Monday, March 19, 2007

What is a Truth-In-Sale Housing Disclosure? How does that differ from Pre-Inspection?

I was speaking with potential clients about listing their home in Blaine, Minnesota a few weeks ago. They had beautiful home with many updates that they taken wonderful care of. As they were filling out the disclosure, they brought up the subject of pre-inspection. A friend of theirs had recently sold a home and had it pre-inspected. When the offers came in, the buyers opted to forego the inspection, choosing to just read the report. My clients were wondering if this was a common practice and if a pre-inspection was required.

In Minnesota, there is no Truth-In-Housing inspection requirement to sell your home at the state or county level. There is however several communities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area that do require a pre-inspection report. These go by many names: Truth-in-Sale of Housing Disclosure, Time-of Sale, Time-of-Sale Code Compliance, Dwelling Maintenance and Occupancy Code Compliance, Housing Code Compliance Inspection or Housing Maintenance Code Inspection. Some of these inspections are done by inspectors that are city employees while other communities have licensed private inspectors to perform the inspection of the home. It is the homeowners responsibility to select a private inspector to perform the inspection prior to listing the home for sale.

The Twin Cities communities that currently require a home inspection are:

Private Inspectors (Selected by Homeowner)
St. Louis Park
St. Paul
South St. Paul

City Inspectors
New Hope

Can I still have my home pre-inspected if my community does not have a truth-in-sale requirement?

Absolutely! Having you property pre-inspected and an inspection report available to potential buyers can speed along the buying process for many buyers. Some buyers will choose to review the report and not have another inspection completed making the offer not-contingent on an inspection. Other buyers will choose to have the inspector who did the pre-inspection come out to the home to explain the details in the report. This is often completed for a reduced fee to the buyer since the work has been completed and it is not as time consuming to the inspector. However a pre-inspection does not guarantee that the buyer will not opt to hire their own independent inspector of the home.

If I give an Inspection or Truth-In-Housing Report, do I have to complete a seller’s disclosure?
If you have lived in the home, yes! It is required to disclose what you know about the home. However, in the case of an estate or rental property where the owner did not live in the home, the owner will have limited information regarding the property to disclose. In this case, an inspector’s report can be offered in lieu of the completed disclosure.

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call. Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007