Last night, the City Council of Crystal, MN voted to repeal its Point of Sale Inspection Ordinance. The vote came after a months-long examination of the process by councilmembers and city staff, with considerable input from Crystal residents and real estate professionals. This was a truly organic action, initiated by the Council as a result of conversations with their constituents.
The Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® supported the repeal, and we are very excited to see Crystal join the ranks of cities around the metro who are choosing to move toward property maintenance programs that are effective in maintaining housing quality and applied to all homes in the community. MAAR thanks the Crystal City Council, under the leadership of Mayor Jim Adams, for their thoughtful consideration of this important issue.
Crystal enacted its Point of Sale Inspection ordinance in January 1992. A handful of other cities in Minnesota (such as Hopkins, Minneapolis, New Hope and Saint Louis Park) already had similar ordinances on the books at that time.
Point of Sale Inspection regulations require that any time a property owner sells his home in the city, before closing (or in some cases, at the time of listing), the city must perform an inspection on the home. Each city mandating such an inspection develops its own list of items to be reviewed, and determines the specifics on timing, fees, etc. Additionally, the cities may require that some or all of the items noted on the inspection must be repaired before the property can be sold.
Why MAAR Opposes Point of Sale
MAAR, in partnership with the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®, has historically opposed Point of Sale Inspection ordinances at the city level. This is because of the costs, duplication of efforts, limited scope, and waiver of city liability that comes with city-mandated Point of Sale inspections. [Read Our Policy Statement!]
Inspection Requirements in the Twin Cities Metro
In the past two years, Crystal and Brooklyn Park have repealed their Point of Sale Inspection Ordinances. 12 remaining cities have some variation of Point of Sale Inspection requirements.
What the Repeal Means for REALTORS® and Their Clients in Crystal
The Point of Sale repeal in Crystal will be effective on September 26, 2015. Any property in Crystal that closes after that date will not be required to obtain a city inspection. However, any home that sells before September 26 will have to fully comply with the Point of Sale Inspection Ordinance.
Further, any property owner who has paid for an inspection prior to the repeal will get a refund – IF the inspection is not actually performed. If a homeowner has a city inspection done before the September 26 date and does not close until after the repeal, a refund will not be provided because the work covered by the fee will have already been conducted.
If you have questions about a specific listing, please contact Crystal’s Community Development Director John Sutter at 763.531.1130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional details about the transition process between now and September 26, you can refer to Crystal’s website, or contact Julia Parenteau at 952.988.3124 or email@example.com.