Selling a house in North Dakota can have serious legal repercussions if you don't know and follow all state and local regulations. Before selling your home, there are a number of things you should know.
Help From an Agent
A real estate agent has the tools, knowledge and resources to determine the current value of your home compared to others in your area. An agent can help you effectively market your house.
Where to Search for Real Estate Agents
Locate a licensed North Dakota real estate agent at Househunt.com.
Real Estate Listings
There are three kinds of real estate listings.
- Open listing: Owners retain the right to sell the home and pay no commissions.
- Exclusive agency listing: Owners execute a listing agreement with a broker and only pay a commission if the broker is the cause of the sale.
- Exclusive right to sell listing: The seller pays a commission to the listing broker regardless of who brings in the buyer.
Setting the Sales Price
Your agent determines your property's sales price by comparing the prices of similar homes that have been listed or sold in your area.
Contents of the Listing Agreement
- Price and commission
- Items included or not included in the sale
- Duties and obligations of the seller and the agent
What's Included in the Disclosure
The seller must disclose known material defects regarding the home’s structure, as well as other issues, such as:
- Wiring and electrical issues
- Water damage
- Environmental hazards
Failure to make the required disclosures can expose you to a lawsuit. North Dakota home sellers generally use the North Dakota Residential Real Estate Disclosure Statement.
Offers and Counteroffers
An offer is a proposal made by a buyer to pay a certain price for your property based on specified terms and conditions. It's not a binding contract until the seller accepts the offer and notifies the buyer of its acceptance.
A counteroffer is one that rejects the original offer and presents new terms.
After an offer is agreed to by the buyer and seller, the transaction goes into escrow and the buyer deposits funds into an escrow account pending the closing.
Using a Purchase Agreement
A purchase agreement is a binding contract. It includes terms and conditions such as:
- The identities of the parties
- Price and financing terms
- Guarantee of clear title
- Date of closing and inspection
Can Post-Contract Issues Be Negotiated?
If the buyer's home inspection turns up material defects, he can insist that you pay to remedy them or lower the purchase price accordingly.
Finalizing the Sale
At the close of escrow, several things occur, such as:
- The buyer signs a promissory note.
- Costs and fees are paid.
- All documents are signed and transferred.
- The deed is recorded.
As the seller, you don't have to attend closing as long as all costs are paid and all documents are signed ahead of time. You must typically turn the keys over to the buyer the same day if the deed is recorded that day.
Consult With a Lawyer
This article provides a brief introduction to North Dakota real estate law. Contact a real estate attorney for more state-specific legal information.