About The Real Estate Group

The Real Estate Group (TREG) "Partners in Excellence"

The mission of The Real Estate Group, LLC is to be Hampton Roads finest provider of real estate services. Our goal is to create a company that provides absolutely the best service for our customers by fostering an environment of teamwork and a common vision. The Real Estate Group, LLC consists of an accomplished team of skilled professionals who take pride in their work and their company. We work hard to go beyond the expectations of our customers, agents, and employees.

How to Protect your Buyer: Permit and Inspections Checks

As a REALTOR®, when you are ready to write a contract on a home that has recently been improved or remodeled; there are some precautions that you may want to consider.

“According to the National Association of Realtors, failing to obtain the proper permits may complicate or cancel the sale of a home”. Local municipalities issue building permits based on city ordinances and building codes vary by city.  If permits have or have not been pulled for work and inspections have not been finalized, the new homeowner may be subject to obtaining new permits and inspections.  In addition, the lending bank may require documentation of zoning compliance prior to approving the loan.  In the event of a fire or other typically insured damage to a home, insurance adjustors will require the same documentation and if that information cannot be confirmed, damage WILL NOT be covered.

Homeowners cannot assume that contractors are responsible for permits and inspections and it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that all permits and final inspections have been completed.

According to The National Association of REALTORS®, the information below outlines what changes may or may not require a permit.

Renovations that Likely Need a Permit
Fences
Not all fences require a permit, but municipalities often place height restrictions on non-permitted fences. The city of Chicago, for example, requires a permit on a fence five feet or higher, while other cities allow for higher structures.

Footprint Changes
Any alteration to the footprint of your home requires a permit. This includes bedrooms, room additions, most decks, garages and some sheds.

New Windows
Replacing an existing window doesn’t require a permit, but cutting a hole for a new window generally does. This includes skylights and new doors.

Plumbing/Electrical
If you’re installing new or removing existing plumbing, a permit is probably required. Any job that includes installing new electrical service to your home will also require a permit. Even something as simple as moving an outlet requires a permit.

Structural Changes
Any project involving changes to the support system of the home requires a permit. This may include changes to load-bearing walls, decks, balconies and porches.

Siding
Most municipalities require a permit for siding projects.

Water Heater
If you want to replace your water heater, you may need a permit. You may also need a permit for ventilation system changes.

Total Cost
Some municipalities include language requiring a permit if a renovation or construction project costs more than a certain amount; this may be $5,000 or more.

Renovations That Do Not Require a Permit
Renovations that may not require a permit include:

  • Painting or wallpapering
  • Installing hardwood floors or carpeting
  • Minor electrical repairs that do not involve new service or moving existing service
  • Installing new countertops
  • Replace a faucet

When representing a buyer and you find yourself in a situation where you are questioning the work done on a home, the buyer must exercise due diligence and research the filing of permits with the city, as well as request documentation regarding the inspection of the work.  Be proactive and take the proper steps to inform your buyers of potential risks prior to ratifying a contract.

About The Real Estate Group

The Real Estate Group (TREG) "Partners in Excellence"

The mission of The Real Estate Group, LLC is to be Hampton Roads finest provider of real estate services. Our goal is to create a company that provides absolutely the best service for our customers by fostering an environment of teamwork and a common vision. The Real Estate Group, LLC consists of an accomplished team of skilled professionals who take pride in their work and their company. We work hard to go beyond the expectations of our customers, agents, and employees.