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Home Improvements and PERMITS

In this fast paced, high demand Boston real estate market, agents have to ensure they are doing their due diligence for everyone. Never assume the other side has completed their checklist of items. I want to share part of a situation that occurred with one of my buyers. We found their dream house and submitted an offer subject 2 the seller finding suitable housing (not sure I will be doing that again with first time home-buyers because the ball is in the seller’s court no matter how you look at it). That’s another story, but today, I will explain the OTHER issue with the home and ultimately why we walked away. The home was in impeccable condition and the buyers fell in love with the deck. Everything was great, inspector said home was in excellent condition and well maintained (kudos to the seller)… then comes the appraisal. The appraiser researched the property and discovered the sellers had extended the deck without permits. BIG NO NO Sellers!

If recent work has been done on a home, appraisers are expected to prove and document that the work had been properly permitted.  If the appraiser notes that a bath or in my case, a deck has been added and does not determine if proper permits were issued, the underwriter will request documentation to determine that the bathroom was installed legally. In our case, there was no documentation so the underwriter would not allow the purchase of this home. The only way my buyers were getting this house was if the seller ripped out the deck and rebuilt it with a permit. Needless to say… we walked away. (We did find another home but the process of the sub2 deal was daunting at best)

Sellers, please do things by the book so as not to delay the sale of your home or cost you money in the long run. If you are planning to sell and plan to be handy or have a “friend or family member” do some updates for you, please spend the extra money to obtain a permit.

The worst thing you want is that you spend thousands on adding a new bathroom/deck/finished basement and weeks before closing, the appraiser discovers you did not pull permits… guess what… you will be ripping out ALL the work you did and watch THOUSANDS of dollars go in the trash…this will also reduce the value of your home so add a couple thousand to the LOSS column.


If you are thinking of selling, call us today for a FREE no obligation consultationFREE no obligation consultation.

We prefer to make it a stress free process for you and help you avoid these hiccups that are totally avoidable.