Tips and Tricks for Selling a House with Code Violations

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Selling a House With Code Violations

Uncovering code violations during a home inspection can be startling, yet should not cause alarm. Although it may appear problematic at first glance, selling a house with code violations is still achievable. Such revelations are more common than one might assume.

Home renovations undertaken by inexperienced DIY-ers typically result in code violations.

Don’t fret if your home inspection reveals the presence of a code violation. Although this may seem alarming initially, it is possible to rectify these issues and sell your property with existing violations.

If you’ve ever found yourself worrying about an unexpected code violation, this post will help ease your mind and provide you with the best strategy for handling the issue. Keep reading to unlock a wealth of valuable information on selling a house with code violations.

An old rundown house for sale with code violations

Selling a House With Code Violations: What You Need to Know

Adhering to home codes is essential for the safety and well-being of you, your family, and those in your community. Neglecting these regulations may lead to violations that could put lives at risk; hence, all residents must abide by them or face repair costs before living in or selling their real estate.

Don’t let a home inspection cause you to worry unnecessarily. Home code violations may be daunting, though these issues are typically repairable – and your property is still sellable even after they’re uncovered.

You have several possibilities if you want to sell a property with house code violations:

Fix the code violations

Some lenders will not finance if there are house code violations. But if the number of code violations is limited, investing the effort and resources to rectify them may be a viable option for home sellers.

Nevertheless, extensive repairs and upgrades, such as replacing the electrical wiring, may only be feasible if your budget accommodates them. Bringing your home up to code can be costly, so consider this carefully before you take on this task.

Home repairs can be pricey, and if the cost of bringing your home up to code exceeds what you would receive through a sale, they might not be worth it.

Reduce the sale price

As the seller, you can resolve this issue for your buyers in two ways: offering them credit or reducing the price. If a buyer wants your home, they may be inclined to purchase it – provided that you give them either an asking price decrease or credit at closing.

Sell your house as-is

If you don’t have the liquidity or time to fix expensive code violations before selling your home on the open market, consider offloading it to a real estate investor, house flipper, or investment company that can make a cash offer.

You can sell your house quickly, which may be your most advantageous option. Another advantage of selling your house as is to a cash buyer is avoiding the hassle and expense of paying a real estate agent.

A young inspector reviews the works on a house with code violations. Getting an inspection is crucial when selling a house with code violations

Different Types of Code Violations

Cities and municipalities rely on the International Code Council (ICC) to develop and keep up-to-date a set of unified building codes for residential construction, known as the International Residential Code (IRC).

Municipalities can supplement with specific local codes for enhanced safety and public health. For instance, the National Electric Code (NEC) oversees the electrical design, installation, and inspection at a national level. Common code violations happen, but they don’t have to put off potential buyers.

11 Common Building Code Violations

  1. Added rooms: All additional rooms built after the initial construction must be authorized and abide by all building regulations.
  2. Bad bathroom vents: It is essential to ensure that your bathroom exhaust fan properly vents outside, not into an attic. Any other arrangement would be improper and could lead to costly repairs in the future.
  3. Basement bedroom windows: To qualify as a bedroom, your basement must have an egress window measuring 24” tall and 20” wide.
  4. Ground-fault circuit interrupter: According to OSHA regulations, outlets must be equipped with a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for safety and protection in case of an electrical failure.
  5. Improperly designed handrails: Handrails should be designed with a safe and smooth turnaround; clothing sleeves or straps won’t become tangled on the rail’s end.
  6. Inadequate or damaged deck flashing: To guarantee lasting durability and structural stability, the gap between a ledger board and the house should be enclosed with flashing. Doing this prevents wood deterioration caused by moisture penetration.
  7. Overloaded electrical panel: An overloaded or cluttered electrical panel can cause serious safety hazards, such as circuit breakers tripping and even the potential of home fires. It is essential to ensure that your electric load does not exceed its rating for optimal security.
  8. Polybutylene pipes: The pipes were cheap components of plumbing systems that resist freezing, but over time they swell or even rupture, resulting in expensive flooding and significant repairs. This type of piping was used between 1978-1995.
  9. Poorly placed smoke alarms: Strategic smoke alarm placement is essential for your family’s safety — install alarms on each level of the house, along with an additional one right outside every bedroom.
  10. Renovations without permits: You could be subject to heavy fines and demolition if your remodel work cannot meet code requirements. Additionally, neglecting to obtain permits may void any existing homeowners insurance coverage you have in place.
  11. Window issues: Windows should meet all local housing guidelines – Any blemishes and holes in the glazing must be filled, with no absent components. In addition, frames must support a sealed connection to the wall for security purposes.
Two young homeowners argue with their local inspector about the code violations that they have on their property. Figuring what code violations you have is crucial when selling a house with code violations

How to Find Out if You Have Code Violations

You can find out if your home has code violations by consulting with local inspectors, checking permits, and getting a pre-sale home inspection.

Navigating the nuances of code can be pretty daunting, but local government officials and utility companies are equipped to determine if a property meets all requirements.

You have many options to confirm if a house abides by code regulations. One of the most reliable sources is to examine all permits issued and approved for that property by their local government jurisdiction.

Consider visiting the Code Council’s database for all adopted codes or learning more about the International Residential Code used domestically and across different countries worldwide. This code is updated routinely every three years through an agreed-upon consensus process.

What Happens if You Have Code Violations

City or county code inspectors conduct building code inspections to ensure compliance with local regulations. Inspectors can force anyone to address building code infractions they might uncover during inspections. Timely rectifications are essential for individuals to comply with local laws.

If your house doesn’t follow specific housing codes, you may need to resolve the issue before you continue. Home inspections can detect any house code violations that must be addressed before closing the transaction. If they are severe infractions, they must be remedied right away.

Per state law, sellers must communicate any code violations to prospective buyers. Overlooking this obligation may subject you to liability if the purchaser subsequently faces financial loss due to unmentioned issues with the dwelling.

A title company is responsible for uncovering potential liens or blemishes on the property’s title, which must be rectified before closing. The home inspection is typically when most code violations are revealed, and a home inspector will document all existing defects.

Despite the potential challenges, some people are still ready to buy a home with code violations. Although homeowners must disclose this information to buyers, selling houses that require different repairs can still be done. With transparency and honesty in the process, it is possible for both parties involved to make a successful transaction.

How to Rectify Code Violations

Code violations can be rectified and are often mandatory if reported by a city inspector. The local governing body or code inspector will authenticate the violation and alert the owner.

The homeowner will have the chance to address any infractions in an expected period; however, immediate action must be taken if there is imminent danger.

While some code infractions may be able to be swiftly remedied with minor updates or repairs, others necessitate the assistance of a specialist. Not only will it be more secure, but a professional can also ensure that each system operates optimally. Furthermore, some building permits may necessitate the involvement of an expert to finish the project.


If you’re looking to close the sale on your house with house code violations, there are three tried and true methods: remedy the issues, decrease the price tag, or provide financial incentives at closing.

In a competitive buyer’s market, sellers must outshine their rivals to stand out. To do so, they should spruce up their property and address minor violations by fixing them up to make the most attractive offer.

In a seller’s market, buyers are lined up and ready to purchase the property. Even electrical or plumbing issues that don’t pass code can be easily overcome; there is always a way to salvage the deal.

At We Buy Houses for Cash, we’re your go-to experts in buying homes. Forget the hassle of fixing and maintaining your property; our company will purchase your home in its current state.

Don’t stress if your inspection shows that your house has multiple code violations – we’ll take care of all the necessary fixes and renovations for you once you close the deal. No need to worry about trying to repair or upgrade the house to sell it – we’ve got you covered.

We’ll get the relevant data related to your property and arrange a meeting for you. After we conclude, you can count on an honest and fair cash offer from us that same day. If you accept our proposal, we promise that everything will be completed so that you may transition quickly according to your timeline.

Get an all cash offer on your home