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Downtown Lancaster

Selling a House With Code Violations in Lancaster PA

Dealing with code violations can be one of the most annoying parts of homeownership. Whether you are trying to sell your house or not, code violations can quickly derail you from your goals and can cost you significant money to correct. Most often homeowners are confused about the specific violation in the first place and are not equipped to handle the situation quickly. Often it is not easy to know who to contact or the steps necessary to get violations lifted or resolved. The following are our notes from working to correct code violations within the city of Lancaster directly.

Know What City Department You Are Dealing With

Most likely if you have a code violation it is due to either some type of failed inspection or an event that triggered the city to issue the violation. The city currently has three separate departments that comprise code enforcement: The Property Maintenance Group, The Health Unit, and the Building Code unit. The property maintenance group is responsible for enforcing the outside appearance of properties within the city along with newer lead paint posining and hazard restriction. The health unit inspects mostly commercial spaces to ensure health standards are upheld but also runs the pest control program. The building code unit issues all the permits for renovations and enforces compliance with the Uniform Building Standard codes. Most of the residential issues that we see will involve either the property mantainance group regarding upkeep or the building code unit for un permitted work.

Work with the City to Resolve Issues

The fastest and easiest way to sell a house with code violations is to work with the city to resolve any outstanding violations that may be on the house. Violations of visual appearance can usually be easily resolved by taking some time to clean up the exterior of the house. Cutting down any excessive weeds, cleaning up trash, and cleaning up the the property will allow you to increase the curb appeal of the property while also eliminating past issues. Remember to carefully go through each violation and address the root cause of the problem. Code violations are a lot trickier, as major work may have to be done to bring the property up to standards.

Our experience has been that you can work directly with the inspectors to resolve potential issues. You will want to go through the violations line by line and ask the inspectors specifically what changes need to happen in order for the violation to be lifted. Have a pen and paper handy with you to write down what they say for your records. Also bring along a licensed with the city contractor to ask questions as you go over the violation. Often the inspector will talk with the contractor in terms that you may not understand. At the end make sure the inspector gives you a written & signed document outlining specifically is wrong with the property. Schedule a follow up inspection with the city on a date that is after when the work will be completed to remedy the situation.

Appeal to the City to Lift Violations

Once you have corrected all the violations outlined, you will need to appeal to the city to lift the violations. They will resend an inspector out to go over the house looking for any issues. Make sure to have a copy of your initial walkthrough sheet handy in case they try to add any items to the violation. We have had multiple inspectors catch additional items the 2nd time they looked at a situation. Given that work should have been completed to specifications, the city should lift the code violation quickly or even on the spot. They will issue official documentation to your address at a later date.

Common Code Violations

  • Handrail height
  • Tempered Windows
  • Electrical Wiring Outdated
  • Water hose/bib connections
  • Old Oil Tanks
  • Lack of adequate Fire Alarms
  • Window Limiters
  • Drain Covers

Price the House To Sell Quickly

If you are trying to sell a house with code violations to a traditional buyer in Lancaster, you will need to significantly reduce the asking price in order to sell. Many buyers are looking for hassle free homes that have been coined “move in ready”. If the problems with the property are severe, many lenders won’t finance a loan for the property, so you may need to accept cash offers only. Septic, zoning, plumbing and electrical issues can all be major headaches and red flags with lendors. Before you list the property or begin the process of selling it on your own, find out what we can offer you! Our background and experience allow us to economically fix up houses, typically at a lower price than if you were to do it on your own. This will save you a lot of money and time in the long run.

Why You Should Sell Your House Directly

By keeping your house off of the MLS, you won’t have to deal with property showings, marketing, staging, or the continued upkeep. You won’t have to wait around, not knowing when your house will sell or what you will be offered. You won’t have to pay agent commissions, fees, or closing costs. Our selling process is simple, helping you to sell your house fast without any further aggravation… no matter what condition the property it in! Learn more about what you can do to sell your house with code violations in Lancaster, you might be surprised at how simple selling your house can be!

About Josh Eberly

A native of Lancaster County, Josh’s roots run deep in his commitment to this community. He especially enjoys helping people find solutions through real estate. Josh is a seasoned investor with experience in many sides of buying and investing in real estate. Josh enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, digital marketing, and hanging out with his family. Feel free to connect with him here.

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