Inspect for Code Violations Before you Sell
Code violations can extend the home-selling process or halt it altogether. Therefore, it’s good business to hire a home inspector before placing your home on the market.
A quality home inspector is well-versed in all local codes dealing with electrical, plumbing, building/structural and more, and can help sellers understand any code violations and the steps and costs necessary to meet codes.
Code violations have a way of popping up in paperwork. When the city records a code violation, a fee is assigned to the property, but because the violations don’t appear as a lien on a title search, it can be difficult to ascertain whether a sanction has been assessed that will delay closing.
According to Code Violation Services Inc., Windsor, Colo., violations can include the presence of garbage in a yard, maintenance issues, overgrown lawns, non-sanctioned improvements, safety issues or other dangerous items needing repair in a property.
Here are some of the most common inspection problems:
Bedrooms -- All rooms listed as bedrooms must have an operating window with 30 square inches of clearance for fire escape. Bedrooms also must have heat. If a home is listed with three bedrooms, and one does not meet both these requirements, it cannot be legally called a bedroom.
Furnaces and Compressors -- Rust in the heat exchange is a common problem that shows up on inspections. So is missing insulation where required by code at the time the house was built or improvement or replacement was installed.
Electrical -- Common electrical code violations include junctions not enclosed in a junction box, a lack of GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens or reverse-polarity on outlets. These are inexpensive fixes that can hold up a sale.
Life-saving Equipment -- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are required by law in most states, and by not having them—or having the proper kind—it will be considered a code violation.
Plumbing -- Violations can include everything from dripping faucets to loose toilets to improper drainage.
Structural -- While these can be more expensive to fix, if they aren’t taken care of properly, they can prolong or even cancel a sale. Common code violations include rotting wood trim around windows and doors, rotten or delaminating siding and missing flashing on roofs or above windows and doors.
Extra Rooms -- Many who renovate basements or add sunrooms do so without permits. For the safety of everyone involved, be sure your improvements and additions are backed by the proper permits and resulting inspections.
Don’t hurt your sale because of code violations that can be easily fixed. Get an inspector, make the changes and enjoy the comfort your efforts bring when the closing comes to fruition.