- The city of Minneapolis requires all home sellers to get a Truth-in-Sale of Housing (TISH) inspection before they list their house.
- Beginning in January 2020, Minneapolis TISH reports will include an Energy Disclosure Report, which scores the energy efficiency of any home and offers recommendations for how to improve the home’s score.
- Sellers will not be required to make repairs based on their energy efficiency score, but there are programs and credits available to help homeowners take on cost-effective upgrades.
What is a TISH inspection and why do Minneapolis sellers need to get one?
Some cities require that for-sale properties meet a set of standards before they can be listed on the market. These properties are typically required to undergo a brief inspection, called a Truth-in-Sale of Housing (TISH) inspection. During the TISH inspection, a licensed evaluator analyzes a property to ensure that it does not pose any immediate and obvious risks to a potential buyer.
Minneapolis is one of 12 cities in the Twin Cities metro that requires sellers to order a TISH inspection before they list their home for sale. Within their post-inspection TISH report, sellers may be given a checklist of items they are responsible for fixing before they close on the home. Additionally, sellers must include the TISH report in the disclosures they offer to potential buyers.
What does the Minneapolis TISH report include?
Because the original purpose of the TISH report is to identify immediate health risks or hazards posed by the property, a Minneapolis TISH evaluator will check things like:
- Proper installation of handrails
- The correct number and placement of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
- Water flow and plumbing issues
- Electrical outlets, fixtures and service panel
- Condition of foundation, roof, chimney and other structural elements
- Heating and gas components
See the full list of what Minneapolis TISH evaluators review during their inspection.
In 2020, Minneapolis TISH reports will include energy efficiency score
As of January 15, 2020, each TISH report will include an addendum called the Energy Disclosure Report; this section seeks to inform buyers about the property’s energy performance.
Minneapolis TISH evaluators will begin checking the energy efficiency of homes they evaluate, looking at four key criteria:
- Attic insulation
- Wall insulation
- Single pane windows, without storm windows
- The property’s heating system
Within the Energy Disclosure Report, the evaluator will score the home’s energy performance on a scale of 0-100; they will also offer recommendations for how to make the home more energy efficient.
Dig out your insulation receipts before your inspection
If you recently performed insulation work or got an energy audit on your house, be sure to dig up the documentation before the evaluator comes, says Edina Realty regional manager Jim Young.
“For homes built prior to 1980, the new inspection guideline requires that TISH evaluators drive a 2-inch hole into your wall to check for proper insulation. But it’s important not to penetrate the structural envelope of a property unless it’s absolutely necessary,” said Young. “Any time the envelope is penetrated, we create the potential for leaks.”
Young says that homeowners with properties built before 1980 can avoid unnecessary drilling by providing TISH evaluators with key documentation, when available:
- An invoice or receipts showing insulation was recently added
- An energy audit from the Home Energy Squad
“If you have that documentation, that will clear the matter immediately.The TISH evaluator can accept those instead of testing — and potentially damaging — the wall insulation,” says Young.
Keep in mind that even if the evaluator is able to waive the wall insulation testing, they do still have to test the attic insulation and check the windows and heating system when putting together your home’s final energy efficiency score.
Are Minneapolis sellers required to improve their home’s energy performance?
In short, no. While the traditional TISH report can require sellers to fix certain elements in their home, homeowners do not need to complete any recommendations listed in the Energy Disclosure Report.
However, if you are still a few months from listing your property, you may want to look into potential programs or tax credits that could help you curb costs while improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Federal tax credit
The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is a federal tax credit that allows for a 26% reduction for projects completed by the end of 2020. For projects completed in 2021, a 22% credit will be granted.
City government and energy companies
City governments and local energy companies also offer rebates or programs to incentivize homeowners who need to upgrade their energy performance. It can be easy to grow frustrated as you research your eligibility for certain programs, but The Minnesota Center for Energy and Environment can help take the guesswork out. The center offers homeowners one-on-one guidance for securing rebates, assistance and no-interest loans for energy efficiency projects. Call an energy advisor at 651-328-6225 or email them at email@example.com for personalized insights.
Ready to sell?
If you’re selling a home in Minneapolis, be sure to work with a local specialist who understands the TISH inspection guidelines and the new energy efficiency addendum to the report. Reach out to Edina Realty or your agent to get the insights you need as you prepare to place your home on the market.