Home Inspections – Know Your Rights & Responsibilities

MN MLS Property Search Most homebuyers and sellers of real estate listings in Minnesota are not experts in evaluating residential properties. The various systems in any home are complex. Plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, and other systems are all subject to flaws, damage, and poor maintenance, but assessing the condition of those systems in any home is a job for professionals. Homebuyers need information on the condition of all systems in a home they are considering, and sellers need information so they can present their home to potential buyers and correct any flaws before putting their home on the market. In the Minneapolis St. Paul area, there are two types of home inspections that may apply to home sales:

Time of Sale Inspections on Minnesota MLS Listings – The Seller’s Responsibility

Several Twin Cities metro area cities require sellers to have their houses inspected before putting it on the market: Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Hopkins, Maplewood, Minneapolis, New Hope, Osseo, Richfield, Robbinsdale, St. Louis Park, St. Paul, and South St. Paul all have ordinances mandating time of sale inspections. Primarily designed to identify hazardous conditions in a house, these inspections and the reports of their findings are available to potential buyers of MN MLS listed properties. Each city has its own rules. In some, a city inspector will perform the inspection, while other cities provide a list of approved inspectors for the owner to hire. In most cases, hazardous conditions must be repaired before the home’s ownership is transferred. How detailed the inspection reports are also depends on the city where the home is located. Click here to see the requirements in each city.

For buyers, it’s important to ask for the Time of Sale housing inspection report and review it carefully, when considering a purchase. Any hazardous conditions noted in the report should be corrected by the seller before the sale is completed. Your buyer’s agent from our REMAX team will help you understand the rules in the city where the home listing you’re viewing is located. In cities where such Time of Sale inspections are not required, it is very important for buyers to hire a home inspector who will identify problems with the home. But, even in cities that require a Time of Sale housing inspection, buyers should also hire a home inspector of their own, since Time of Sale inspections are focused mainly on major systems and possible hazardous conditions, and may not identify other issues of concern. It should be noted, the time of sale housing should be completed prior to the real estate broker listing the property for sale onto the Regional MLS.

Private Home Inspections – Helping Buyers Understand Home Conditions

Whether or not a Time of Sale inspection is required in the city where you’re looking at a home, hiring a trusted, professional home inspector should be part of any home purchase. For a very reasonable cost to the buyer, a professional home inspector will come to the home, and inspect every aspect of it, from top to bottom. This inspection is normally done after negotiations have led to a purchase agreement, and most purchase agreements make the sale contingent on a satisfactory inspection. As agent members of Northstar MN MLS, we can recommend trusted home inspectors for you. In most cases, the buyer can accompany the inspector during the inspection. This is a very good idea, since the home inspector will point out issues so you can see them yourself. But, even if you cannot go along with the inspector, an exhaustive report on what the inspector finds will be created after the inspection. It’s very important to review this report thoroughly because a private home inspector doesn’t provide a “code compliance inspection.” At our REMAX Realty team, your buyer’s agent will help you understand the report. If a satisfactory inspection is a contingency in your purchase agreement, as it should be, negotiations with the seller will take place about handling deficiencies. For serious deficiencies, the seller will most often readily agree to make the necessary repairs. For less important deficiencies, you can decide whether to insist on repairs or accept the deficiencies. In many cases, deficiencies may also lead to a reduction in the selling price of the home as another option, or if no agreement is reached, a potential cancellation of the purchase agreement. These negotiations are a very important part of the process, and your buyer’s agent can help you understand all aspects of your choices.

Once agreement is reached on all points of the inspection, the sale can proceed. Before closing, though, any repairs or work agreed to must be completed or underway. Your final walk-through with your buyer’s agent before closing should verify that the work has been done.

For sellers with their home listed with a Broker on the MN MLS online, these housing inspections are always a concern, and can affect the completion of the sale of the home. Sellers can help assure themselves that buyers’ home inspections don’t create problems by hiring a home inspector before putting the home on the market. By taking care of any deficiencies or problems in advance, sellers can feel more assured that issues that may turn up in buyer’s home inspections don’t jeopardize the sale. Our REMAX listing agents often recommend such advance home inspections to sellers to prevent later problems.

Some home inspectors carry Errors and Omissions insurance. Some do not. Please know that the state of Minnesota does not require home inspectors to do so. Ultimately, the consumer is paying the home inspector a fee to provide an opinion and report on the condition of the home.

Complete Service for Every Aspect of a Real Estate Transaction

At our REMAX Realty team, we understand that every sale has many aspects. Home inspections, both Time of Sale inspections and buyer inspections, are important factors in every sale. For both sellers and buyers of MLS listed real estate properties, these inspections are highly recommended and working out the solutions for problems discovered in inspections is part of the negotiating process for our experienced professional agents. We’re always happy to recommend proven, trusted inspection services to our clients, as part of our service. And of course we always encourage clients to contact at least a couple different home inspectors, and then pick which inspector is best for them. Contact us today to discuss selling or buying a home anywhere in the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area. We’ll help you make your transaction a successful one.