When you're ready to sell your home, we know that you'll have to do the obvious. Cleaning the carpets, decluttering, and landscaping in order to get that maximum curb appeal but there's one thing you might've left out, checking with the local government to be sure it has accurate information about your home. No matter the property type or where you are located, there is always documentation on it. The building department and the town assessor will have a record about your home. However, these records might not match the home's reality, along with any issues you don't resolve that could potentially hold up your sale or even kill the deal altogether.
The town keeps records of every building constructed and every permit issued. It’s the job of the lead building inspector to be sure that any changes made to a home meet current codes, and that licensed contractors do the work.
Home health and safety issues are the primary concerns of the building department. Whenever someone applies for a permit, an inspector must be called out to approve and sign off on the work of the contractor, plumber or electrician.
Once you make a deal with a buyer, they will go to the building department to investigate the background of the home. If there’s an open permit (meaning the permit was applied for, but the contractor never had the inspector sign off on the work to close the permit) or, worse, if there’s no record of your finished basement or newly renovated kitchen, they may not move ahead with the purchase.
Often, sellers find that somewhere along the line someone made a mistake — permits weren’t closed out properly when you assumed they were. These errors could have been the fault of a contractor, the previous owner, or even the building department directly. In order to get ahead of any issues before listing, a seller should go to the town hall and check their property records. Most of the time, remedying issues like open permits or misinformation on a property is a quick fix. It’s better to get ahead of it than to have to react to a buyer’s concerns and jeopardize your deal.
If it’s a bigger issue, it’s better to hold off on listing your home for sale until you have resolved it. Getting your assessment down can impact your taxes, and that will be great news to your potential buyers.
Luckily Suncoast Property Management can answer any questions you have with our homes before they get to that point. If you plan on selling your home, come to us first so that you don't have to wait!