When opportunity speaks, it pays to listen! You may have noticed the changes taking place in downtown Montevideo and Granite Falls, with the expansion of Hughes Real Estate & Auction Service LLC. Jesse Hughes, broker & owner of Hughes Real Estate & Auction Service, LLC, grew up on a farm north of Big Bend. He first found an interest in auctions when two of his high school friends went to auctioneer school. Seeing how much they enjoyed it, he thought it would be an interesting thing to do. His background in farming provided him with the experience to go into the business of auctioneering ag real estate.

Hughes Real Estate & Auction Services, LLC began in 2009, and soon outgrew the office on the Hughes farm. Hughes purchased and renovated a building in Benson, which helped his business grow even more. With requests for his services to expand beyond the realm of auctions and appraisals, his brokerage’s services now include farmland, residential and commercial sales. With his faith in believing everything happens in perfect timing, Hughes took the time to listen to those requesting his services, and he decided to open branch offices in Montevideo and Granite Falls. In doing so, Hughes took the opportunity to team up with long-time childhood friend, Janell Welling, and her real estate partners, Sandra Russen and Sherry Mathiowetz, to manage the respective Monte-video and Granite Falls offices.

Welling has been a realtor for just over one year, and she wasted no time paving her own success. Having been a licensed social worker and the previous owner of a successful healthcare business, she brings with her the ability to truly understand people, and assess their needs as buyers and sellers. She grew up on a farm just south of Big Bend and is serving in her seventh year on the Dawson Co-op Credit Union board. Welling understands how agricultural, economic, and financial trends impact the real estate market and our rural communities. Sherry Mathiowetz’s 10 year career in real estate started in 2007 in her Granite Falls office. She has a degree in Interior Design, which gave her great background knowledge about homes before she started selling them. She has been able to incorporate her interior design skills to assist clients with preparing homes to be sold and offering tips for improving properties for investment. Reflecting on her career in real estate sales, Sandra Russen said, “I am always looking for ways to provide clients as many options for their real estate needs and improve my real estate experience and knowledge.

Joining Hughes Real Estate and Auction Service offered those opportunities.” Speaking of the switch to Hughes Real Estate, Russen said, “It was a bittersweet decision on my part to leave RE/MAX. I’ve had 13 wonderful and successful years with them. Over the past 20 years in the real estate sale and marketing business, I've had the pleasure to broker two RE/MAX franchises and successfully finish my RE/MAX career as an independent agent earning award recognition for production and outstanding service each year.” Since beginning her real estate career in 1997 in the Minneapolis suburbs, Russen has earned a multitude of production and service awards each year. For the past 17 years, Russen has built her career in and around the Montevideo and Granite Falls areas. Russen has been active as a director and past president of the West Central Association of Realtors (WCAR) and as a member of the Public Relations Committee for WCAR. She’s an active board member for Brookside Senior Living and is involved in many other community activities. Russen stated, “This experience, industry in­volvement and knowledge is shared with my clients to enhance their buying and selling experience for a smooth transition throughout the buying and selling process. Coupled with the expanded services Hughes Real Estate & Auction Service provides and my career experience, I look forward to our new beginnings.”