Random advice from the internet

Many of us use the internet to do a little research when we have a question. When looking for answers to questions about buying or selling a home pay close attention to the source.

Real estate is local but there is a lot of generic real estate content on the internet. The articles often have titles with numbers in them. They suggest there are six things you should know or five things you should do etc.

When reading advice found on the internet look for a date on the article and where it was written and who wrote it. California has the most real estate agents per capita and a large number of real estate writers.

Generic information about real estate is easy to find. It is everywhere and everyone is a real estate expert.

Topics about how to get a house ready to sell and how to win in a multiple offer situation are generic topics. Articles about sellers disclosures, condo doc, termite inspections, escrows, utility costs and more are area specific.

Some municipalities require inspections before a home can be sold. Start by going to your city website and searching for information. The rules for selling a home in St. Paul are different from the requirements in Minneapolis. The city of South St. Paul requires a “time of sale” inspection. The city of West St. Paul does not require an inspection.

Real estate is regulated by the state department of commerce. Most commerce departments have websites. Those sites have information about local laws and even have information about how to get a real estate license.

Information can also be found on state attorney general websites and state department of health websites.

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