Are you selling a house with code violations in Clearwater?
Looming code violations can make selling a property in Clearwater feel overwhelming.
The good news is with a proactive approach you can sell your house for a fair price even with an open code violation.
If you are looking to sell with an open code enforcement case, you’re probably asking yourself a few questions . . .
- Can I sell a home in Clearwater with building code violations?
- What do I need to know about the violation?
- Can I get more info from code enforcement?
- Should I sell “as-is” or remediate the violation on my own?
- Do I need to disclose the violation to buyers?
We’ve simplified the process of selling property with code violations in Clearwater into 5-steps: research the property, learn about the violation, sell “as-is” or remediate, find a buyer, and close.
Read on to learn how to make your sale successful – even with an open code enforcement case!
We Buy Houses – Fair Cash Offers.
Call Us (954) 676-1846 or Fill Out This Form For Your Offer.
Step 1: Research The Clearwater Property
Start the process of selling a house in Clearwater with code violations by researching the legal specifications on the Pinellas County Property Search.
When evaluating offers, you want to understand how buyers are thinking. Buyers definitely look-up the house on the Pinellas County property appraiser website when calculating your offer. The specifics also let you make an “apples to apples” comparison to active and sold comps.
You might be surprised to discover a feature was added without permits (bedroom/bathroom, extension, pool, patio, etc.) and it’s not reflected in the public record. This is particularly concerning if code enforcement is already inspecting the house due to an existing violation.
Here are some directions to take a look at the specifications on any property in Clearwater:
How To Look Up Your Property in Clearwater:
- Visit the online property search on the Pinellas County Property Appraiser.
- Enter the Owner or Business Name, Property Address, Parcel Number, Subdivision or Condominium Name, or Plat Book/Page.
- Review the Property Information for the key features that drive the value of the property.
What house specifications should you focus on?
The House Heroes Team recommends paying extra attention to Beds / Baths, Living Units, Living Area, Lot Size, Year Built, Municipal Zone, and Extra Features. Check out a sample of a Property Information page below . . .
Step 2: Learn About The Code Violation
Did you gather all the details on the code violation impacting your house in Clearwater?
Get informed to make the best decision possible. Know the violation number and name, type of violation, date it was issued, the inspector that found the violation, on-going penalties for non-compliance, and the steps required to remediate the violation.
You should have received a notice of violation (either in the mail or posted on your door). The notice of violation contains some of the information you need – see the image below for a sample notice of violation.
The notice is helpful – but rarely address how to remediate the violation. We recommend contacting Clearwater’s code enforcement department directly:
Check out some information on violations or expired permits on Clearwater’s public I-Frame system..
Here is list of questions to ask once you connect with Code Enforcement:
- What will be the penalty if the code violation isn’t corrected?
- What must be done to remediate the violation?
- If the violation is corrected, what is the process for re-inspecting and closing the code enforcement case?
- Is there any other information you can tell me about the violation?
House Heroes Team: Common Code Violations
Our company has purchased houses with violations since 2013. Check out this list of violations that we’ve encountered that you should consider when you’re selling a property.
- Overgrown Grass and Vegetation
- Disabled and Inoperable Vehicles
- Debris and Junk
- Illegal Signage
- Obstruction of Views
- Mold and Mildew
- Exterior Wall in Disrepair
- Defective Plumbing
- Defective Electrical
- Non-Conforming Use (Zoning)
- Unsafe Structures
- Work Done Without Permits
- Asbestos or Lead Testing
- Bedrooms Without Windows
- Improper Bathroom Venting
Step 3: Sell “As-Is” or Remediate The Violation On Your Own?
Does this sound like you . . .
“I would like to sell my house in Clearwater with a violation. Should I sell the house “as-is”, or try to remediate the violation on my own first?”
Anyone selling a house with a violation asks the above questions.
There are benefits to getting rid of the house as it stands, as well as to spending the time and money on the repairs for Clearwater code enforcement to close the case.
Wondering what you need to disclose to the buyer if you decide to sell a Clearwater property with an open code violation?
In the standard Florida Bar approved contract, sellers are expected to disclose “facts materially affecting the value of the Real Property” that are “not readily observable”. See the “Seller Disclosure” provision below:
Step 4: Select A Buyer
When selecting a buyer for your house in Clearwater, vet the buyer’s qualifications and review the terms of the offer (not just price!).
A “high offer” is virtually meaningless if the buyer won’t follow through on closing at the promised price (and comes back weeks later begging for a huge reduction), or the offer has hidden contingencies to let the buyer back out at the last minute.
The House Heroes Team considers contract terms and buyer qualifications even more important than offer price when we sell our own properties. Lots of people throw around big numbers to entice sellers to sign a contract – with little intention to actually complete the sale.
Pay attention to these contract terms when evaluating offers:
- Escrow Deposit. Escrow deposits are a sum of money paid by the buyer to demonstrate a sincere interest in completing the transaction. This “good faith deposit” is typically amounts to several percentage points of offer price, is held by a neutral attorney or broker, and is a “remedy” paid to you if the buyer breaches the contract.
- Inspection Period. Real estate contracts typically have a period of time for buyers to inspect the premises and cancel the contract due to what might be found at the property. The default inspection period in Florida’s standard real estate contract is 15-days.
- Closing Date. If you have on-going fines or the property is subject to an upcoming auction, make sure the closing is scheduled in the near future.
- Financing Contingency. Financing contingencies allow a buyer to “back out” at the last minute if they were unable to raise the money to complete the sale. This contingency usually applies to buyers that need a mortgage. Absent special circumstances, cash buyers do not need a financing contingency.
Here are some key considerations (and an opportunity for us to show off a bit 😄)
- Experience Rehabbing Property. Has the buyer purchased a “fixer-upper” before? Good chance an overwhelmed buyer will back out if they have no history with ugly houses. Check out our Case Studies to see 10 fixer-uppers 🔨 we purchased.
- Cash Proof of Funds. Anyone can write an offer amount in a contract. It doesn’t mean they can get that money to you. Ask for a bank statement proof of funds showing the cash. Give us a call at (954) 676-1846 for our proof of funds.
- Testimonials & Reviews. Check out if the buyer has online testimonials and social media reviews (HINT: click here to see our video testimonials). Past is the best predictor of the future. If others had a good sale experience, there is a good chance you will too.
- Better Business Bureau Accredited. Better Business Bureau is the “gold standard” for a company willing to put their reputation on the line. The BBB reviews the company’s online and corporate history before approving. The House Heroes Team is A+ Rated!
Step 5: Close on the Property
Closing is the end of the line of selling your house in Coral Springs!
You get cash and ownership transfers to the buyer of the property. Closing documents get signed and “keys” are formally handed over.
Here’s some things to know about real estate closing:
Closing Walkthrough. Prior to most closings, the buyer is entitled to one last inspection to ensure the house is in the same condition as when the buyer entered the contract to purchase it. The buyer is protected from last minute problem like pipeburst, roof leak, or break-in.
HUD-1 Statement. The HUD-1 Settlement Statement is a standard government real estate form utilized by closing agents to list each charge and monetary transfer at closing. A draft HUD statement is circulated prior to signing closing documents. Make sure to take a look at the draft HUD so you know what transfers will be made at closing.
Clean-Out. Unless negotiated otherwise, sellers are expected to remove all “personal property” from the premises prior to closing. Although small items aren’t a big deal, items such as inoperable cars, boats, or big furniture might be costly to remove. Get on the same page with the buyer as to what will stay at the property.
We Buy Houses – Fair Cash Offers.
Call Us (954) 676-1846 or Fill Out This Form For Your FAIR Offer.
Our Team. Learn about our values and history. Meet the House Heroes Team – Lucas, Nick, Earl, Danielle, and Meghan!
How It Works. We buy houses in three-steps. Fast, cash, as-is, no realtor fees, fair prices. Learn how we do it!
Testimonials and Reviews. Honesty, integrity, and trust. Check out our video testimonials and social media reviews.
Case Studies. We buy houses in any condition. Watch the inside videos of our purchases – not for the faint of heart!
Frequently Asked Questions. Got some questions about House Heroes? Get all the answers over on our FAQ page.