Unpermitted Work? You May Solve This Problem and Then Sell!

Selling A Home With Unpermitted Work: How To Deal With It

Selling a house with unpermitted work can have unique challenges for homeowners. Unpermitted renovations must be checked against building codes and permit requirements. Not doing so can bring up complicated issues. This guide will help you navigate the complexities of selling a property that may have unpermitted work.

Building Codes In Your State

Understanding your state’s building codes is a vital first step when dealing with a house with unpermitted work.

Local Government and Building Department Regulations

Each municipality has its own set of building codes and zoning regulations. The local building department enforces these codes and dictates the standards for construction and renovations in homes.

Importance of Permits

Building permits are official approvals from local authorities that allow you to proceed with construction or renovation work. Permit requirements vary based on the work performed, such as electrical work, adding a finished basement, or making unpermitted additions.

Risks of Non-Compliance

Failing to comply with local building codes can lead to legal trouble. If the previous owner was responsible for unpermitted work, the current homeowner must address these issues before selling.

Understanding If Unpermitted Work Has Occurred

Identifying whether unpermitted work has been done on your property is crucial before listing it for sale.

Reviewing City Records and Previous Work

Start by checking city records or contacting the local building department to verify if any permits were issued for previous work. Homeowners should also review any disclosure form provided by the previous homeowner to see if they mentioned any DIY or professional work done without permits.

Hiring a Home Inspector

A home inspector can help identify unpermitted work. They can assess the quality of the work against local building codes and highlight any areas that may need remediation or redoing. This step is important as it informs homeowners about the extent of unpermitted work and its potential impact on the home value.

Disclosing Unpermitted Work

If you discover unpermitted work, it’s crucial to disclose unpermitted work to potential buyers and your real estate agent or realtor. Transparency is key to avoiding future legal complications.

Options for Handling Unpermitted Work

Once unpermitted work is identified, homeowners have a few options. They can obtain retroactive permits from the permit office, which can be time-consuming and involve additional permit costs. Alternatively, homeowners can adjust the market value and sell the house at a lower price to account for the unpermitted work.

Sometimes, selling to companies specializing in buying homes as-is, like Mill City Home Buyers can be a practical solution. These companies often accept a cash offer for your house, providing a straightforward path for sellers who wish to avoid the hassle of obtaining permits or doing renovations.

Selling a house with unpermitted work requires careful consideration of the building codes, permitting process, and potential impact on the sale. Whether you choose to rectify the unpermitted work, adjust your selling strategy, or opt for a quick sale, understanding your options and obligations is key to a successful transaction.

Do Home Inspectors Look For Unpermitted Work

Understanding the role of a home inspector in identifying unpermitted work is crucial for homeowners preparing to sell a property.

Home Inspector’s Responsibilities

A home inspector’s primary responsibility is to assess the condition of a house, focusing on safety, structural integrity, and compliance with local building codes. While they may not specifically search for unpermitted work, they are trained to spot anomalies that could suggest renovations or additions were done without the necessary proper permits.

Identifying Signs of Unpermitted Work

Inspectors can identify signs of unpermitted work such as electrical work that doesn’t meet local building codes, changes in home improvement projects that aren’t reflected in blueprints or city records, and upgrades or expansions not aligned with zoning regulations.

Impact on the Selling Process

If a home inspector identifies potential unpermitted work, it can impact the selling process. Homeowners should be prepared to address these findings with potential buyers or consider obtaining retroactive permits.

Getting Retrospective Permits

Navigating the process of obtaining retrospective permits for unpermitted work is a crucial step for homeowners.

Understanding the Permitting Process

The first step in obtaining retroactive permits is to contact the local building department or permit office. Homeowners will likely need to submit detailed information about the unpermitted work, including when and who completed it.

Working with Licensed Contractors

In many cases, securing a retroactive permit may require the services of a licensed contractor. They can ensure the unpermitted work complies with local building codes and assist in any necessary remediation.

Permit Costs and Time Investment

Obtaining retrospective permits can be time-consuming and involve additional costs. Homeowners should factor in these permit costs and the potential delay in the selling process.

Selling House As Is With Unpermitted Work

Selling a house ‘as is’ with unpermitted work can be a viable option for homeowners seeking to avoid obtaining permits.

Disclosing Unpermitted Work to Buyers

When selling ‘as is,’ disclosing unpermitted work upfront is critical. This transparency is essential to avoid legal issues post-sale and maintain trust with potential buyers.

Potential Impact on Home Value

Selling a house with unpermitted work may affect the home value. Homeowners may need to offer the house at a lower price to account for the cost and effort the buyer will incur in addressing the unpermitted work.

Selling to Specialized Buyers

Companies specializing in buying homes as-is, such as Mill City Home Buyers can be an excellent solution. These buyers often accept a cash offer for your house, simplifying the selling process for homes with unpermitted work.

Benefits of an As-Is Sale

Selling ‘as is’ eliminates the burden of homeowners going through the permitting process. It can be a quick solution for those who cannot afford the cost or time to obtain retroactive permits or undertake renovations.

Dealing with unpermitted work when selling a house requires careful consideration. Whether it’s through hiring a home inspector to assess for unpermitted work, navigating the process of obtaining retroactive permits or choosing to sell the house ‘as is, ‘understanding the implications and options available is key to a successful sale. 

For a swift selling process, options like selling your house in 5 days can provide a hassle-free solution for homeowners facing the complexities of unpermitted work.

Selling House As Is With Unpermitted Work

Selling a House With New Retrospective Permits

Successfully navigating the sale of a house with newly obtained retrospective permits requires a strategic approach, balancing legal compliance with market appeal.

Showcasing Compliance with Building Codes

Once retroactive permits are acquired for any unpermitted work, it’s crucial to highlight this compliance in your property listing. Ensure that all renovations are now in line with local building codes and that the necessary paperwork from the building department is available for potential buyers to review.

Updating Home Valuation

With the unpermitted work now legalized, there might be an opportunity to reassess the property’s market value. Consult with a real estate agent or realtor to understand how these changes impact the home value. The upgrades, now fully permitted, could increase the home’s attractiveness to home buyers.

Effective Communication with Buyers

Effective communication is key. Disclose unpermitted work that has been corrected to homebuyers. This transparency builds trust and demonstrates your commitment to doing things the right way, which can be a significant selling point.

Marketing the Property

Leverage the fact that your property is now up to code and fully permitted in all your marketing materials. This can be a key differentiator in a competitive market and attract homebuyers who value the peace of mind that comes with legally compliant and approved work.


Successfully selling a house with unpermitted work, whether by obtaining retroactive permits or selling ‘as is, ‘requires careful consideration and strategic planning. 

For homeowners who choose the path of securing retrospective permits, it is essential to showcase the legal compliance and updated work in a way that appeals to potential buyers. While it may be more time-consuming and involve additional costs, this route can ultimately enhance the value and marketability of the property.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell my house fast in Minneapolis, at Mill City Home Buyers, we buy houses in St. Paul, MN, as is. We offer a straightforward and hassle-free solution for those looking to bypass the complexities of the permitting process. These options cater to homeowners seeking a quick and direct sale, often with the added benefit of a cash offer.

Whichever path is chosen, transparency and compliance with local regulations are paramount. It is crucial to disclose all pertinent information to prospective buyers and ensure that all real estate transactions are conducted with integrity and by local laws. 

By doing so, homeowners can confidently navigate the complexities of selling a house with unpermitted work, ensuring a successful and legally sound sale.


Get More Info On Options To Sell Your Home...

Selling a property in today's market can be confusing. Connect with us or submit your info below and we'll help guide you through your options.

What Do You Have To Lose? Get Started Now...

We buy houses in ANY CONDITION in Minnesota. There are no commissions or fees and no obligation whatsoever. Start below by giving us a bit of information about your property or call (612) 260-5577...
  • I consent to receive text messages from this business

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Us!