What is a Certificate of Real Estate Value?

If you are a homeowner in the state of South Dakota or Minnesota, the chances are good that you have encountered a Certificate of Real Estate Value. These forms are used in conjunction with property deeds in order to fully record and document fluctuations in property ownership. Although the other 48 states in the United States do not require this document, exploring this particular legal document can help you better understand the value of thorough record-keeping.


  • A Certificate of Real Estate Value acts as a complement to a property deed, recording a variety of important information related to the sale of a property as well as the buyer and seller. In South Dakota and Minnesota, the buyer of a property is required by law to submit a Certificate of Real Estate Value in conjunction with the deed

Certificate of Value Basics

A Certificate of Real Estate Value documents the price at which a property was sold as well as any unique terms that were added to the transaction prior to its completion. For example, if the original property owner offered to initiate a variety of home improvements following the closure of the sale, this information would be included as part of the Certificate of Real Estate Value.

A basic description of the property must be included in the form. Also, the intended use of the property by the new owner must also be included in the form. For example, if the new property owner was using their newly acquired house for rental purposes, this information would need to be included within the certificate.

The Certificate of Value also asks for a brief description of the funding method used to finance the purchase. So, if the new homeowner acquired a mortgage to purchase the property, a brief description of these mortgage terms must be included within the documentation.

Finally, a variety of fundamental identifying information, such as the names, addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers of both parties must also be included with the form. If any of this information is missing, the certificate cannot be properly filed.

Exploring Methods for Completing Certificates

Much like any legal documentation, completing a Certificate of Value is facilitated by the state government. In the state of South Dakota, the certificate can be completed online through the state government web portal. In Minnesota, the Department of Revenue has created an electronic portal through which individuals can complete the certificate.

Keep in mind that the certificate must be submitted alongside the deed for the property. One document will not suffice unless the other is submitted in combination. Both Minnesota and South Dakota provide a variety of useful information on their websites that will help buyers complete the Certificate of Real Estate Value as accurately as possible.

Filing the Correct Form

In both states, it is the responsibility of the buyer to file these documents, not the seller. If the buyer does not complete the forms, the sale of the property will not be legally certified. This could ultimately lead to a variety of problems when it comes time to assess property taxes and other state or federal taxes.

Again, the burden for submitting these documents is entirely on the buyer rather the seller. If the seller does not submit the appropriate documentation, the seller will not be penalized.