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Skaare returns to Nelson Realty – as owner

By Staff | Jun 14, 2009

Henry Bollum, left, and Gloria Terhark, right, recently sold their real estate company, Nelson Realty, to Ken Skaare, center. Bollum and Terhark will continue working for the firm.

In 1991 Ken Skaare of Blue Earth got his real estate license and went to work part time for Nelson Realty for a couple of years.

Now 18 years later, Skaare returns to the local firm – as it’s owner.

“Jim Nelson is the person who advised me to get my license, and then wanted me to work for him,” Skaare says.

Nelson died in 1994 and the company was purchased by Henry Bollum and Gloria Terhark. On May 15, Skaare bought the corporation from them.

Little is going to change at the real estate firm, Skaare says. The name will be the same, and all of the staff will remain – including Terhark and Bollum. The two will continue in the sales portion of the office.

All other salespersons will continue at Nelson. They include Orv Terhark, Laurie Oelke, and Kelli Bahr. Doris Hagedorn will also remain as the office manager/receptionist.

The difference will be having Skaare as the owner/broker, running the company on a day-to-day basis.

He recently resigned from his position in the Faribault County Assessor’s office, where he was the deputy county assessor.

Skaare started with the county in October of 1997, working in the recorder’s office. He became the deputy assessor when Sue Wiltse moved up to become the assessor, replacing Dean Moller, who retired.

“It was a very good job, but I just couldn’t see myself doing it for the next 30 years,” Skaare said about the change. “Several people have expressed shock that I would resign from a ‘county job,’ and take this step.”

Despite problems in the real estate business on a national level, Skaare thinks locally the market is fine, and that this is a good time for him to make the move.

“I had told Gloria and Henry two years ago I would be interested in the business if they wanted to slow down or retire,” he says. “In January they called me and we started talking.”

Skaare had to finish up his assessing work for this spring before taking over the reins at Nelson. Plus, he had to get his real estate broker’s license in order to become the owner.

“Every job I have ever had has had something to do with real estate,” he adds with a chuckle. That helped him pass the test right away, despite the fact that he had not been active in selling real estate since 1997. As an assessor, it would have been a conflict of interest, he explains.

Skaare is a life-long resident of Blue Earth and a 1987 graduate of Blue Earth Area High School. Many members of his family live in Blue Earth, including parents and siblings.

He says one of his interests is history, specifically the history of Faribault County and Blue Earth. He has a collection of post cards, pictures and memorabilia of local interest.

“My sixth grade teacher, Connie Helgeson, got me interested in history,” he says. Years later, she talked him into becoming a member of the Faribault County Historical Society board of directors, a post he held for eight years.

About his taking a big step of going into business for himself, Skaare says he likes to take on a challenge once in awhile.

For instance, he went sky diving over the Hoover Dam one time, despite having a fear of heights. And he went on a 9-day sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands, despite having never been near the ocean before.

“This seemed like a logical move for me,” he says. “I enjoy helping people, and I like the real estate field,” he says.

Being single, he adds, means he can devote the time needed to do everything he wants to do at the office. That can include nights and weekends of showing property.

“I know I may not get rich doing this, but I think it will be fun – it is something new and different every day,” he says.