Do I need a purchase agreement to buy a home in Minnesota?

The most important document in the transaction when buying a home in Minnesota is the purchase agreement. This document spells out all the terms agreed upon by the seller and buyer. Futher more, to make any real estate transaction enforceable, it must be in writing. To protect yourself and reduce any confusion, demand that every term be written out and signed by both parties. While the best intentions might be intended, verbal agreements are a bad idea.

Do we close with an attorney or title company in the state of Minnesota?

Almost all real estate transactions in Minnesota are closed at a title company and do so with no problems. It is not discouraged to seek legal advise, but it is recommended to speak with an attorney before any documents are signed. After the terms are agreed upon by both parties, it is extremely difficult to change provisions at a later time. If however you feel that something is not being handled well, please to not hesitate to speak with an attorney, as the title company and mortgage company cannot answer any legal questions. If you close on the property before resolving any problems, Minnesota law states that you most likely will have waived any rights to a remedy.

What are the most common contingencies in a purchase agreement?

  • Financing – the buyer will need to find a loan with-in 30 days of signing a purchase agreement. However most sellers require the buyer to be pre-approved before submitting any offers.
  • Home Inspection – almost all contracts today are contingent on a home inspection. The buyer will have so many days to complete the inspection by a licensed home inspector and then negotiate with the seller on repairs to be made to “warranted items”.
  • Sale of other Property – Gone are the days of homes selling in a matter of hours. Many buyers must sell their current property in order to finance the next one. Sellers are now embracing this contingency because homes are taking upwards of 180 days to sell.
  • 48-Hour Right of Refusal – usually placed on a contract anytime the sale of other property contingency is incorporated into offer. This gives the seller some protection when pulling their home off the market by accepting back up offers. The buyer is given 48 hours from presentation of a back up offer to decide if they can proceed to closing, removing all contingencies, or withdrawn from the contract.

What other addendums are included when buying in Minnesota?

  • Well or septic tank disclosures
  • Sellers Property Disclosure
  • Lead based Paint Disclosure (home built 1978 or earlier)
  • Arbitration Disclosure