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I’m preparing to sell my house; do I need to get an inspection done as the seller?

This depends! Depending on where your house is located and if you are on city sewer or a septic system, your answer can vary.

There are a handful of cities around the metro that do require sellers to obtain a “pre-sale” inspection.  Most cities call these the Truth in Housing or Point of Sale inspection. What is inspected, whether there will be required seller repairs, and who is qualified to conduct the inspection, will depend on your city.

Some cities, like Minneapolis, have a list of approved third-party inspectors who will come to your house and do a comprehensive health and safety type inspection of your entire property.  Sellers generally will have a few repairs they are required to do, only if you actually sell the house.  If for some reason you decide not to sell, you are not required to make the repairs at that time. Some repairs will be listed as requiring permits and others will not.  It is customary for the seller to handle these repairs prior to closing, have the home re-inspected, and schedule the COA (Certificate of Approval) with the city. Both your realtor and your title company will request the COA from you prior to closing. Keep in mind, in some home sales, the buyer will take on, or assume responsibility, for any required repairs. This is done by signing a specific document to which is filed with the city. Any buyer-assumed repairs are to be completed within a specific timeline set by the city.  

Other communities like Saint Paul, will give the seller a full report with a recap of repairs categorized as hazardous, below minimum, and/or meeting minimum requirements.  It’s important to keep in mind some of the below minimum repairs are to be expected in older homes. Stairwells are commonly flagged as below minimum in older homes because stairs in these homes were built much smaller and steeper than they are in new home construction today.  For the most part, Saint Paul does not require the seller to do repairs. However, safety-related repairs, such as requiring a hardwired smoke detector, are typical exceptions.  

Lastly, there are inspections in some cities specific to sewer lines and septic systems. Communities like Golden Valley, require sewer lines to be inspected prior to listing a property for sale. And most county, city, or township ordinances will require a septic system compliance inspection (although the state of MN does not officially require this type of inspection). If a septic system inspection is required, recent regulations mandate the septic system be pumped prior to the compliance inspection.

While all this may seem daunting, the team at The MN Experts is here to help you every step of the way! As you prepare to sell your home, our team will keep you informed of any, and all, requirements for your specific property.  If you have any questions about this, please email us today at

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Video tour

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on Wednesday a proposal to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule until Oct. 1.

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Real Estate Roundup!

May new home sales gain 2.2% from April

Sales of new single-family houses in May 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, which is up 2.2% from April, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. — From Housing Wire

3 ways to tame student loan debt and afford a mortgage

It’s no secret that student loans can make buying a home a challenge. But what exactly is the problem, and how can buyers overcome it? The problem is that student loans can be included in the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. — From Bankrate

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We’re ready for the TRID rules!

At 5 p.m. EST June 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement that the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules would be pushed back to Oct. 1, 2015.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a prepared statement: “The CFPB will be issuing a proposed amendment to delay the effective date of the Know Before You Owe rule until Oct. 1, 2015. We made this decision to correct an administrative error that we just discovered in meeting the requirements under federal law, which would have delayed the effective date of the rule by two weeks. We further believe that the additional time included in the proposed effective date would better accommodate the interests of the many consumers and providers whose families will be busy with the transition to the new school year at that time.”

Rainier Title has been working towards the TRID implementation for over a year and felt prepared for August 1st. However, with the proposed delay we will be taking this opportunity to continue our education and training of TRID. While we believe that we have been proactive and ready for this change, there are still so many unknowns that will have to be addressed at the time of implementation. The industry should still prepare for 45-60 days for transaction to close due to the new timing parameters of the forms.

We’re working hard to be ready for all changes!

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Real Estate Roundup

Active Home-Building Industry Will Lead to More Demand for Warehouse Space

Strong consumer spending and the rise in housing construction activity are currently the prime factors for the incredible rebound of the U.S. industrial real estate sector, and experts say as home buying continues to increase, so will demand for warehouse space. — From NRE Online

To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Developer’s Question

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