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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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