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Can I Sell a House with Code Violations?

Discovering your home has an unexpected code violation is a frustrating experience, especially if you’re in the middle of selling it.

In many instances, you may be able to sell a home with a code violation. But either you or the buyer will have to fix the problem before the sale is finalized, because most lenders won’t issue a mortgage for a home with code violations.

There are a couple of ways you can fix the problem. Often, it’s at your own expense, but you may be able to negotiate with the buyer by lowering your asking price. However, the buyer might not want to be responsible for fixing the problem and could walk away from the sale.

If the repair is very expensive, you could sell your home as-is quickly to a cash buyer, like Sell Now Iowa. We buy homes for cash in Des Moines with zero contingencies, something we’ve been doing for more than 20 years.

While you’re thinking over your options, here are some of the most common code violations and estimated costs to repair them. Plus, our real estate team will provide you with more information on your options so you can make the smartest decision on selling your home.

5 Most Common Code Violations for Homes

If an inspector tells you something in your home isn’t up to code, it means the problem they found violates local or nationwide safety regulations. Even if it appears to be working fine, it still needs to be fixed.

If repairs are stacking up and you need to sell your home quickly, Sell Now Iowa is here to help. Our team of skilled real estate professionals buy houses for cash in Des Moines, so give us a call at 515-531-2274 today to learn more about our hassle-free process.

1. Electrical System

If your home was built in the 1970s or earlier, its electrical system may not be able to handle the demands of a modern household.

You might notice subtle issues with breakers that frequently trip. Or with outlets and switches that are discolored. Left unchecked, an overburdened electrical system can cause a fire. In fact, home electrical problems are responsible for more than 50,000 fires each year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

If your home was built during the 1960s to 1970s, it probably has aluminum wiring. The average cost to replace it is around $1,300, according to HomeAdvisor, but your cost may vary based on your home and how long the project will take.

Since older homes were built for lower amperage and don’t have as many circuits, you may also need to replace your electrical panel. This typically costs around $1,100, according to HomeAdvisor.

To prevent against electrical shocks, ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection is required on any outlet near water. This includes the kitchen, bathrooms, garage and outdoors. The average cost to install a GFCI outlet is $200, according to HomeAdvisor.

2. Egress Window in Basement

If you have a bedroom in your basement, you also need to have an egress window for escape if there’s a fire. This window must be at least 24 inches high and 20 inches wide. If you don’t have this window, this room can’t be counted as a bedroom when you’re listing your home.

The cost of having an egress window installed in your basement varies greatly. The window itself can cost around $700, according to HomeAdvisor, while the window plus professional installation can start around $2,500. Having this type of window put in is more expensive, since installers cut through your foundation and often dig a small trench, if your basement is mostly underground.

3. Bathroom Ventilation

Each bathroom needs to have an exhaust fan that vents to the outside. This protects against mold, which can invade your home through steam generated during hot showers.

If your fan vents to the attic, it will need to be corrected. That’s because moist air can create an ideal breeding ground for black mold on rafters and roofing. Eventually, that wood will rot.

Having a bathroom fan professionally installed averages around $375, according to HomeAdvisor. The price depends on the type of fan you select and whether you need to have ventilation piping corrected.

4. Windows

If your home is very old and has its original windows, these windows may not have safety glass. This type of glass, which shatters into small pieces when broken, is required on most types of windows. You can tell if your home has safety glass by looking for an etched label on the window.

You’ll also need to replace your windows if the frames are rotting or the glass is broken. Replacing windows is an expensive project that costs thousands of dollars. The actual price depends on your home’s unique characteristics and the type of windows you select.

5. Other Violations

Other top violations include missing or incorrect handrails on stairs, no smoke detectors and missing deck flashing. These issues aren’t as expensive to fix, and some can be taken care of on your own.

However, the costs for these code violations can quickly add up. As we mentioned earlier, you might be responsible for fixing them prior to selling your home. Can’t afford these repairs or want a fast, hassle-free sale? Sell Now Iowa is a great option, because we buy houses in Des Moines like yours.

Our team of experienced real estate professionals will meet with you to learn more about your situation and your home. Then, you’ll get a no-obligation cash offer within 24 hours. We’ll take it from there, handling the closing in-house so you can get a fast sale and get on with your life.

Ready to request your cash offer now? Give us a call at 515-531-2274 today!