Even if you have bought and sold many homes in the past, each state has its differences. Of course brokerages also have their differences, but here are some key things to know about buying a home in Minnesota.
This means Realtors can show and sell homes listed by other Realtors and real estate companies, and Realtors and their clients have access to all listings in the MLS regardless of who is the listing agent.
The amount the seller is paying the buyer’s agent is included in each MLS listing, and means buyers rarely pay any direct agent commission. However, be aware what your contract states your agent will be paid… sometimes the amount the seller is paying isn’t enough to cover it and you will have to make up the difference.
This means that the same brokerage can have a fiduciary representation agreement with both buyer and seller in a transaction, but cannot advocate for one party over the other and cannot disclose anything confidential regarding price, terms or motivation. Buyer and seller must agree this arrangement is ok with them.
Realtors have a fiduciary relationship with clients and handle transaction details and negotiations. Title companies handle the closing of the sale.
In our market, financing approval is addressed before, rather than after an offer. You should have a pre-approval letter which means your income, credit score and down payment funds have been verified… rather than a pre-qualification letter, which basically means it ‘looks good’ that you will qualify but it hasn’t been verified.
In Minnesota, most buyers love having basements… great for storage, extra living space, and a place to go for shelter if there is a tornado (Minnesota averages about 40 tornadoes throughout the state per year). But basements can be cool and damp so pay attention to how they are heated and what steps have been taken to prevent moisture intrusion.
This means you will make a decision while writing your offer as to whether your new home will be covered by a home warranty… and if so, who will pay for it.
You will have the option to decide ahead of time to accept or reject arbitration by a real estate arbitrator as a way to resolve any potential disputes that may arise after closing as an option instead of litigation.
Several communities in the metro area, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, require homes to be inspected by a licensed evaluator before they are offered for sale. This inspection is ordered and paid for by the seller. In addition, most buyers order and pay for their own private inspection. After the inspection you can choose to simply proceed to closing, ask the seller to make some repairs or make a price adjustment to cover the cost of repairs, or cancel the agreement and have your earnest money refunded.
For this reason, most homeowners include radon testing in their home inspection.
This means you don’t have to wait until after you close on your current home to get under contract for a new home. You could conceivably close on both homes within days of each other, possibly even the same day.
Sellers usually get their proceeds and buyers usually get the keys to their new home right at the closing table so you can move into your new home right away.
If this will be your primary residence homesteading could give you a tax credit… amount varies based on the price of your home. Homestead filing doesn’t cost anything and is done only once for as long as you own the property, recorded once a year with filing deadline of December 1.