Fish MLS Realty's News, Events and Media


April 8, 2020

How Technology Is Enabling the Real Estate Process

Today’s everyday reality is pretty different than it looked just a few weeks ago. We’re learning how to do a lot of things in new ways, from how we work remotely to how we engage with our friends and neighbors. Almost everything right now is shifting to a virtual format. One of the big changes we’re adapting to is the revisions to the common real estate transaction, which all vary by state and locality.

Technology, however, is making it possible for many of us to continue on the quest for homeownership, an essential need for all. Here’s a look at some of the elements of the process that are changing (at least in the near-term), due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing, and what you may need to know about each one if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home sooner rather than later. 

1. Virtual Consultations – Instead of heading into an office, you can meet with real estate and lending professionals through video chat. Whether it’s your first initial needs analysis as a buyer or your listing appointment as a seller, you can still get the process started remotely and create a plan together. Your trusted advisor is still on your side. 

2. Home Searches & Virtual Showings – According to theNational Association of Realtors (NAR), the Internet is one of the three most popular information sources buyers use when searching for homes. Your real estate agent can send you listing information and help you request a virtual showing when you’re ready to start looking. This means you can virtually walk through the homes on your wish list while keeping your family safe. As a seller, you can still have virtual open houses and virtual tours too, so as not to miss those buyers looking to find a home right now. 

3. Document Signing – Although this is another area that varies by state, today more portions of the transaction are being done digitally. In many areas, your agent or loan officer can set up an account where you can upload all of the required documents and sign electronically right from your computer. 

4. Sending Money – Whether you need to pay for an appraisal or submit closing costs, there are options available. Depending on the transaction and local regulations, you may be able to pay by credit card, and most banks will also allow you to wire funds from your account. Sometimes you can send a check by mail, and in some states, a mobile escrow agent will pick up a check from your home. 

5. Closing Process – Again, depending on your area, a mobile notary may be able to bring the required documents to your home before the closing. If your state requires an attorney to be present, check with your legal counsel to see what options are available. Also, depending on the title company, some are allowing drive-thru closings, which is similar to doing a transaction at a bank window. Although these virtual processes are starting to become more widely accepted, it does not mean that this is the way things are going to get done from now on. Under the current circumstances, however, technology is making it possible to continue much of the real estate transaction today.

Bottom Line

If you need to move today, technology can help make it happen; there are options available. Let’s touch base today

Posted in Real Estate News
Jan. 20, 2019



Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 21, 2018

Careers 2019!

Posted in Careers
Dec. 17, 2018

Saint Paul Association of Realtors

Full SPAAR Calendar

Looking for continuing education or networking opportunities? Check out all of SPAAR's upcoming events!

ATTENTION! The countdown is on. Have you completed your COE? December 31 is the last day to do so without a penalty.
Don't wait until the last day to complete your COE. Find an option that works for you and complete it now. If you have completed your required COE for the period of Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2018, CONGRATS! Click here to learn how to be sure SPAAR has your certificate of completion. Upon completion, you may email it to
Take part in upcoming classes and opportunities at SPAAR
Jan. 11, 1-3pm: Realist Tax Intro

Jan. 14, 1-4pm: Introduction to NorthstarMLS
Jan. 16, 12-2:30pm: New Member Orientation

Jan. 17, 9-10:30am: Breakfast for the Brain - Mortgage Gotcha's

Jan. 23, 8:30am-12:15pm: 2018/2019 Required Module - Risk Management

Jan. 24, 10am-12pm: Comparative Market Analysis in NorthStar MLS

Jan. 24, 1-3pm: Instanet/Authentisign 102

Jan. 24, 4:45-7pm: New Member Orientation

Note: Many of these classes provide Minnesota real estate continuing education. Continuing education courses must be attended in their entirety in order to receive credit for the number of approved hours (MN Statute 45.30 Subd.4a). See full list of classes here.
Free coffee and conversation on December 14
Save the date for SPAAR's Winter Social on Wednesday, Jan. 9
Registration is now open for SPAAR's annual Winter Social event.
NAGLREP-Twin Cities holiday mixer is December 14

Make your calendar for the NAGLREP-Twin Cities holiday mixer taking place at LUSH on Friday, Dec. 14 from 5-8pm. Register here to attend.
1031 exchange overview -- what you need to know! How to identify potential 1031 exchange opportunities. Get your sellers off the fence. Reverse--Improvement exchange strategies for today's market. Come to learn all of this and more at SPAAR (325 Roselawn Ave E) on Thursday, Dec. 20 from 11:30am-12:30pm. Register here to attend. Lunch will be provided.

Sponsored by First American Exchange and Liberty Title
Keep up on SPAAR coverage and events by following on Facebook and Instagram

You can follow more news, events, activities and photos of SPAAR and its members by following the association on social media.

Like SPAAR on Facebook in two places by searching Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® and also SPAAR Charitable Foundation. Find SPAAR on Instagram at spaar_realtor.
Bring SPAAR Squad to you!

Interested in learning more about real estate issues, advocacy, education and events? Looking for useful content for upcoming office meetings?

SPAAR Squad is here to help! Our staff members are available to attend meetings and speak about a variety of relevant topics. We also provide onsite training (some with free CE) for groups of 25 or more. 
Dec. 6, 2018

Updated License Fees and Locations

Change in prelicense examinations for licensees

Dear Licensee:

Effective January 1, 2019, Pearson VUE will provide all insurance, real estate, and real property appraiser prelicense examinations administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

How can I sign up to take an examination?

Pearson VUE is now accepting registrations for examinations offered in January or later in 2019. To schedule an examination sometime after December 31, please contact Pearson VUE at (833) 273-1946 or at

Where can I take an examination?

Pearson VUE’s test centers are located throughout Minnesota at the following locations:

Bloomington - Pearson Professional Center

5601 Green Valley Dr, Suite 150 , Bloomington, Minnesota 55437

Brainerd - Central Lakes College

501 West College Drive, Test Center is in the Library Room E400, South East end of the Bldg, Brainerd, MN 56401

Brooklyn Park - Pearson Professional Center

7101 Northland Circle, Suite 102 Triad Building, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

Eagan - Pearson Professional Center

3459 Washington Drive, Suite 107, Washington Dr Executive Center, Eagan, MN 55122

Hermantown - Pearson Professional Center

4815 West Arrowhead Road, Suite 100 , North Shore Bank Place, Hermantown, Minnesota 55811

Marshall - Southwest Minnesota State University

1501 State Street, Counseling and Testing Svcs, BA 156 Marshall, MN 56258

Pine City- Pine Technical & Community College

900 4th Street SE, Pine City, MN 5506

Rochester - Pearson Professional Center

1544 Greenview Drive SW, Suite 200, Greenview Office Building, Rochester, Minnesota 55902

St. Paul - Pearson Professional Center

2610 University Avenue W, Suite 400 , St. Paul, Minnesota 55114


I’m registered to take an examination at a PSI test center in December. Do I need to cancel that registration and make a new one with Pearson VUE?

No. If you have scheduled an examination with PSI on a day in December, you can keep that reservation and take your examination as scheduled.

I would like to take my examination in December. How do I schedule it?

To schedule an examination in December (subject to availability), please contact PSI at 800-733-9267 or at .

How much will my examinations cost?

Fees for prelicense examinations beginning in 2019 are listed below. Please note that if you need to re-take an examination, a separate fee is required.


Real Property Appraiser-Certified General


Real Property Appraiser-Certified Residential


Real Property Appraiser-Licensed Residential 


Real Property Appraiser-Trainee






Adjuster-Property & Casualty


Adjuster-Workers’ Compensation


Producer Accident & Health


Producer Casualty


Producer Farm Property & Liability


Producer Life


Producer Life Accident & Health


Producer Personal Lines


Producer Property


Producer Property Casualty



Real Estate



Broker-Combo National & State


Real Estate Broker-National


Real Estate Broker-State Laws


Real Estate Salesperson-Combo National & State


Real Estate Salesperson-National


Real Estate Salesperson-State Laws


Will fingerprinting services for insurance and appraiser license candidates be available at the Pearson VUE test centers?

Yes. Beginning January 1, the fingerprinting fee for Minnesota insurance producer, insurance adjuster, and real property appraiser license applicants will be $67.25. This includes charges for background checks conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI as well as vendor processing fees.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Commerce Department at 651-539-1599 or Pearson VUE at (833) 273-1946.

Posted in Community News
Nov. 15, 2018

USDA Financing

Program Status: Open
Program Factsheet:  PDF

What does this program do? 
This program assists approved lenders in providing low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to own adequate, modest, decent, safe and sanitary dwellings as their primary residence in eligible rural areas. Eligible applicants may build, rehabilitate, improve or relocate a dwelling in an eligible rural area. The program provides a 90% loan note guarantee to approved lenders in order to reduce the risk of extending 100% loans to eligible rural homebuyers.

Who may apply for this program?
Applicants must:

  • Meet income-eligibility
  • Agree to personally occupy the dwelling as their primary residence
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. non-citizen national or Qualified Alien
  • Have the legal capacity to incur the loan obligation
  • Have not been suspended or debarred from participation in federal programs
  • Demonstrate the willingness to meet credit obligations in a timely manner
  • Purchase a property that meets all program criteria

What is an eligible area?
Check eligible addresses for the loan guarantees.

How may funds be used?
Funds backed by loan guarantees be used for:

  • New or existing residential property to be used as a permanent residence.  Closing cost and reasonable/customary expenses associated with the purchase may be included in the transaction
  • A site with a new or existing dwelling
  • Repairs and rehabilitation when associated with the purchase of an existing dwelling
  • Refinancing of eligible loans
  • Special design features or permanently installed equipment to accommodate a household member who has a physical disability
  • Reasonable and customary connection fees, assessments or the pro rata installment cost for utilities such as water, sewer, electricity and gas for which the buyer is liable
  • A pro rata share of real estate taxes that is due and payable on the property at the time of loan closing.  Funds can be allowed for the establishment of escrow accounts for real estate taxes and/or hazard and flood insurance premiums
  • Essential household equipment such as wall-to-wall carpeting, ovens, ranges, refrigerators, washers, dryers, heating and cooling equipment as long as the equipment is conveyed with the dwelling
  • Purchasing and installing measures to promote energy efficiency (e.g. insulation, double-paned glass and solar panels)
  • Installing fixed broadband service to the household as long as the equipment is conveyed with the dwelling
  • Site preparation costs, including grading, foundation plantings, seeding or sod installation, trees, walks, fences and driveways



How do we get started?
To apply for this program, please contact a local mortgage lender.  Applications must be submitted through an approved lender.  Speak to one of our lenders at AMEC!  Ann Spindler 763-442-9646  NMLS#150953


What governs this program?

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
This program helps lenders work with low and moderate income families living in rural areas to make homeownership a reality. Providing affordable homeownership opportunities promotes prosperity, which in turn creates thriving communities and improves the quality of life in rural areas.

NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change please always consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Law Governs this Program?" You may also contact your local office for assistance.

Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 22, 2018

Halloween Ad2

Posted in Media
Oct. 22, 2018

Halloween Ad

Posted in Media
Oct. 22, 2018

Fish MLS will open the right doors!

Posted in Media
Oct. 22, 2018

Excited to buy a home!

Posted in Media