How to Sell Your House With Unpermitted Work in New York City

How to Sell Your House With Unpermitted Work in New York City

If you are planning to make changes to your home, err on the side of caution and find out if the work requires a permit. Never skip this step because getting out of the tangled web you create could become extremely tricky and expensive. For example, many homeowners attempt to cut corners and make home improvements without pulling the required permits, ensuring that the work complies with the building codes. While these homeowners have saved time or money and avoided the complicated paperwork and red tape, they never realize they may have made their home unsafe and possibly uninsurable. In other cases, homeowners discover unpermitted work of previous owners while performing renovations; in either case, you are still legally responsible as the homeowner. 

While it is not impossible to sell a house with unpermitted work, you may have to do a bit of maneuvering to reach the closing table without legal consequences hanging over your head. Laws surrounding real estate transactions require you to report unpermitted work in the disclosure; failure to do so could be costly.  As a result, your buyers may walk away from the deal, or you may be required to have the work torn out and redone to code. You do have options, however. Read on as we explore how to sell your house with unpermitted work in New York City.

Get Permits

You may have the ability to get the work permitted after the fact, to sell your house with unpermitted work in New York City. The cost of the permit is dependent upon the size of the project. If available, you will need to fill out an application detailing the work and be patient while awaiting the inspector. However, be prepared for at least a small amount of deconstruction so that inspectors can review the job and ensure your safety and code compliance. It will help to remain calm throughout the process and remember that the permit office and inspector are your friends. You may be forgiven penalties or fees if you did not know about the work, and you may also be able to pursue legal steps against the previous owners of the property. If you are in negotiations with a buyer and unpermitted work is discovered, they may walk away from the deal altogether, ask you to have the work permitted before closing, or negotiate for a drastic price reduction.


You may have to rebuild the previous improvement if the work is not up to code to sell your house with unpermitted work in New York City. If the original work is not within the guidelines, the cost of permitting and completion will necessarily increase along with the size of the project. The city would notify you of what is required to rectify the situation and a time frame for completing the changes. Unable to pass inspection, the value of the home will necessarily drop with the discovery of the subpar renovations, and lenders may not be willing to make loans on the property as it is. Sadly, you may need to weigh the rebuilding costs against the property’s value and determine if the work is worth the investment. Depending upon the size of the unpermitted renovation, you may face the heartbreaking decision to tear down the existing structure and rebuild completely. If you were not responsible for the unpermitted work, do not delay pursuing damages against the previous owners. There are time limits on how long after the discovery that you may file suit.

Sell Directly to Triboro Property Solutions – We Buy As-Is

If you would prefer to leave the work to someone else, the easiest solution is to save your time and money and sell your house as-is, with unpermitted work in New York City to Triboro Property Solutions.  At Triboro Property Solutions, our professional buyers will compare what you could earn by making the repairs and selling on the market and providing you the details of how we reached our numbers, so you will agree the offer is fair. At Triboro Property Solutions, no hidden fees are coming off the top of your profits. The offer from Triboro Property Solutions is the amount you receive. Because Triboro Property Solutions pays cash, we have the flexibility to set the closing date when it is convenient for you, be it quickly in a matter of days or delay the closing to allow you the time to coordinate your moving plans. When you move, take whatever you want to keep and leave the rest to Triboro Property Solutions, there’s no need to worry about a final cleaning. If you haven’t found your new home yet, Triboro Property Solutions has a steady inventory of the best properties available in New York City.  Ready to learn more about how Triboro Property Solutions can help you? At Triboro Property Solutions, our experienced pros take the time to listen and are happy to answer your questions or concerns with no obligation. Call Triboro Property Solutions at (877) 411-4OWN (877-411-4696) or send us a message to learn more.

Jonathan Ettricks

Combining a sincere dedication to service with his deep love for New York City, Jonathan Ettricks consistently exceeds his clients' unique goals whether they are buying, selling or investing. He offers a consultative, hands-on approach and more than 10 years' experience, which means that each client feels understood, educated and empowered throughout their real estate journey. Regardless of budget or need, everyone receives Jonathan's signature level of service, professionalism and respect. Jonathan knows that trust is a foundational element of a successful transaction, and he earns his customer's faith with his unwavering honesty and integrity. Clients also benefit from his elite communication and organizational skills, and from his lifelong familiarity with the city's many neighborhoods and enclaves. Above all else, Jonathan aims to simplify the ever-changing and complex market with straightforward guidance and benevolent support. Jonathan's commitment to serving others was forged during his parochial school education and his subsequent 20 years in public service, including a long stint working for The New York City Council. Jonathan earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Francis College and his J.D. from Hofstra University.

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