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Sell a Home With Un-permitted Construction? Here's a Guide!

Bill Gassett's picture
Selling a Home Without Building Permits

Selling a Home Without Proper Building Permits

Being a homeowner can be extremely rewarding. One of the best parts about being a homeowner is the freedom it provides to change your surroundings.

As time goes by, most homeowners will start to take on various improvement projects. When performed correctly, these projects can add a lot of value to a home.

Approximately 6 million homes are sold in the United States annually. If you think it is time to move on to the next chapter of your life and sell your existing home, you need to do your homework before listing it. Doing things like finding out what similar homes in your area are selling for is crucial before putting a price tag on your residence.

If you have performed lots of home improvement projects without permits, you may face problems when trying to sell your residence to a buyer. Instead of writing off the possibility of selling a home with unpermitted construction, you need to do some research to find out how to make this goal a reality.

The following is some information about unpermitted construction and what you can do to make selling a home with unpermitted construction easier. When a house is marked as a contingent home sale, the buyer has contingencies for performing due diligence.

The best real estate agents will determine if proper permits were pulled for work completed by the homeowner. They do this by checking on the history of the house, including whether permits were pulled by visiting the local town hall.

Why Do You Need Permits?

Some homeowners think that building permits are just a complicated bureaucracy-filled process meant to make them spend money. In reality, these permits are designed to act as a safeguard for homeowners.

You can show the projects you have taken to comply with local policies involving construction, zoning, and land use with a permit. These permits show future buyers that these projects made the structure of your residence safer and avoided housing code violations.

You need to realize that minor projects like flooring installation or painting don’t require homeowners to get permits. However, more severe jobs like adding a fence or a window to a home will require you to obtain a building permit. Instead of ignoring the need for building permits, homeowners need to go through the process of getting them. This process usually involves things like:

Contact your local building office and give them details about your project. Once the inspectors at the building office have this information, they can give you an idea of what type of permits you need to obtain.
Fill out permit documents and include schematics of your building project.
Pay the filing fee and file the permit paperwork. In some cases, your permit will be approved on the spot.
Get an inspector to check the finished project to ensure it meets local building codes.

While receiving a permit and approval for a building project is time-consuming, it is definitely worth the effort you invest.

Risks of Buying a Home With Unpermitted Work

When trying to sell your home to a buyer, you will need to provide them with details about the house and the unpermitted work. A buyer will take on some risks when buying a home with unpermitted work. These risks include things like:

Taking Responsibility For Unpermitted Work-
Perhaps the most significant risk of buying a home with unpermitted work is that the buyer in question will have to take over the responsibility of this work. This means that if any unpermitted projects cause problems in the future, it is the responsibility of the buyer to fix them. Most buyers expect a deep discount on homes with unpermitted work, which could cut into a home seller’s profit margin.

 Problems With Homeowner Insurance Coverage- Having a great homeowner’s insurance policy is something the average person views as a priority. If a person buys a home with unpermitted improvements, their insurance provider may not cover the future damage they cause.
 
Future Penalties- There are some areas where building inspectors do come down on homeowners with unpermitted work. The cost and aggravation of the penalties building inspectors will levy can be a lot for a new homeowner to deal with.

If you have unpermitted work in your home, you can still sell it. In the next section, we will lay out a few pieces of advice on how to sell a house with unpermitted work.

Selling a Home With Unpermitted Work

Luckily, there are things you can do to make selling a home with unpermitted work easier. Rather than throwing in the towel and staying in a home, you aren’t happy with. It would be best if you explored all of your selling options.

Sell Your Home As-Is

Trying to hide information about the unpermitted work in your home is a horrible idea. Doing this can get you in a lot of trouble, which is why you need to be honest.

One of the best options for sellers trying to unload a residence with unpermitted work is selling it as is. This solution for unpermitted construction will require a homeowner to take less for their residence. In most cases, you will have difficulty selling a home in as-is condition to a mortgage-backed buyer.

This is why you need to entertain working with a company that buys homes for cash. These companies can pay a competitive price on as-is homes. Selling your home in as-is condition to a cash buyer also provides benefits like:

      Fast closing
      Avoid performing repairs on your home
      A stress-free home selling experience
      Room for negotiation

Before using a company that pays cash for homes, do some research to ensure they are reputable. By looking at the reviews a cash buyer has online, you can feel how well they have treated past customers.

With this information, you can narrow down the list of cash buyers at your disposal. Choosing offers such as these does not come without risks.

Consider Obtaining Retroactive Permits

If you want to avoid losing money on the sale of your home, then you need to think about obtaining retroactive permits for the projects you have performed. Going back to your local building inspector and scheduling an inspection is essential.

If you have performed work now covered up with a wall or other obstructions, you will need to take it down so the inspector can get a good look.

You need to realize that receiving these retroactive permits can be expensive. In most cases, the cost of the licenses is based on the scope of the project in question.

Before you head to your local building inspector’s office, you might want to hire a construction professional to inspect the work in question. They will be able to pinpoint any problems that may be present. Addressing these issues before the building inspector arrives can help speed up the permit approval process.

The last thing you need to do is put your home on the market before you have these retroactive building permits in hand. Failing to wait to obtain these permits before putting your home on the market can result in delays in this process.

Figuring Out How To Handle This Issue

Now that you know more about handling selling a home with unpermitted work, it is time to get to work. While you will have to work harder to sell a house with unpermitted work, it will be worth the time and energy you invest.

With the money from this sale, you can start a new chapter in a home you purchase with the proceeds.

About the author: The above article on unpermitted construction was written by Wendy Dessler. Wendy is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.
She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

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