Can I Sell My Home With Unpermitted Work?

Can I Sell My Home With Unpermitted Work?

Listing a house is an exciting process. It’s part of the journey of moving to a new home or starting a new adventure. However, problems may crop up when unpermitted renovations are discovered.


Within your village, there are restrictions and processes for renovating a home. Projects such as building a deck or adding a bathroom require permits and approvals of the city.

Permits and Home Sales

Building laws vary by village or municipality. Permits ensure everything you do to your home is legal and in compliance with local building Codes and ordinances.

Sometimes problems arise even though you haven’t done the renovations yourself. Maybe the renovations were completed by a previous owner. You can check on the history of building work done on your home by going to your Village Hall and filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request and obtaining all past building permits and records.

Common renovations requiring permits include:

  • Room Additions
  • Fences
  • Garages
  • Sheds
  • Inground swimming pools
  • Patios and decks
  • Remodeling
  • Major Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC work

If you’ve completed any of this work without permits, or you purchased a renovated home, and the previous owners had no permits, you could be in trouble! Your municipality could issue fines against you and even obtain a Court order to force you to correct the remodel – even if it was done before you bought the home!

Selling Your Property 

 It’s important to follow the law when selling a home. There are a couple ways to rectify unpermitted builds before or during the home selling process.

One option is to disclose to any potential buyer the home has unpermitted work. In this case, the buyer will purchase the property with the intent to fix it themselves.

Another option is obtaining permits retroactively. To do this, you must go to the city and apply for permits on builds that have already been completed – even if the work was performed by a previous owner of the home. Talking with a reputable contractor will help you understand what needs to be done to undo unpermitted work.

Get Advice from a Professional

If you’re unsure about what to disclose or how to disclose unpermitted work, get advice from a qualified real estate professional. Real estate lawyers understand how to navigate this issue and can help you properly disclose unpermitted work to potential buyers as well as assist should you end up in hot water with your Village.  

Contact Mages & Price LLC Today

Mages & Price LLC serves homeowners and investors across the Chicagoland area. Whether you are a home seller or buyer, we can help protect your investment and make your closing process a great experience.

Protect yourself and your home. Call 1-847-414-3903 or request a consultation. If you liked this post, please follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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