Are you ready to sell your home? You have probably tackled all of the obvious tasks: sprucing up the outside, painting, decluttering, etc. There is one more thing to check on before listing your home. Read on to learn more…
Before putting your house on the market, it’s a good idea to make sure the public records are accurate. Any inaccuracies can delay or even nullify the closing on your home. You can find these records by checking with your local building department and the town assessor.
What is the Building Department?
“The town keeps records of every building constructed and every permit issued. It’s the job of the lead building inspector to be sure that any changes made to a home meet current codes, and that licensed contractors do the work.
Home health and safety issues are the primary concerns of the building department. Whenever someone applies for a permit, an inspector must be physically called out to approve and sign off on the work of the contractor, plumber or electrician.” (zillow.com)
Why Would a Seller Care?
Any buyer that is interested in your home should do their research and go to the building department to check out your home before they close on the deal. Open permits or worse, no permits for any building upgrades, could throw up a red flag for a buyer causing them to back out of the sale. As the seller, you could find and address any discrepancies ahead of time. The issues are not always your fault, it could be the fault of a previous owner, a contractor, or the building department. The bottom line is that no buyer wants to take on the liability of any work that is not up to code. Going ahead of the buyer to double check that all records are accurate will save you (and everyone else involved in the transaction) from a major headache in the future.
What are Assessor’s Records?
“The town assessor keeps tabs on the local real estate market to be certain that the town’s assessed value of your home (which affects property taxes) is in line with the market.
When the market slows down, she won’t proactively lower your assessed value, and most assessors regularly scrape the building department permits.
Why? Because if you’ve recently made a major improvement to your home, she will want to raise your assessed value, which means higher taxes.
It’s also very possible that your home is over- or under-assessed. If it’s the former, you want to attempt to grieve your assessment by providing the assessor some recent sale statistics and making sure that their records are accurate. Every municipality has a grieving process for homeowners.” (zillow.com)
How Does This Help?
As stated before, taking care of any building issues or misinformation on your property will save you much time and stress later on when you have a buyer interested in your home. Likely any problems you encounter will be easily rectified so you can move forward with selling your home. However, if you do happen to find a bigger issue, it may be a good idea to hold off on listing your home until it is resolved.