When You Have a House With Unpermitted Work

Making repairs before selling a distressed property.

Have you been planning on making some changes to your home? Maybe replacing the roof or furnace or updating a bathroom. Possibly you need more living space and are going to finish the basement or add on a room addition. Before you start any work, make sure you or the contractors that you hire obtained the needed permits required by law to avoid consequences down the road, which could be much more complicated than pulling the right permits now.

We have seen homes where the homeowner thought they would live in their home forever and that no one would know if they did the work without a permit. But because nothing ever stays the same, life happens as they say, you or your heirs may have to sell that home down the line and it could cause problems.

Selling a House with Unpermitted Work

While we have had to solve issues with simple unpermitted work, we have not had to deal with major issues. For example, we bought a house from a homeowner who had done a lot of updates, but we needed to upgrade the electric meter, which requires a permit and an inspection. When the city inspector came to check it all out, he noted the fairly new furnace and informed us that in Grandview a permit is required and there was none obtained. This was fairly simple for us to solve as the company that had installed had left their name and number on the furnace. We were able to call them and they were able to go back after the fact, get a permit, get it inspected and then we were okay, but it did cause us a delay in getting our work completed.

We have also heard of other home buyers who have bought homes and have had to stop work to get permits for completed room additions and once on one of those TV shows, we saw where the entire unpermitted room addition had to be removed because it was not only not permitted, but subsequent inspections proved the work to be unsafe.

Disclosure When Selling a House

If you are not the original owner of your home, there is a chance that you may have unpermitted work hidden from view and not even be aware. When it comes to disclosure, ignorance is not truly bliss. You will still be legally responsible. It pays to have a professional complete your inspection before listing your home yourself or on the Grandview real estate market through a traditional MLS listing with an agent.

When you go to sell your house, depending on your listing agreement or your sales contract, there may be a templated statement, that says that all repairs, and updates on any work completed on the home were done with proper permits and inspections. If this is true, it’s simply a check mark on the yes box, if it is not true, then you have to disclose and you may not be able to sell it. Now you have a problem that needs to be fixed.

Now you have to decide how to handle the unpermitted work before placing your home on the market. Should you find yourself wondering how to sell a house with unpermitted work in Grandview, we will cover your options. No matter if you did the job or merely discovered it after buying the home, having an issue with unpermitted work can be quite a blow emotionally and highly costly as you face the realities of disclosure during the selling process. Even if your buyer knows about the unpermitted work before the sale, they could still pursue legal avenues after the fact. Failure to disclose this work could end in your paying legal fees and court costs.

Retroactive Permitting 

Some cities will allow a homeowner to seek a retroactive permit when they sell a house with unpermitted work, allowing you to take the time to get a permit after the fact and then get the work inspected to make sure it meets local building codes and is safe. This is one of the easiest fixes and the one we used when we found a house we bought had installed a furnace without a permit in Grandview.

Corrective Steps

If the city will not allow this or if the work is sub-par, your next step is to remove the unpermitted work and do the job again with a permit. Permits for work on homes in Grandview under local zoning, construction, and land use laws help ensure the dwelling is safe for habitation and is not causing harm to the environment. Depending on the work’s complexity and the value gained by going through the process, it may be your best option to tackle the issue and take corrective action. 

You will need to ensure you will have the funds as well as afford the time to proceed. Account for holding costs during the corrective phase, including the time your home may be on the market once listed. It would be wise to contact architects and contractors for estimates and guidance on the permitting required and the timeline expected to resolve them. To make the best decision about how to go about selling your home, you will need to have a realistic budget. Inspections will be a requirement, so you should familiarize yourself with what it takes to pass the inspection before undertaking any project. If you need to sell a house with unpermitted work in Grandview, your plans will likely need to be approved by the city before you can begin.


While it can be disheartening and highly costly, you could remove the modification before trying to sell a house with unpermitted work in Grandview. If you discovered the change and are not sure of what electrical, plumbing, or support systems are involved, it would be best to call in experts to ensure that the removal will be done correctly and not compromise the structure. Suppose you would prefer to save money by working yourself to return your home to its original state. In that case, it should be limited to minor renovations, such as returning a garage you temporarily repurposed as an extra bedroom back to its original state, depending on what was involved. If in doubt, ask a professional.

Or you could work with our team at kcmoHomeBuyer. We will make you an offer to buy as-is so you don’t need to get any permits or complete any work. And if you find that you do have unpermitted work in Grandview, we can buy the house as-is and make the unpermitted work our problem. We know that your home is the most significant investment of your life. At kcmoHomeBuyer, helping you solve your problems while earning the highest return on your investment is our passion.

At kcmoHomeBuyer, we stop everything and take the time to listen to you. Discuss your unique situation with us, and our professionals at kcmoHomeBuyer will help you compare all of your options with no obligation. Our experienced team at kcmoHomeBuyer is here to help you to make the best decision to sell your Grandview home.

Make No Repairs, Sell Your House As-Is Today

Contact the Tuckers at kcmoHomeBuyer.com to sell your Home Today! There is no obligation or cost. Why fix it when you can sell it?


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