Dream homes and distressed sales helped propel Minnesota's busiest real estate agents to the top of their class last year, according to an annual survey by Real Trends, a Denver-based real estate research company, and Trulia.com. The survey is completely voluntary, but is vetted to make sure that agents aren't overreporting sales.

By volume, George Stickney, a Coldwell Banker Burnet agent who specializes in luxury listings in the western suburbs and Lake Minnetonka, was the leading agent, selling $74 million last year.

As measured by transaction, Jeremy Peterson of Re/Max Results, who specializes in the south metro, had 256 deals.

The top team by volume was the Minnesota Real Estate Team, which has more than 50 agents working with Re/Max Advantage Plus and sold $250 million. And the top team by transactions was the Minnesota Real Estate Team of Re/Max Advantage Plus with 1,278 deals.