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Posted in: Selling a home

What Minnesota sellers should know about the Truth in Housing inspection

Truth in sale housing inspection

Key insights

  • Some Minnesota homeowners may need to get a Truth-in-Sale of Housing (TISH) inspection before you sell your home; currently, 12 cities in the Twin Cities metro area require this inspection.
  • Each city that requires a TISH inspection has their own terms and costs. Be sure to follow them to the letter.
  • There are ways to prepare your home for a TISH inspection, including checking common plumbing elements and smoke detectors.

What is a “Truth-in-Sale of Housing” Inspection?

In certain cities in the Twin Cities metro, a seller inspection is required before the home can be sold. This inspection is often called the “Truth-in-Sale of Housing” (TISH) report, or a “truth in housing” report.

Unlike a buyer’s inspection, which can hone in on quirks or inconsistencies, the TISH report is focused on risks to life or health that can be found within the home. The report is usually made up of a checklist of recommended or required fixes.

Once they receive the TISH report, sellers must complete the required fixes before closing. In some cases, if they aren’t able to complete the checklist of necessary repairs, the seller may choose to negotiate with the buyer, who can perform the repairs post-close.

Buyers will be well-aware of what the TISH report outlines, as sellers are typically required to include the report within the disclosures they provide potential buyers.

What cities in Minnesota require a TISH inspection?

While the exact name of the inspection may vary from one city to the next, 12 Minnesota cities currently require sellers to get a TISH inspection (or similar report) from a licensed evaluator:

Additionally, two local cities don’t require a traditional TISH inspection, but they do require sellers to order an inflow/infiltration inspection to check for excess flow of clear water into the city’s sewer system:

Note that as of January 15, 2020, Minneapolis TISH reports include information on the energy efficiency of a home. Read more about these updates

How to prep for a Truth in Sale of Housing inspection

According to this WCCO story, there are three common (and inexpensive) repairs that homeowners should take care of prior to their TISH inspection.

1. Look for missing backflow preventer for faucets

Check to make sure your outdoor faucets have backflow preventers, or vacuum breakers. As a local inspection expert explains here, these valves ensure that water coming from your outdoor faucets only flows out and that any contaminated water that comes into contact with the hose doesn’t flow back into the city’s water supply.

For example, if you are filling a bucket with bleach and water, you only want the water flowing out — it could contaminate drinking water if the bleach flowed back through the faucet and into your home’s or your neighborhood’s water supply.

Depending on the city, missing backflow preventers could be marked as a required fix on a TISH report.

2. Check smoke alarm

When was the last time you checked your smoke alarm — aside from when you charred that pizza last year? Give each alarm in your house a test or replace the batteries in each to be safe.

You’ll also want to check your city requirements to ensure you have the legally required number of smoke detectors in your home. In Minneapolis (and most areas), the requirement is to have a smoke alarm on every level and outside each sleeping area.

3. Test for leaky plumbing

The WCCO report suggests filling up a sink or tub, then pulling the stopper out and watching the pipes to make sure you don’t have any plumbing issues. You should do this for all sinks and tubs, including laundry sinks or industrial tubs that you don’t use that often. If a pipe is leaking just a little bit, you may be able to fix it with a basic wrench tightening.

Need help getting a TISH inspection?

Our agents are local experts, and they can offer insights on how to hire a licensed local evaluator and the prep work you should put in before your TISH inspection. Contact Edina Realty or your REALTOR® for customized, local advice.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings