Tips for Selling a House with Code Violations

Many factors can result in a distressed property due to code violations. Whether your area had a catastrophic weather disaster, you started a home improvement project but couldn’t finish, or you lost your job and can’t keep up with the upkeep of the house, you may want to sell quickly.

Selling a house with code violations can be challenging because many individual buyers want somewhere they can move in immediately. However, several options will allow you to sell your distressed property quickly and repay your debts.

What does “Up To Code” Mean?

State and federal regulations govern whether a property is “up to code,” meaning that it’s safe to live in. Federally, there’s the National Electric Code (NEC), which covers all installation and use of electric devices. All your wiring will need to follow the guidelines. The NEC changes regularly, so you may find your wiring out of date even if it was up to code in past years.

Florida also has many building codes you’ll need to adhere to, including the stability of the structure and fire safety regulations. These can range from the placement of smoke alarms (a relatively inexpensive fix) to having the wrong material for your piping (a more involved project).

You can also receive fines from your Home Owners Association (HOA) if you have one for failing to follow their rules for property maintenance. Many HOAs require trimmed yards, certain types of paint, and regular roof cleaning. If you continually fail to pay your fines, your HOA can place a lien on your house.

Depending on how much work you need to do to fix your home, it might be worth trying to bring your house up to code before selling.

Bringing an Old House Up To Code

Your first option when selling a house with code violations is to try to bring it up to code. Even getting the home to the minimum code requirements enables you to increase your selling price and interest more buyers.

However, you’ll need to seriously consider your financial situation first. If you need to borrow money to complete the construction work, calculate whether you’ll make the money back on your sale. Some companies purchase homes as-is, including those with extensive code violations, so it’s not worth losing money over the construction work.

Even if you can’t bring the house up to code, you may want to consider painting the outside, tidying up the yard, and removing clutter from the inside. The nicer-looking the house is, the more interested your buyers will be. Clutter and dirt may make the home seem like it’s worth less, resulting in a lower offer.

If your home was damaged in a natural disaster like a hurricane or a flood, you might be eligible for some funds through FEMA’s Disaster Housing Program. While they may not be enough to get your home back to its former glory, they could help you make the necessary repairs to increase your asking price.

After natural disasters, many con artists target people in the area. Ensure that if you hire a construction company, they are registered and will work up to code.

Disclose Any Code Violations

Florida requires that you reveal code violations before your sale, and it’s in your best interest to do so. Your buyer will likely learn about the problems either during the walkthrough or just before closing and could withdraw from the sale.

If you spend time working with a buyer, preparing your home, and paperwork for the sale, a last-minute back out will result in wasted time, energy, and money on both your parts. It’s better to have the buyer offer a slightly lower price up front than have them pull out just before the deal is finalized.

Chose Your Sale Method

If you can’t handle your home on your own, you may want to consider selling it. Because the code violations make it a distressed property, you’ll want to choose between three options: working with a real estate agent, selling on your own, and selling to a cash homes buyer. You can also choose to sell your house as-is or try to make improvements.

There are pros and cons for each option, depending on your particular situation and the housing market in your area.

  • Working with a real estate agent: If you have time on your side, you may want to consider working with a real estate agent. Depending on the housing market, it can take several months to sell a house this way, especially if it is a distressed property.  While a real estate agent may be able to get you a higher price, you’ll have to factor in paying closing costs and their commission.
    Additionally, many buyers that real estate agents connect to are interested in a ready-to-live-in home. If you have outstanding, extensive code violations, you may struggle to sell this way.
  • Sell it yourself: If you want to avoid paying a commission, you can try selling your house yourself. Although this method will save you money, it requires a lot of time researching local and state real estate laws, background research into your buyer, and advertising your listing. You will also still need to pay all your closing and legal fees, and the process could take months.
  • Consider speaking with a company that buys distressed homes: These companies can purchase your home with cash, usually closing within 30 days or less. At Simple Sale Central Florida, we will buy a house in any condition, including code violations. Additionally, we cover all closing fees, so you receive 100% of our cash offer.

Simple Sale: The Process

If you live in Central Florida and want to sell a house with code violations, consider working with Simple Sale. Our process is straightforward and takes less than 30 days to complete.

Give us a call or complete our online form with information about your property. We’ll give you a call back with more questions and schedule a walkthrough of your property.

After the walkthrough, we’ll send you an offer the same day. If you agree to it, we’ll start the process, including settling any liens or judgments you may have against your house. However, until you sign the papers, you can walk away from the deal at any time.

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Property Walkthrough

If you want to sell your house with code violations quickly and with no hassle, call Simple Sale Central Florida today at (407) 338-4183 to arrange your walkthrough. Within 30 days, you’ll be finished with the process and have a lump sum cash payment to start over.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Simple Sale encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation. Please consult with your advisor when making legal or financial decisions.

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