Marie Searcy, Home Seller in Fuquay Varina, NC

We bought a home in 2003 , in MLS it was stated for over 2000 sq. ft. wihich included a sunroom . We had it

Asked by Marie Searcy, Fuquay Varina, NC Wed Jun 25, 2008

inspected by a NC lscensed home inspector.
We are trying to sell this house but, we are told the sunroom is not up to code. So we can't include the sunroom in the square footage. This is abnout a $20,000 loss.Is this a breach of contract? Who is at fault, seller, broker, or inspector? How do I proceed legally?

Help the community by answering this question:


Let's step back here a minute.
We have not seen any of the "evidence" that you have seen. We are not attorneys. So here are some points to consider:
1. In most cases Realtors do not measure the interior living area of a property. We rely upon third parties, usually the county assessor's office. In the MLS the source of the square footage should be noted. What was it?
2. You wrote that the inspector said that the sunroom was "not up to code". To what code? The code of present day? The code of when the sunroom was built? In older buildings it is not uncommon to have structures fail to meet current codes, but at the time of construction did in fract meet code.
3. Legally the only living area that counts as square footabe is permitted. For example, if the sunoom is infact an enclosed patio, then there might be a permit for a patio, but not for a sunroom. An examination of the building permits, on file at the local Dept. of Building and Safety, will answer your question.

I suggest strongly that you investigate instead of trying to fitgure out who was at fault. It is possible that the information presented was infact deemed to be reliable. Once you have the facts as to the property's permit status, then an attorney would probably be the next step, although I would discuss concerns with my Realtor first.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA

I am a little confused by your question. When was the inspection? When you bought the house or now when you've put it on the market. Who is telling you sunroom is not up to code? Also, what are they saying is not up to code?

You'll need a real estate attorney to address the "who is at fault" and how to proceed legally. But before you invest the money in an attorney, I would strongly advise getting a second opinion regarding the sunroom. The inspector may say it's not up to current code (if it was an inspector who told you this), but was it up to code at the time of construction. This is a issue I've seen on a few occasions, where an NC licensed inspector will say that an item is not up to code, but it was upto code when constructed. Was it someone else who told you it wasn't up to code? Was the sunroom built after the house was built? If so, see if the permits are available for it. If it was permitted and inspected by the city/county, it should be up to the code at the time it was built.

Also, look into what it would take now to get it into code and be included in sq.ft. I minor investment now so that you can market the house to its fullest and then address any legal issues later. You may find out that the costs to fix the problem is much cheaper then the cost of litigation over the issue.

No legal advise given here :) You'll need an attorney for that.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
That should have been noticed when your lender had an apprasial. There of course are all sorts of directions you can go in. You need to consult a good real estate attorney. A home inspector is only going to check the existing systems of the house to see if they are in good working order. What did your listing say when you bought the home? Did you have a buyers agent? These are all questions the attorney will ask.

Hope this helps,

Hope this helps
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
Your realtor if you are working with one, should have answered your question but...
1.Was the sunroom included in the original square footage?
2.What is not in code, the rules state if a portion of the home was not permitted it is not allowed to be counted in finish square footage?
3.If it is a permit, go to the inspections department and apply for a permit for that area, the city will inspect and issue you a permit, so that area can be included in your total square footage.
4. If it is strictly a code thing, fix it and count the area.
Who is at fault will not solve your situation now, it is probably not anything that can not be remedied as far as selling your property now, just takes a little extra effort.
If you are currently under a contract with an agent ask them to help you, I can not help by law of agency, if you are not under an agreement and I can answer any questions just give me a call
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 25, 2009
First, I would ask what the home inspector meant when he said "up to code." Homes that were built years ago are not up to present day building codes, but you still can allow for thier contribution when figuring out the recommended price per square foot. However, I beleive that what the inspector may have meant was that there was no permit for the sunroom being completed. I pulled the tax records for your home and they showed 1841 sq.ft and the "notes section" does not mention that there was an addition completed for a sunroom. In the home's diagram it does show a large deck off of the back of the home. Which makes me wonder if it was the deck that was enclosed with no permits. What I would recommend is to contact the inspector and find out specifically what he meant. If the room was completed without a building permit you could contact Wake County and find out what the process would be for you to get the room permitted now. I have heard of this being done by other agents and although it may costs some money for the sunroom to be permitted; it will probably be considerably less than loosing $20,000. One other thing that I recommend is hiring an appraiser to come professionally measure your home's square footage. This way after all is said and done you will be presenting the correct information to future buyers of your home. Please feel free to contact me with further questions.

Krista Abshure
Century 21 Becky Medlin Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
who told you that its not up code?

Your North Carolina Broker
Sonja Babic
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
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