Using the builders agent, is this in your best interest?

The decision has been made, you are not only going to buy a new home, you have decided to build. In every model you went through, there was an agent there and you found one that you really like. Being the expert in real estate you are, you decide that you will use the builders agent. Along with convenience, many people think they will get the agent to cut commission because they are working both sides of the transaction, their interests will be protected and the service will be of the utmost quality.

Are you really sure you know what you are doing? What most people don’t realized is the agent that represents the builder has a contract with that builder and their FIRST duty of responsibility in the transaction will be to the builder. The builders agent still has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the buyers interests and has to be careful what they tell the builder about the potential buyer, but any pertinent facts the buyer tells the agent, that agent may tell the builder, such as qualification of dollar amount, time frames, and any other information that may lead the builder to think twice about working with a particular buyer. For instance, if there are two parties talking with the builders agent and they are both thinking about building on a particular piece of land and both parties have informed the builders agent what they plan to offer, the builders agent may tell the builder the prices or information they know. This could work against the buyer in obtaining the piece of land they would like to build on.

Some buyers think that if they work with the builders agent, they will get a reduced commission or the dollars will be applied as a credit to the build. This could not be more incorrect. The agent working for the builder has already signed a right to represent contract with that builder that will protect the commission on the sell side. What people don’t realize is that the property is listed on the MLS with a pre negotiated pay out for the buyer agents side of the sale. The agent may cut some of this pre-negotiated commission, but many will not completely cut their pay they are to receive for the buyers side. The builder, by law, can not issue the buyer a kick back of any sort as it is against the law. The only persons in the transaction that can receive payment from the purchase is persons that are licensed by the state with an active license and all dollars or funds MUST be disclosed on the HUD at closing.

So when you are thinking about building, make sure your interests are protected as strongly as the builder you are working with and have your own representation. Your agent, once working under a buyers representation contract signed by both you and the agent, is required to work for your best interests. This representation should start from the moment you start to consider working with a builder, to the platting of the home on the land, the selections, the periodic walk through you will want to do, negotiations, closing and all in all making sure that you get the home you truly want, not the one you have to settle for.

Your Minnesota Real Estate agent providing quality service whether buying, selling or relocating. Experienced in short sale & foreclosures. Learn more at

Scams, Scams, Scams Everywhere!

As we all know times are tough and many are in dire straights with their real estate situation as well.  Most homes now are over valued, which means the current mortgage is more than the actual value of the home.  I hope that many people like myself try to find the good in each and every person that I encounter.  However, there are people out there that look to take advantage of people to assist in their own getting ahead. Sad part is they don’t care if they prey on elders, handicapped or just the everyday person trying to make a living.

Real estate has been hit hard over the past several years with many different types of scams that have put the current market in a very precarious situation.  Now many are looking for help to keep their homes, sell their homes and protect some of their interest or just know what may happen if they walk away. 

The sad  part about the whole situation of what is going on now, is it is hard to catch the people who are preying on persons that truly are looking for help to resolve their situation.  We have all heard it before, but I am going to say it again before I get into the top 3 scams that are going on right now in the real estate market:


Here are the top three scams that are happening now in the real estate market for those looking for help.

1.)  PHANTOM HELP:  Out of the blue you get a postcard, flyer or call from someone stating they can help you save your home.  Generally, these types of advertisements are scams.  Be VERY careful if you plan to contact on of these solicitations about the information and personal information you give them.  More than likely they are not working with anyone connected with your mortgage or your personal situation.

2.) BAIL-OUT/RENT-TO-BUY: Should someone approach you to buy your home at a discounted amount, have you rent from them for a certain amount of time, then you get to buy the home back for the purchase price….RUN!!!!!!  This is the BIGGEST scam out there.  These people will show up with a document ready for you to sign that has these details drafted out, but in reality, what the document states is you are SIGNING THE DEED TO YOUR HOME OVER to this person/company.  You will soon receive a certified letter or some sort of contacting notifying you that you have so many days to move out of your home.

3.) Bait-N-Switch:  Again, this looks a lot like the bail-out/rent-to-own, but this time they will show up with documents & just fill in the information in front of you.  This person will be dressed VERY well, mainly a male and be a very fast talker.  They will tell you, you have to make the decision right then and there and pressure you to sing the document.  You will be signing the deed to your home over to whomever this person/company is.

Where can you turn for help you can trust?  HUD is always a  great option; they provide a service that allows you to bring in any documents you have received and someone will review them and give you suggestions as to how to progress or if it may not be in your best interest.  Also, you have the right at any time to contact a lawyer of your choice to review the documents you have.  There maybe a fee for this service so check with the firm you want to work with.  You can also try to work with your local bank that you have a personal relationship with. They maybe able to suggest

THE SPIRITS TO MOVE are here to help and provide you with information that is helpful & trustworthy! Be safe and know who you are talking with at all times about your personal & financial information.