Selling a House With Code Violations in NJ

by | Jun 25, 2022 | Selling Advice

It’s no secret that selling a house in New Jersey is tough. Between the high taxes and stiff competition, sellers need to do everything they can to set their homes apart from the rest.

That’s why many homeowners are turning to creative methods to make their houses more appealing, such as staging or price reductions. But what if your house has code violations?

NJ law dictates that you must disclose any and all code violations to potential buyers, which can scare them away and lower your asking price.

So what’s a homeowner to do?

Luckily, there are ways to sell a house with code violations in NJ – you just need to know what they are! Keep reading for tips on how to get your home sold without hurting its resale value.

What are code violations?

A housing code violation is defined as any condition of a dwelling that violates a provision of the housing code.

NJ housing codes are designed to protect residents from substandard living conditions, and violations can range from minor issues such as peeling paint to more serious problems like lack of heat or running water.

In most cases, housing code violations must be corrected by the property owner within a certain time frame. If the violation is not corrected, the municipality may issue a fine or even take legal action against the property owner.

Code enforcement officers may also order the occupants of a dwelling to vacate the premises if the conditions are deemed to be unsafe.

While code violations can be disruptive and stressful for everyone involved, they are an important part of ensuring that all residents have access to safe and clean homes.

a distressed house in New Jersey with code violations

What are some examples of code violations?

Every municipality in New Jersey have housing codes that set minimum standards for livability. These codes cover a wide range of topics, from the condition of the building itself to the safety of its occupants.

Common violations include things like peeling paint, broken windows, exposed wiring and blocked exits. These violations can create hazardous conditions that put residents at risk of injury or even death.

In some cases, they can also lead to rodent and insect infestations. Code violations are often the result of neglect on the part of the property owner.

How do I know if my home has a code violation?

New Jersey, along with every state, has what is called building codes. Building codes are a series of minimum standards for the construction of buildings.

They exist to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people who live in or use those buildings. The code enforcement officials who enforce building codes are usually employed by the local government.

If you think your home may have a code violation, the best way to find out is to contact your local code enforcement office. The code enforcement officer will be able to tell you whether or not there are any code violations on your property and, if so, how to correct them.

In some cases, you may be able to fix the problem yourself; in other cases, you may need to hire a contractor licensed in New Jersey.

Do I have to fix a code violation before selling my house?

It is important to note that not all code violations are equal. Some code violations may be as simple as having the wrong color of paint on your door, while others can be more serious, such as having an unsafe electrical system.

It is up to the city or municipality to determine whether or not a code violation needs to be fixed before a property can be sold. However, if the code violation is considered to be a safety hazard, the seller may be required to fix the problem before closing on the sale.

Therefore, it is best to consult with a real estate attorney or your local municipality to determine what needs to be done in order to sell your property.

Do I have to disclose code violations to buyers?

According to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, if you are selling a home in New Jersey, you must disclose any known material defects in the home to potential buyers.

This includes any violations of the state’s housing code that have not been corrected. Additionally, if you are aware of any past or present environmental hazards on the property, such as lead paint or asbestos, you must also disclose this information.

Failure to do so could result in significant fines or even jail time. However, it is important to note that this law does not require sellers to inspect the property for defects or hazards.

If you are unsure whether or not a particular issue needs to be disclosed, it is always best to be completely honest and disclose it to potential buyers.

Options to consider when selling a house with code violations:

1. Fix the code violations before selling

Getting code violations fixed can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it’s important to make sure that your home is up to code before putting it on the market. If you want to get top dollar for your home, this option will be the best route to choose.

2. Offer the buyer a lower the selling price

One option to consider is offering the buyer a lower selling price in exchange for accepting the responsibility for making any necessary repairs.

This can be an attractive option for buyers who are handy or are looking for a fixer-upper.

3. Sell your house “as is” to a cash buyer

The last option is to sell your house “as is” to a NJ cash buyer or investor. If you decide to go this route, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, make sure you find a reputable cash buyer who has experience dealing with houses with code violations. Second, be prepared to negotiate the price.

Remember, the buyer is taking on a risk by purchasing a property with known code violations. As such, they will likely want to pay less than market value for the property.

Finally, be sure to get everything in writing. Once you sell your house “as is”, the buyer will be responsible for any and all code violations. 

Final thoughts

Selling a house with code violations in NJ can be a tricky process, but it is possible to do if you are aware of the potential risks and challenges.

Be sure to consult with an experienced real estate attorney or your local municipality to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to protect yourself. 

If you would like to learn more about selling your home in New Jersey, check out our other resources below:

  1. Selling a House in NJ with a Pool: Tips to Get Your Home Sold Fast
  2. 11 Easy Home Improvement Ideas to Sell Your House in NJ

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