[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.  If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.]

The most important date in a residential real estate deal?

Easy: closing.

So, what’s the second most important date?

At least in Minnesota, the date that the Buyer’s Written Statement is due. See, ““You mean, there’s no deal AND they get their earnest money back?!?”.”


Up until that date, all the home Seller really has is a Buyer who wants to buy their home, but doesn’t have their financing yet (and no, the Buyer’s Pre-Approval Letter doesn’t mean the Buyer’s good to go).

Once the Buyer provides the Seller with a Written Statement, the Seller is assured that: 1) their home has appraised at the purchase price; and 2) the lender has verified the Buyer’s financial bona fides, and completed underwriting their loan.

Equally important, after the Buyer has provided the Seller with the Written Statement, if the Buyer fails to close, the Seller is entitled to keep the Buyer’s earnest money as liquidated damages.

See also, “Written Statements and Pre-Approval Letters“; “Pre-Approval Letters and Written Statements”; “Do a Real Estate Deal on the Back of a Napkin? You Could“; and “Written Statements in 300 Words . . . or One.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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