Securing all necessary building permits before you sell a house leads to a smooth transaction while keeping possible lawsuits at bay.
Yes, some factors may compel you to skip the building permits when you make home improvements or additions. Many homeowners make such a choice as well. But this decision brings serious drawbacks and pitfalls before and after the transaction.
Why? Because home buyers want a safe and hassle-free property. Meaning, they’re likely to walk away when you don’t have complete building permits, and there are good reasons for them to do so.
But what problems does a homeowner or seller face when they don’t get building permits? Why do buyers want a home with complete certifications for certain home improvements? Aren’t these permits mere additional costs?
What do Building Permits Mean When You Sell a House?
The law mandates that homeowners must get building permits when they make improvements in their properties. Think of improving or fixing utilities (such as the electrical wires, plumbing, and HVAC system) or making an area more functional or fabulous, such as transforming a basement into a home theater.
Permits make sure homeowners are complying with existing quality and safety standards when improving their homes, as well as assessing the new home value.
Two Big Reasons Homeowners Want to Skip Permits
1. Feels like an inconvenient process
Many homeowners think that getting a building permit is just an unnecessary hassle. Permits require payments, undergoing a home inspection, and getting the certification. This can be lengthy and difficult, but going without can lead to bigger problems later.
If you want help with the permit process, talk with the your realtor about getting your building permits.
2. Feels like an unneeded cost
There are three money concerns that homeowners worry about concerning building permits.
First, they will need to comply with existing standards on making any home improvement. This means they cannot buy cheap or poor quality materials, hire unlicensed contractors, or make the improvements themselves.
Second, they should pay for the process itself. Experts suggest that you must prepare around 2% of the total costs of the project before applying for building permits.
Third, homeowners worry about tax concerns. Why? Because home improvements increase the value of a property, which causes higher property tax.
All of these reasons can compel someone not to get building permits when making home improvements. But in reality, it is an impractical choice that brings can lead to inability to sell the home until the process is done properly or lawsuits later down the line if the issue goes undiscovered before the sale.
How Building Permits Help Buyers and Sellers
1. Ensures the Quality of the Project
There are quality standards when building or improving a home. The law imposes such standards through permits, especially during the inspection phase. The inspector can tell if your home improvement project was done the right way with quality materials or if something needs to be changed. Passing the inspection phase means the seller can move ahead confidently with a higher price on selling a home, and the buyer can trust the quality of the construction.
2. Proof of Long-Lasting Results
Getting your permits and passing inspection ensures that the buyer won’t need to replace or fix the improvements you’ve done in just a short while. They can withstand wear and tear, especially when you make outdoor improvements.
3. Meet Safety Standards
The federal government is concerned about the safety factors in a home as well. That is why it is always part of any building permits, especially for major home improvements.
For instance, think of improving the electrical wiring in your home. It must be safe enough that it wouldn’t cause any risk of a house fire. That is why you must hire a licensed electrician to do the job, which is something that building permits required. Maybe you have an uncle that has done some wiring before and you’d like him to help you out, but that’s not safe enough.
Everyone would love to live in a safe home–don’t you?
4. Avoid Home Insurance Problems
Home insurance policies are great for covering costs when accidents happen in your home. But if something happens in a non-permitted section, you won’t be able to claim the insurance funds.
5. Keep Unnecessary Home Selling Problems at Bay
A home buyer is likely to request seeing building permits during the transaction, as their agents will tell them about the importance of the permits. These documents help buyers have confidence about the quality and safety of a property. It also assures them that they’re unlikely to encounter home insurance problems that circle on lack of permits.
Home buyers are likely to walk away if you can’t provide the right building permit for each home improvement. You also can’t get a certificate of occupancy when you put your house on the market without permits.
6. Keeps You away from Legal Problems
Getting a building permit is a legal requirement for any home improvement and skipping these leads you to legal repercussions in the form of hefty charges. You’d be caught when applying for a certificate of occupancy or by a home inspector.
When and How You Should Get a Building Permit
Contact your local building department and ask about the project you’re planning and when/how to get the right permits. You can also talk to your realtor about moving forward with this.
Typically you’ll need permits before you start your project, as well as 2% of the total cost of your project. You’ll then finalize the process by obtaining a certificate of occupancy after as inspector checks the improvements you’ve made and adjusts the value of your home, too.
Secure Building Permits to Avoid Hassles when You Sell a House!
You see? Building permits for home improvements are necessary and helps you avoid problems in the selling process. You’re ensuring you are selling a safe and quality home, free from foreseeable insurance problems and legal issues, which will allow you to enjoy a smooth home selling transaction.