I listed a house one year ago, we have had 4 buyers go into escrow, no closing

Asked by Wendy Taylor, CRS, GRI, Beverly Hills, CA Mon Nov 12, 2007

The house has unpermitted space which has been a problem for two of the buyers. The price has been reduced substantially. How can I get this property sold?

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inna ivchenko, Agent, Calabasas, CA
Tue May 22, 2012
Are you sure that you can not sell it because 'un permitted' space?
My experience: disclose, many buyers have no problem with that( they buy more space after all).

I agree with Solomon Romano, Valley has a lot of houses with DIY or other way added rooms or converted garages.
ooops, i just noticed that u posted it in 2007, so did u sell it ok? Let us know.
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David Hitt, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Dec 8, 2007
I would suggest that your seller look into getting permits on the unpermitted square footage. Clearly, if the house has fallen out of escrow four times that is telling you something. If your client really wants to sell and they are unable to get it permitted then they will need to reflect it in the price.
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Ginger R., Home Seller, Massachusetts
Thu Nov 15, 2007
I would get it permitted and that would be the end of that. A buyer doesn't want to be in the middle of a permit process. In this tough market, why buy a headache? Why wait further? Like the Nike ad, just do it. It sounds like the buyers have some uncertainties and this permit thing is an excuse.
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Wendy Taylor,…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Tue Nov 13, 2007
My seller's have attempted to have the permits drawn up. A new buyer comes along and does not want the permits and we stalled for another period of time. The MLS does disclose this.

Any ideas on marketing for a house in Encino at $2,250,000 with 5,641 square feet permitted and an additional 1000+ unpermitted but disclosed.
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Ginger R., Home Seller, Massachusetts
Mon Nov 12, 2007
Hi Wendy - We don't have quite enough information in that we don't know what the buyers' objections were. I would expect the unpermitted space to be an issue if it creates a "non-conforming" space. It could be non-conforming if the unpermitted space doesn't meet setbacks, for example. This would show up during a mortgage survey and create an issue for lenders. Some homes have an "illegal" apartment. Such a space, obviously, should be marketed as an in law suite, not a duplex.
Without further info, here is my suggestion: The Seller's should consider permitting the space after the fact. I have seen this done. The people involved had to bring the unpermitted space up to code, but they were eventually issued an occupancy permit for the unpermitted space.
Some mitigating issues: If it was done by a previous owner, sometimes the space can be "grandfathered". Some code officers would be more understanding of a homeowner who just didn't know any better than a builder who just broke the rules. If it is non-conforming, sometimes an appeals board will approve an exception, esp. for senior citizens.
Worth a look.
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Karen Miller, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Mon Nov 12, 2007

Are you disclosing the unpermitted space in the mls notes? Many buyers have no issue with unpermitted rooms. Those who do, should not make an offer.

Karen Miller
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Null Null, , Sherman Oaks, CA
Mon Nov 12, 2007
The valley is full of properties that have unpermitted space, and they sell all the time. Do you know what specifically was the problem with the unpermitted space? Did it seem to have a structural problem?

Solomon Romano
Re/Max OTB Estates
(818) 731-5670
Web Reference:  http://www.theroyalteam.com
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