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What Minnesota sellers should know about the Truth in Sale of Housing inspection

Truth in sale 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 recommended fixes and required fixes.

Currently, a TISH report (or similar report) from a licensed evaluator is required in at least twelve metro cities, including Bloomington, Crystal, Hopkins, Maplewood, Minneapolis, New Hope, Osseo, Richfield, Robbinsdale, South St. Paul, St. Louis Park and St. Paul. Meanwhile, Golden Valley requires a sewer inspection prior to home sale. 

How to prep for a Truth in Sale of Housing inspection

According to this recent story on WCCO, there are three common (and inexpensive) repairs that homeowners should take care of prior to calling in a licensed TISH inspector.

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 even your neighborhood’s water supply.

Depending on the city, missing backflow preventers could be marked as a required fix on a TISH report. Err on the side of caution by picking up backflow preventers for less than five dollars at a local hardware store prior to your inspection.

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. Be sure you have the legally required amount of smoke detectors in your home, too. 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. If a pipe is leaking just a little bit, you may be able to fix it with a basic wrench tightening.

These three fixes are all minor and inexpensive and local inspectors say it’s not worth seeing dings on a TISH report for things that could be fixed proactively. “Take care of all that stuff ahead of time. It’s so simple to figure that stuff out before we come through the house,” says local inspector Reuben Saltzman.

Local Truth in Sale of Housing information

The costs and requirements of these inspections vary from city to city, and some areas have a list of approved, licensed vendors that you must use. Below, we’ve gathered the information for each metro city that requires an inspection.

You can also ask your local REALTOR® for more information, as they will have a deep understanding of your area’s inspection requirements. Not working with an agent yet? Call, email or chat to be connected with a specialist in your area.

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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.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings