Selling a home with unpermitted works is tricky. It might trigger legal problems for you or complicate the selling process by scaring away potential buyers. Below are some of the methods you can use to discover if your house has unpermitted works, and how you can sell such a property.
Use these tips to find out if your house has unpermitted work.
Scrutinize Repair and Renovation Records
Some homeowners keep impeccable repair or renovation records. You are lucky if you have access to such records, including those from previous owners of the house, if any. Scrutinize these records to confirm whether every work was permitted.
Scrutinize Building Plans
You can also compare your building's plan to the existing structure to notice any discrepancies. Contact the local authorities for a copy of the building plan in case you don't have a copy.
Consult Local Authorities
Lastly, you can also consult the local authorities and view the records of activities they have for the house. Your local building authority should have records of the renovations or remodeling works that your house has experienced over the years.
Tips for Selling
You can still sell your house even if you discover unpermitted works. Below are a few tips that can help you.
Get the Permits
You can get building permits retroactively even though it's likely to cost you more than it would have if the works had been permitted in the first place. Note that you will have to ensure that the work was properly conducted, which means you may have some repair work on your hands.
The first option is to sell the house as is; which is basically acknowledging that the house might have defects, but you won't fix the defects or be responsible for them. This method helps you avoid getting the permits, but it reduces your pool of buyers and might also force you to lower the selling price.
If you choose not to get the necessary permits, then you must disclose the unpermitted works to your buyers. This is a legal requirement, and a buyer can sue you if you fail to disclose the illegal works, and the buyer makes their discovery after purchase.
Hopefully, you will find a way to deal with the unpermitted work so that you don't experience any complications during or after the sale. Consult a real estate agent as early as possible to help you iron out any potential complications early enough so you can sell your home.
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