Most major changes to your home require a permit. But it’s common for these permits to slip through the cracks until it’s time to sell the home. In fact, some real estate agents in Las Vegas say that about 40% to 50% of the homes they’re selling have some form of unpermitted work.
If your home is in the same boat, you probably have questions about what this means for you. Do you have to get a permit before selling? Will unpermitted work make your home harder to sell? Will you have to lower your price?
Below we cover your options for selling your Las Vegas home with unpermitted work.
How Can I Sell My Home without a Permit?
If there’s unpermitted work on your home, either from you or a previous homeowner, you have two main options for selling your home.
Sell the house “as-is”
It’s always best to be honest and upfront about unpermitted work. Depending on the project, it may not be a big deal to the buyers, especially if the market is competitive. However, if the unpermitted work is major, you may have to discount the price of your home. The reason for this discount is because the buyer is assuming the risk.
Small projects usually won’t affect the price of your home, but larger ones will. Selling your home with a discount may still be more affordable because you don’t have to worry about obtaining a permit, paying penalties and re-doing some of the work.
When determining a price for your home, don’t include the permitted work in the market value. For example, if you have a three-bedroom property but the third bedroom was built without a permit, you could sell your home as a two-bedroom.
Obtain retroactive permits
The second option you have is to obtain retroactive permits. If you are obtaining a permit for work done before you, the city or county will probably be more lenient with you. If it’s your work, however, you may be asked to open the walls of some of the construction. Work that is not up to code will need to be fixed.
Because this can get expensive quickly, we recommend hiring a contractor to look over the work. They can give you a ballpark estimate of what it would cost to bring your home up to code.
Get these permits before you list your home because it takes several weeks or months to get your home ready. Most buyers are looking to close in 45 days, so you won’t have time to do everything. If you’re on a tight timeline and can’t wait for retroactive permits, it’s probably best to sell your home as-is.
What Types of Home Improvements Need a Permit?
Check with your individual city or county in Nevada to determine what you need a permit for. In general, here are the types of home improvements that require a permit:
- Windows and doors
- Siding and roofing
- Easement work
- Patios and decks
- Swimming pools
- New structures (sheds, detached garages)
If your home has unpermitted work and you’re looking for a quick sale, contact We Buy Any Vegas House for a free cash offer. We buy homes in all conditions – with or without permits!