Purchasing your home is often one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. It is important that the agent you choose to represent you will be trustworthy and committed to help you find the home that best fits your wants and needs in this demanding market. The relationship you form should be based on trust, communication and integrity for the process can be confusing and frustrating without guidance.
Tom & Meg combine over 45 years experience as topproducing agents at Edina Realty, the Twin Cities leading company in home sales. They will walk you through each step required to purchase a home including reviewing all of the paperwork, discussing city inspections or other requirements plus provide information on schools and any specific information asked for about the areas you are considering.
Real Estate Agency & Disclosures
When working with Meg & Tom, you will be asked to sign two documents concerning Agency and Representation. They are required with any transaction to purchase or sell a home.
Contract for Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer– by signing this, you agree to work with only Meg & Tom Meyers for a specific period of time. This four page contract has an expiration date, and you can cancel the contract at any time.
Agency Relationships in a Real Estate Transaction– this is only a disclosure and is not a contract. Minnesota Law requires that this form be signed and it describes the different types of Agency Representation that a buyer or seller might choose as well as reviewing the fiduciary duties owed to the buyer or seller by the agent.
Finding Your Home
Computer Searches – several times each day, Meg & Tom will search the MLS for homes that meet your criteria. We will look for new listings, homes that have been reduced or homes that might be back on the market. We will then e-mail you those homes so you can review them.
Networking – as the #1 company in the Twin Cities market, we will often hear of new listings before other agents or companies through our inter office communicating and networking at meetings. Some of these homes may not even be on the market yet but we would get the opportunity to see the home first.
Tuesday Realtor Open Houses – each Tuesday from 11AM -1PM, Realtors throughout the Twin Cities have their new listings open for inspection by Realtors. if we see a home on tour that meets your criteria, we will preview it and contact you about the home.
For Sale By Owner & Prospecting One Time Showings– many FSBO’s will work with Realtors. if we see one that fits your needs, we will contact the owner and set up a showing. Please don’t call them directly! We have also had success with target mailing to neighborhoods you might like to see if any owners are thinking about selling. That would create a “one time showing” of the home just for you to see if it meets your needs.
Writing Your Offer
The days of looking are about to come to an end! While looking for homes, we would recommend you also contact a loan officer that can tell you about market rates and conditions. Any offer you write will require a “pre-qualifying letter” from a lender letting the seller know you are financially qualified to purchase the home you have chosen.
The Purchase Agreement – depending on the type of offer , the contract will be between 10 – 20 pages long that will need to be reviewed and signed. Meg & Tom will make sure you understand each page before you sign it. This legal agreement binds the sale between buyer and seller and will include the following:
* price you are willing to pay for the house
* date of the closing and date of possession
* interest rate and type of financing you have chosen
* a list of personal property included in the sale
* terms of any and all home inspections
* seller disclosures that must be understood and signed
Once the offer has been accepted and your inspection is completed, you will move on towards the closing date. The the following will occur:
* loan application – you will meet with your loan officer and continue the process of your mortgage
* appraisal – the lending institution will order an appraisal and the home must appraise for at least the sales price
* title work – the title company you select will begin the process of assuring the transfer of title will be “free and clear” of any encumbrances that might cloud th title. You will offered the option of purchasing an Owner’s Policy of title insurance at the closing which is low cost insurance guaranteeing you clear title if anything was missed during the title search.
* final walk through – you will have the opportunity to walk through your new home just prior to closing to make sure there is no change in the condition of the home from when you wrote the original offer
Title Ownership in Minnesota
Abstract– this type of title is a document, often times as much as an inch thick, giving a summary of the essential parts of all recorded instruments that form the links of a “chain of title”. It runs from the original grant date from the US Government and is brought forward to the date of ownership change. It states all liens and encumbrances, unpaid taxes, special assessments, divorces, bankruptcies or whatever else may affect title.
Torrens – this type of ownership originally started as abstract but was changed by a District Court procedure to Torrens title. it was first introduced in 1905. The system was designed to make the transfer of title as safe and simple as possible. Each time a property changes title, that title status is determined by an examination of action taking place after the last date of registration or title change. The owner is given a green certificate that is folded up and is the Torrens Certificate of Title.
You are in the final stretch of owning your new home. The closing – also known as the settlement or escrow – is the final step. It is the official transfer of the property from the seller to you. Meg or Tom will be at the closing to assure that there are no surprises. You will also be given a “Good Faith Estimate” of the check you will be required to bring to closing.
What To Bring
* a certified or cashier’s check made out to yourself for the amount specified in the estimate from your loan officer
* your check book in casae there are any extra expenses
* a photo ID
* your new homeowners insurance coverage showing you have paid your premium
What To Expect
Typically, a closing takes about an hour. It occurs at a Title Company of Real Estate office chosen by the buyer. The buyer will have more papers to sign than the seller. Each page will be explained by the closer, and you will receive a packet and copies of everything you will sign at the end.
A statement called a HUD will outline your expenses and you will want to keep a copy of the HUD for your tax records. You will also need this when you go to the City Hall of the new home to file for your homestead tax exemption.
Congratulations on your new home!