Selling A Home? What You Need to Know About Unpermitted Work

Posted by Justin Havre on Friday, October 19th, 2018 at 10:48am.

What To Do About Unpermitted Work In A HomeSometimes when a homeowner wants to make improvements to their property, they must first get a permit. Usually, permits are required for work that could put people at risk if it's done incorrectly. Frequently, a permit is required to make electrical, plumbing or structural changes to a home.

Work that is done without a permit can become a problem when the time comes to sell the house. Here's what homeowners need to know.

Why Are Permits Important?

Permits ensure that there is oversight on certain home upgrades. Permits typically require that an inspection must be performed before the job can be completed. The inspector checks to ensure that the job is performed properly and according to local codes. Without this inspection, upgrades and changes that are made to the home could put homeowners and others at risk. In addition, if a permit is not pulled when it is supposed to be pulled, this could devalue the home and make it harder to sell.

Finally, unpermitted work is also a problem because it can hinder progress in the middle of a home improvement or upgrade. If a contractor in the middle of a remodel discovers work that was not done to code, that contractor may stop work in the middle of the project until the home is repaired.

Can You Sell A Home With Unpermitted Work?

Yes, a homeowner can sell a home with unpermitted work, but many home buyers will only be interested in the house if they can get it for a discount. Insuring a home with unpermitted work can be difficult, and often, the work is not done to code. This means that the home could be a fire danger or a structural danger. Home buyers often are not content to live in a home with these potential problems and will insist on making the repairs themselves. They ask for the discount to make the repairs.

What Should You Do If You Find Unpermitted Work?

Many homeowners are unaware that there was unpermitted work done on their home until it is discovered during a remodel. When unpermitted work is discovered, the homeowner faces a choice. Either the homeowner must have the unpermitted work repaired, or it must be removed.

Sometimes repairing unpermitted work is a cost-effective option. Other times, the costs are too great. Getting a retroactive permit often involves tearing out walls so that the inspector can see what's happening in the unseen parts of the home. If the work is not done properly, it must be repaired by a qualified professional.

Homeowners who discover unpermitted work in their home and who aren't sure whether or not to tear out the work or to have it repaired can start by getting quotes from qualified contractors. Although contractors may not know how much exactly it will cost to retroactively get the old work permitted, they will often be able to come up with an estimate that can give the homeowner an idea. This can help the homeowner decide how to proceed.

Contact A Real Estate Professional to Sell a Home With Unpermitted Work

If you're a homeowner who is trying to sell an Air Ranch home with unpermitted work, you might be at a crossroads. At this point, it's important to decide whether or not to repair the work, or try to sell as is. Contact a real estate professional for advice and a consultation. Your real estate professional can help you decide how to proceed.

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