It’s time to sell your house but there is one surprise that you have to deal with first — you find out that your home has code violations. Before you go down a rabbit hole of worrying about how you are going to fix all of the code violations or whether you can even still sell your house, you can consider your options, and the good news is, you probably have more options than you think. Here is an overview of how you can sell a house with code violations, with expert advice from Realtors, to help give you peace of mind.
Fix the Issues and Move Forward
Most likely the best solution will be to fix violations right away. Of course, whether or not this is viable will depend on how big of an issue you have and the market value of your home.
Whether or not it’s a good option to fix the problem will involve weighing all of the costs involved. Some of the fixes that can be taken care of relatively easily are moving a ceiling-mounted smoke alarm at least 4 inches away from walls and wall-mounted alarms 4 inches to 12 inches down from the ceiling.
However, if you have a piping issue and need to re-plumb your house, that may be a greater expense than you want to take on. It’s smart to get some quality advice from your real estate agent. Keep in mind, not all agents tell the truth.
In our current sellers’ market — where there is a lack of supply and high demand — you may be able to get away with selling your house without updating your house with code violations.
Offer a Credit at Closing
If you do decide to let the buyer foot the bill for code violation fixes, then there are a few ways to handle it. Some sellers might offer buyers a credit at closing. The amount should be roughly equivalent to the cost of the repairs. As long as the code violations aren’t a safety or health threat to buyers, this route may make the most sense.
Sell “As-Is” to a Cash Buyer
Cash buyers are the most likely type of buyer to accept a house “as-is” with code violation fixes. An iBuyer — who might be an institutional investor, national house flipper, or start-up, which is in the business of purchasing homes directly — may be a good candidate for this type of cash sale.
To get an idea of how much a cash buyer might offer you, you can do your research on HomeLight’s Simple Sale Platform, which partners with over 100 nationwide pre-approved iBuyers to connect sellers with cash buyers. Just keep in mind that will only appeal to a smaller pool of buyers.
The right solution will depend on your specific situation. Find a local real estate agent who has a great understanding of the current market conditions so that they can advise you.