How to Buy a Home in the Twin Cities 

There are several different approaches when it comes to figuring out how to buy a home in the Twin Cities Metro area of Minnesota.   Most home buyers begin by searching for homes online at one of the many real estate home search websites.  Zillow is a search site that gets a lot of home buyer search traffic as well as their sister company Trulia.  The problem with these websites is that they do not give you all of the property information.  They end up selling your information to local real estate and mortgage professionals that will pester you to no end.  Many home buyers go directly to the realty company websites or real estate agent websites to begin their home search. These sites tend to have more listings but outdated property status information.  The homes that are sold will show up as active listings several days after they are under contract. More experienced home buyers will do a web search for the MLS or Multiple Listing Service which is also confusing and deceiving.  There are hundreds of websites that claim to be or say they are the MLS. The MLS Online is the name of a real estate company and not the official Multiple Listing Service that is used by local real estate agents and brokerage firms. 

Home buying tip for the Twin Cities

Do not leave your contact information on websites that claime to be the MLS or local multiple listing service. While searching for a home, condo, town townhome or duplex a home buyer will be prompted to provide their name, phone number and email address. If you leave a Twin Cities Realtor your contact information, it will lead to a barrage of phone calls and emails from real estate salespeople.

Twin Cities Home buying hack

When you contact a Twin Cities Real Estate Agent about a listing, your information is sold to other real estate agents, real estate brokers, mortgage lenders, and mortgage brokers. The more relentless in their pursuit of you that the Twin Cities Realtor is, the more likely they are to do and say anything for the almighty dollar.

How to avoid bad realtors

Avoid the hassles.  Research top real estate agents in your area before you start throwing around your contact information. Get a referral from a friend or family member and then do a google search for that Twin Cities real estate agent.  

Real Estate Word of caution for Minnesotans

Do not reach out to the person that appears to be the listing agent of the property for sale.  You will most likely be connected to another salesperson unrelated to the listing that will be relentless in their efforts to represent you.

Home buying knowledge for the Twin Cities

The listing agent has a fiduciary duty to the home seller and a contract with that home seller to act in their best interest, not yours. According to Minnesota real estate law, the listing agent is supposed to make the home buyer aware that they are the listing agent and are under contract with the seller, but sometimes real estate agents fail to do this.  The listing agent is also supposed to ask the home buyer if they are under contract with another realtor, but again, many agents fail to do this.   

Real Estate Home Buyers Beware

If a Twin Cities home buyer views a property with another agent and later decides that they want to buy that home, the agent that showed them that home may have the legal right to the buy side commission.  This would mean that the home buyer would then either have to represent themselves, use the agent that showed them the house to represent them or pay another agent out of their pocket to represent them. Real Estate agents by law are required to provide home buyers with an Agency Disclosure form upon first substantive contact.  The first substantive contact is when either party begins to discuss confidential personal or financial information, which if disclosed to the other party, could hurt their bargaining position. 

Home buyers in the Twin Cities should know

The home seller is the person responsible for paying the real estate commission and they have contracted the listing brokerage to represent them.  When a home buyer goes directly to the listing agent for information about the house and then views the house with that same listing agent they are waiving the right for their own representation to get paid.  The seller has a contract with the listing brokerage to pay them a pre-determined percentage of the sales price.  The percentage is divided between the buyer’s broker and the seller’s broker.   The most common mistake that a home buyer will make is to try and save money by going directly to the listing agent. It is rare that the listing agent will pass their commission to the buyer, but common for the listing agent to help give the seller the upper hand in the negotiation process. 

Key take away

When you are researching good agents to represent you in the home buying process it is important to know the ins and outs of home buyer representation and the home buying process.   Do a web search of the agents' name and read their reviews online.  It should be a huge red flag for you if they are hard to find or do not have many reviews.  Click here for more information on choosing the right real estate agent to represent you.

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