Karen and Kyle Berget don’t think of their business, American Eagle Realty as a job necessarily. Although it is true that they work very hard, long hours, Karen says, “Real estate is a lifestyle; not a job, not a career. Your family has to be on board. When a client says ‘jump,’ my response is ‘how high.’” That kind of personal, full-service real estate business sets American Eagle apart from their competitors. Karen got her real estate license in 1999 and started American Eagle Realty in January of 2004, the same year Kyle got his license as well. Kyle was and is still a school teacher in Morris teaching third graders. As the broker, Karen is responsible for everything that goes on in the office. “Kyle is my support system who allows me to be able to do what I do.” Kyle is more available to help in the summer when school is not in session, and also works with the business after school gets out during the school year. The Berget’s are clearly passionate about their business! Paulette Solvie has also been working at American Eagle Realty for many years as a team member. She even has an interior design degree and can help sellers figure out the best way to lay out a home to sell it. “I guess that’s also part of what makes us full service!” says Karen.
There is an interesting story behind how American Eagle Realty got its name too. When Karen and Kyle bought their historic home in Morris, it was beautiful, but too big for just the two of them without having any kids yet. So they opened it up as a bed and breakfast, which they continued to run for 17 years. They did some research and found that the first hotel that was built in Morris was called The American House, named by a Swedish immigrant who moved here and was so proud to be an American that he named the hotel just that. The name stuck and the Berget’s named their bed and breakfast The American House. That’s how American Eagle Realty got its name, from the first hotel in Morris. I asked Karen why they quit the bed and breakfast business. She said, “I had paying guests and teenagers (her kids). One of them had to go.”
You may be wondering what a full-service real estate agency means. Karen says it means they keep records and data on market analysis to buyers and sellers and can help people find comparables to list their home in the price range of what it should be sold at, or what they should pay to buy a home at. Buyers should know the price they should be paying for a home, based on the current local market. They have all the spec sheets back to 2003, so people can see what the market was like in years past. Buying and selling a home can be a very stressful time. When they come to an agreement for sale and purchase, American Eagle works with the lenders, appraisers, underwriters, title company and gets everyone to the table for the closing with the least amount of stress possible.
Karen shared a funny memory of a house that was sold four times, almost to the same day, every other year! It almost became a running joke that if people wanted to buy the house, they could call around that day in two years! “We joked that we could just leave the ‘For Sale’ sign in the garage.”
Karen doesn’t remember the exact number of houses that have been bought and sold over her 14 years in business, but she does say that her favorite part of her job is being there when a buyer finds their perfect home. “I tell people you will know it’s your house when you walk in,” she says. “When they find the match, that’s the most fun. People look and look and get frustrated, and then they finally find it and they know.”
American Eagle Realty is located at 202 East 7th Street in Morris. Their office number is 320-589-4200 and their email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out their website at aerealty.net or like them on Facebook.