Out of 169 Active Listings on the Multiple Listing Service in Chisago County, only seven of those are lender owned properties. They are owned by local banks, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or HUD. Each owner has a different procedure for accepting offers. In 2011 & 2012 over 40% of the sales were bank owned in Chisago County. 

With non-bank owned listings, we write an offer on a Purchase Agreement form approved by the Minnesota Association of Realtors. It is submitted to the seller’s agent, who presents it to the seller.  The agreement can come together quickly if the parties keep negotiating, until there is an agreement.

Last week I negotiated a home owned by Fannie Mae. In addition to completing the Purchase Agreement, there were over 20 additional pages required by Fannie Mae. The documents were uploaded on the HomePath website, rather than delivered to the seller’s agent. Fannie Mae has no tolerance for missing or incomplete documents, so if an agent has little or no experience, the offer will quickly be rejected. 

Until an offer is accepted in writing, other agents can submit offers as well. Once the bank selects an offer to work with, negotiations begin which normally take a few days. Once a verbal agreement is reached, new documents are prepared by the bank’s agent that the buyers have to sign, before the seller signs..

My documents were submitted accurately, the terms were negotiated within 2 days and it still took 10 days to get the seller’s signatures. The property was being sold “As Is”, but the buyers did an inspection to confirm their decision to move forward. Luckily there were no surprises and my clients moved forward.

Many of the banks are repairing defects and selling the homes at market price, so they qualify for conventional, VA or FHA financing. An experienced agent can help you determine if buying a bank owned property is right for you.

Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.