how to sell a house with code violations

Cracking the Code on How to Sell a House With Code Violations

It can be daunting to find out that your home isn’t up to code, especially if you are trying to sell it.

Fortunately enough, you will still be able to sell your house after overcoming some obstacles.

In this article, we will go over what it means to have a house not up to code, and how you can mediate the problem.

Keep reading to learn how to sell a house with code violations.

What Is a House With Code Violations?

Each municipality possesses a set of building codes, which protect the health of the public, extend general welfare, and assure safety in terms of construction and occupancy. But, these rules change often.

Your local Regulation and Licensing Department is responsible for overseeing the codes for historic, residential, commercial, and manufactured buildings. The department is also responsible for the codes relating to solar energy, electrical safety, boilers, plumbing, etc.

Nationwide codes also exist, such as the National Electric Code, which proposes the designs, inspection approaches, and installation methods for safe electrical equipment. This list has been revised many a time, so what has been considered safe 15 years ago might not be so today.

Because of this, a homeowner can quickly start to gather violations, fines, and citations for simple things like not cleaning the pool, not mowing, and not maintaining the property in adherence to the rule of code.

City fines are not a joke and are quick to start gathering interest on a daily basis.

Let’s take a look at some common code violations:

As mentioned, housing code violations range from simple issues to major repairs.

  • Dysfunctional or incorrectly placed smoke detectors/alarms
  • Handrails end into a wall and don’t turn
  • Bathroom exhaust fans vent into the home, instead of the outside
  • Deck flashing is missing between the house and ledger board
  • Defective ground circuit interrupters on electrical appliances

These are just some examples, but the list extends far beyond these five. Keep reading to learn how to sell the home, even if you have some sort of code violation.

How to Sell a House With Code Violations

You can sell a house with code violations with one of these three options:

  1. Fixing the problem
  2. Lowering the price
  3. Selling ‘As Is’

Let’s take an in-depth look at these options.

1. Fix the Problem

If you are aware of the code violations, the best way to sell your house is not to have them in the first place. This means you need to determine if the scope of the problem and the current housing market is pertinent to you fixing it or not.

For instance, if you simply need to relocate the smoke alarms, even by a slight margin, that’s a 20-minute fix you can easily do.

If you need to test your ground interrupted, you buy a GFCI tester for $15 and replace outlets that don’t work for about $15 each.

If the problem is a little more difficult, you can hire an electrician. They wouldn’t charge more than $10 for reversing polarising or rewiring an outlet, or $40 to replace an old one with a GFCI-enabled one.

However, if you were in need of a new electrical panel, you would be in for a solid $2,000. These problems vary in scope, so it’s important to decide when the benefits outweigh the costs.

On the example of plumbing piping, you would need to consider where it runs in the house, and how much it would cost for you to replace on the reference of a potential buyer repairing it. If the piping is obstructed and hard to repair, it might just be better to replace it.

Replumbing a house can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000, depending on materials and size.

The buyer is always looking for the best house in the best condition for the best price. So if you want to get that sale, you might as well fix the problem. It might increase the sales price, and help you rest assured that a buyer won’t come looking for you after a couple of weeks.

2. Lower the Price

Not everyone has the cash to make these repairs, so it’s best to offer credit at closing or decrease the sales price.

However, this is only a viable option if the violations are not from the harmful or threatful category to a buyer. Not to mention, you have to have the entire house inspected and share the results in full transparency with the potential resident.

Not fixing the issues serves for many a new issue. Most buyers want to buy a clean title with no violations, so it might be difficult for you to find buyers who are willing to assume the responsibility for these issues.

What you can do is sell the house for cash to a direct buyer, although for a lower price.

3. Sell ‘As Is’

Almost all homeowners place the priority of selling a home with the hight possible price, and this can certainly be achieved on the open market. Granted you have a proactive real estate agent.

But not everybody has the cash or time to overcome the code violations that stand in the way of securing a sale in a traditional way. That’s why selling the house ‘As Is’ off the market to an instant home buyer is the best option.

These people are investors, house flippers, startups that purchase these types of homes at scale for lower prices. In most cases, there are several such buyers at any one time on the market—all of which would be willing to throw their chips to purchase the home on applicable terms.

Your Home for Sale

Now that you know how to sell a house with code violations, you are well on your way to saving time, and finally getting it off your hands.

If you are wondering how much one would offer for your house with code violations in the Austin area? We have a solution.

At Lisa Buys Austin Houses, we will gladly take a look at it, and provide you with a competitive cash offer.

All you have to do is fill in your name, email, and location and we will present you with the best possible results. After this, you will get to decide if the price is right for you.

Good luck!

About the Author Lisa

Lisa is a local real estate investor in Austin Texas.

follow me on: