Need to sell a house with code violations?

15 Dec, 2022

Need to sell a house with code violations?

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All homeowners find that from time to time then need to sell up and move, or they are selling a property for other reasons. You must check the local property codes before you put your house on the market. If you discover that you are selling a house with code violations you need to take action. Read on to learn the next best steps to take.

3 Ways to sell a house with code violations

house with code violations
Even if you are living in the house and know it well you still need to check all the local property codes before you sell

Knowing your home has code violations can be distressing. Whether you’re dealing with a leaking roof or broken foundation, fixing a code violation tied to your property is tough. Most homeowners and landlords feel stuck when dealing with these violations. Surprisingly, code violations more common than you think. Many professional homebuyers are accustomed to purchasing homes with existing issues like these. You can easily sell your house with code violations when working with the right homebuyer.

Here, we’ll review what code violations are, alogn with three ways to sell your home despite the unmet codes.

Code violation examples

Municipalities throughout the country adopt universal building codes as outlined in the International Residential Code. However, they can implement more specific building codes to protect public health and safety. Violations range from things homeowners can fix themselves to major repairs necessitating professional help. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to fix all code violations to sell your home. Although, some local or state authorities will require particular safety problems to be rectified before the property can be sold.

Let’s discover the three best ways to sell your house with code violations. 

Common code violations

Some examples of common code violations include:

  • Defective ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
  • Handrails without returns
  • Incorrectly positioned smoke alarms
  • Faulty or missing deck flashing
  • Overloaded electrical panel

However, code violations are also discovered in the following areas:

  • Windows not up to the local standard
  • Missing expansion tank for water heaters
  • Bathroom remodels that don’t meet current standards for sink spacing, open floor space, fixtures distance, shower size, etc.
  • Egress windows in basement bedrooms
  • Extensions
  • Renovations made without permits
  • Roof pitches

Sell to a company that buys houses for cash

We’re kicking off this list with the easiest way to sell your home with code violations. 

Companies that buy houses for cash won’t require you to fix anything regarding your property. These homebuyers purchase houses as-is. This saves homeowners tons of time and money by not having to fix anything. You don’t need to make any repairs or even clean your house before selling it. The sale will go through without major delays that can come along with the traditional listing process. Typically, these companies that buy houses bring years of experience to the process. Deals get done quickly and without any complications. 

Fix the code violations

Alternatively, you can fix the code violations and sell your house the traditional way. Make sure that you calculate the costs of repairs to ensure it’s worth spending the money. Trying to remedy an outstanding code violation can be harder than you think depending on the exact issue. If the city that your property is located in is strict, you may be up against a wall that’s hard to climb. Research your city’s laws before attempting to fix existing code viotlations. If the violation doesn’t seem that complicated, you can fix it and then sell your house for more money that you originally thought.

Quick wins and fixes

The easiest and most affordable violations to remedy are as follows:

  • Move a smoke alarm (free, DIY)
  • Replace outlets ($20 per outlet)
  • Get an electrician to rewire, correct, or reverse polarity ($10 to $15 per outlet)

Lower the selling price

If you aren’t willing or able to fix the code violations, you could lower the selling price of your house. That way, buyers won’t be put off by the repairs they have to do or the responsibility of taking on the violations. 

Some sellers prefer to offer repair credits instead. However, these can put the buyer’s mortgage at risk because the lender won’t know whether the repairs will actually be carried out. It’s important to fully disclose all information about the violation that you’re aware of before selling it. This way, you only attract homebuyers that know what they’re taking on and can handle it.



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