If you already have a buyer you obviously don’t need a Realtor to help market your home. Finding a buyer is only one part of a successful sale, however.
- Negotiating price and terms
- Verification of buyer’s financial ability to purchase the home, whether financing or paying cash
- Verification that the financing the buyer plans to use will work for this property
- Seller’s Property & Lead Based Paint Disclosures as required by Minnesota state law
- How to handle the sale of an estate or property held in trust
- City inspection, if required by your municipality, and handling of any required repairs
- Writing a legally binding purchase agreement
- Holding earnest money funds in an escrow account
- Private inspection by the buyer, possibile re-negotiation of price and terms
- Delivery and review of Association documents if a townhouse, condominium, co-op or part of any Common Interest Community
- Appraisal of the property
- Final underwriting approval for financing
- Title search
- Arranging for closing and legal transfer of title
So…the next question is, do you need a Realtor to do these steps? The answer is no, you don’t legally need a Realtor but real estate transactions are complicated so you should have someone to help you navigate through the process. Did you know that most purchase agreements I deal with are now about 30 pages long?!
There are different kinds of Realtor and agency relationships in real estate transactions available to you in Minnesota, with or without legal representation…or you could retain the services of an attorney. What makes the most sense for your situation can only be answered by you.
Realtor fees are negotiable, and not all Realtors provide the same services. I have worked with both buyers and sellers in situations where they found each other without a Realtor…with fees ranging from a commission percentage to a flat fee, depending on the services and representation required. I have even been contacted by a bank to simply write a purchase agreement for a real estate transaction that was transferring property from parent to child. Compare expertise, services and fees based on the services you will need for your situation.
Don’t automatically assume a particular fee…you may be able to negotiate a reduced commission rate or a flat fee depending the services you require. Also, be sure to take into account whether or not your buyer is represented by a Realtor…if so, they may be expecting you to pay that commission, as it is traditionally covered by the seller.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – Twin Cities Seller’s Agent