Can I Sell a House With Unpermitted Work or Open Permits in California?

Have you recently received an offer on your California home only to have the deal fall through due to unpermitted work?

This usually happens during a buyer’s home inspection when the inspector discovers work that isn’t up to code or hasn’t been signed off by a licensed home inspector.

You can sell a home with unpermitted work in California, but the process takes longer and is more complicated than usual. Read on to discover the implications of selling a home with this particular problem.

selling house with open permits in california

Defining Open Permits and Unpermitted Work in California

California has strict building codes to ensure the safety and well-being of homebuyers. These laws extend to home improvements, too.

When you perform significant upgrades to your California home, you must get a building permit before you commence. Once you’ve completed the renovation, a certified home inspector must confirm that the work complies with the relevant building code.

There are three main instances where home sellers might end up in a situation where they are trying to sell a house with unpermitted work:

  • The owner did unpermitted DIY work on the home
  • A contractor did unpermitted work on the home
  • The work was done to code, but regulations have since changed

What Is an Open Permit?

A permit is considered ‘open’ until an inspector approves the work. Each city has different time limits for this, depending on the work in question. 

Open permits usually result from one of the following issues:

  • The contractor never closed the permit
  • The contractor did not complete the inspection process correctly
  • The city did not mark the permit as closed on the system

Sometimes the seller might be unaware of these problems until they try to sell their home.

can i sell a house with unpermitted work in california

Risks and Challenges

If you’re aware of any permitting issues with your home and don’t want to resolve them, you can sell it as-is. You must reveal any permitting issues in the sellers’ disclosure, so the buyer has the information they need to decide whether they want to proceed with the sale or not.

Inevitably, unpermitted work will decrease your property value, and buyers will likely have difficulty convincing a lender to give them a mortgage.

To avoid this, you can obtain a permit for completed projects from your city retroactively. This can be a costly affair and may lead to fines for a code violation.

It usually involves hiring a contractor to bring the improvement up to code so a building inspector can close the permit.

Failure to disclose unpermitted work or open permits when selling your home is fraud. As such, the buyer could sue you for all the costs involved in rectifying any issues with the property.

It can be challenging to find buyers who are willing to take on the time and effort to bring a house up to code. 

Market Perceptions

Apart from the effort and cost involved in buying a home with unpermitted work, safety concerns can affect buyer decisions.

Buyers are hesitant to commit to a house that doesn’t comply with current building codes due to concerns for the safety of their family. After all, these standards exist to ensure that buildings are habitable and safe.

In this light, buyers might regard you as untrustworthy if you’re selling a home with unpermitted work.

Selling Solutions

Lenders always insist on home inspections before granting a mortgage to any buyer, and homes with unpermitted work or open permits won’t pass these inspections. That means you won’t be able to sell your home to a traditional buyer until you’ve rectified these permitting issues.

Private cash buyers might consider buying a home as-is with unpermitted work, but you can expect them to make you a low offer to make up for their anticipated costs.

Your final option is to sell your home to cash home buyers in California. These property investors buy homes in any condition, repair them, and sell them at a profit.

They don’t need a mortgage and, thus, don’t require a home inspection.

Cash Buyers vs. Traditional Home Sales

The major difference between selling your home to a cash buyer instead of via traditional means is time. Cash home buyers have the resources to take your unwanted home off your hands immediately and deal with the red tape later.

When you sell your home via conventional means, you can expect to encounter long delays and much red tape while trying to bring your permitting paperwork up to date.

In some cases, you might need to hire a contractor to demolish the unpermitted renovations and rebuild them. This will cost you a lot of money, even if you do manage to avoid paying any fines.

If you decide to sell the home as-is, you can expect to wait a long time before you find someone willing to buy a home with unpermitted work, and you can expect several rounds of negotiations before you settle on a price.

When you sell a home to a cash home buyer, the process is simple, transparent, and quick. They make an offer on your home, and if you’re amenable, they can close in just a few days.

You’ll still get an offer that is below market value for your home, but you’ll save on the time and cost involved in resolving permitting issues before the sale.

Premier Property Buyers

Premier Property Buyers is a reputable cash investor willing to offer you a hassle-free sales process. We can help you achieve a quick sale by avoiding the need for repairs, permits, and inspections. 

Our fast cash offers and flexible closing dates ensure you experience a smooth sales process with no stress or worries. Find out more about how it works or call us at (714) 475-7526 to discuss your needs and receive an off

selling my house as-is with no permits

Premier Property Buyers Can Help You

While attempting to sell a house with open permits or unpermitted work in California, you’re bound to come across significant obstacles. These include hesitant buyers, reduced property value, extra costs, and potential legal challenges.

If you need to sell your house fast in California and you’re encountering any of these difficulties, there is a solution.

Premier Property Buyers offers a reliable and stress-free alternative to traditional sales. Reach out today for a no-obligation offer on your California home.