves accessible to our clients. It’s all hours, nights and weekends.”
For Gagnon, being a small-business owner allows her the opportunity to customize her services and provide sellers with great rates, she said. This allows them to more easily compete with foreclosures and short sale prices, Gagnon added.
Industry standard rates for commission is 6 to 7 percent, while Gagnon is able to charge only 5 percent to her clients.
One of the services they offer is a free market analysis, a valuation of the property to see what it’s worth and what a realistic list price would be.
The sisters invite any questions regarding real estate.
“We want to be approachable, and we hope the residents will utilize us as their resource,” Gagnon said.
Their new location, 461 Third Street Dassel, is compliments of their mother, Ann Schwartz, who is adding an additional location to her occasional store, Anne’s. KG Realty has a private office in the front portion, and Anne’s is in the back portion of the former hardware store location, across from city hall.
The office will be open by appointment only except during the last weekend of the month, to take advantage of the occasional sale traffic.
KG Realty is hosting an open house Friday, March 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. This is also the same weekend Anne’s second location will be open for the first time.
To contact KG Realty, call (320) 543-3443.