I’ve been posting on facebook a fair amount lately about what the communication error is with regard to home buyers of Minnesota homes for sale not using a licensed REALTOR® to assist with their purchase. My Q & A on Trulia is often in response to a buyer who is now in trouble because they don’t have an agent working for them.
I wonder if it’s because they think they might be saving some money. Well, let me bust that myth. Here in the middle part of the country (unlike some areas on the coasts), real estate commissions are still paid by the seller. So, that means the buyer does NOT pay the real estate commission out of their pocket.
So, what……..is it?? I’d love to hear/see your comments. Please reply.
My friend and colleague, Eric Hempler, wrote an article on his blog. With his permission, he’s allowed me to re-post some of that content here today. Read through and see what rings true:
“If you’re searching How to Buy a Home by Owner my guess is you’re already pre-approved for a loan and if not, I would recommend it. Otherwise, a Seller may not take your offer seriously.
The first thing you need to realize is that this may be a lot of work, which is why consumers find an agent to help them find a home because it’s convenient and free…why wouldn’t you want to use something that’s free.
The Ground Work
The first thing to do…track down the owners of the homes that are for sale
If the home you’re interested in is listed with an agent it really doesn’t matter because the Seller Pays the commission regardless if you use an agent or not.
Now that you have the names and contact info of the owners give them a call and see if you can view the home…if you were using an agent you could save some time and have the agent make arrangements and they could also look up the homes to see if there is already an offer on the property…websites don’t have this info, but if it’s listed with an agent and the agent has updated the MLS then the Buyer’s Agent will know if there’s an offer on the property.
You would also be able to view several homes over the course of an hour or two versus calling each person one by one and trying to schedule them as they called you back…that’s assuming they call you back. Sometimes agents aren’t real good about returning calls.
Making the Offer
Now that you’ve found the home it’s time to write the offer…you’ll need a purchase agreement. I unfortunately don’t know were the public can get one.
Here are a few questions to ask about the property
Will the Seller pay your closing costs?
Is there well? does it need to be sealed?
Is there septic? is it in compliance, if it’s not what do you need to do?
Inspections – property, well, septic
Lead Paint – what do you need to do if the property has lead paint?
Closing on the Property
Should you use a Title Company to make sure the title is clean and there are no leans on the property?
What should you do when the appraisal for the home comes back for less than what you offered on the home?
The Other Option
Call an agent…find someone you feel comfortable using and give them a call…meet with them and then you can decide if they’re the right fit.”
Please let us agents know what we’re doing wrong in order for us to learn how to appeal to more home buyers.
Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.