Sell A House With Code Violations In Sugar Land

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Selling a house with a violation can be troublesome. Make it easy with the 4-steps outlined below!

Are you selling a house with code violations in Sugar Land?

Major code violations can make selling a property in Sugar land seem like a daunting task.

If you take the time to do a bit of research, you will find out that you can sell your house for a fair price even if you have an open code violation.

Here are some things you may be thinking about with an open code enforcement case:

  • Do I need to disclose the violation to buyers?
  • Should I sell as-is or fix the violation on my own?
  • Can I get more info from code enforcement?
  • What do I need to know about the violation?

and of course…Can I sell a home in Sugar Land with building code violations?

So, we have tried to make it easy to help you understand the process of selling a property with code violations in Sugar Land in a few simple steps.

1. Research The Sugar Land Property

Start the process of selling a house in Sugar Land with code violations by researching the legal specifications on the Fort Bend County Property Search.

When evaluating offers, you want to understand how buyers are thinking. Buyers definitely look-up the house on the Fort Bend County property appraiser website when calculating your offer. The specifics also let you make a comparison to active and sold comps.

You might be surprised to discover a feature was added without permits (bedroom/bathroom, extension, pool, patio, etc.) and it’s not reflected in the public record. This is particularly concerning if code enforcement is already inspecting the house due to an existing violation.

Here are some directions to take a look at the specifications on any property in Sugar Land:

How To Look Up Your Property in Fort Bend County:

  1. Visit the online property search on the Fort Bend County Appraisal and go to the tab “Find Property”
  2. Then search by one of the 4 simple categories – By Owner, By Address, By ID, or go to “Advanced” for some more options to find the property.
  3. Review the Property Information for the key features that determine the value of the property.

What particular parts of the house should you focus on?

We recommend paying attention to things like Bedrooms and Bathroom counts, Living Area, Lot Size, Year Built, Municipal Zone, and Extra Features. Check out a sample of a Property Information page below . . .

2. Understand The Code Violation

Have you done the research on the specifics of the code violation impacting your house in Sugar Land?

Get informed to make the best decision possible. Know the violation number and name, type of violation, date it was issued, the inspector that found the violation, on-going penalties for non-compliance, and the steps required to remediate the violation.

You should have received a notice of violation (either in the mail or posted on your door). The notice of violation contains some of the information you need.

While, the notice is helpful – it will rarely address how to actually fix the violation. We recommend contacting Sugar Land’s code enforcement department directly:

Website: Code Enforcement
Website: Violations
Telephone:  281-275-2170

Here is list of questions to ask once you connect with Code Enforcement:

  • What will be the penalty if the code violation isn’t corrected?
  • What must be done to remediate the violation?
  • If the violation is corrected, what is the process for re-inspecting and closing the code enforcement case?
  • Is there any other information you can tell me about the violation?

3. Sell “As-Is” or Fix The Violation On Your Own?

“I would like to sell my house in Sugar Land with a violation. Should I sell the house “as-is”, or try to remediate the violation on my own first?”

There are benefits to getting rid of the house as it stands, as well as to spending the time and money on the repairs for Sugar Land code enforcement to close the case.

Advantages of Selling As-Is.

Sell Fast. Correcting a code violation in Sugar Land won’t happen quickly. The process involving getting notice, learning about the violation, hiring workers to fix the problem, scheduling a re-inspection by a Sugar Land inspector, and hopefully they close the violation without requiring further action. If your goal is to sell quickly (perhaps due to relocation, tax or foreclosure auction, or just want cash fast), remediating may not be possible.

Repair Cost. Renovations don’t come cheap. Violations for debris and high grass may cost just a few hundred bucks, but bigger problems like defective plumbing, electrical, or windows cost thousands of dollars. If you’re property has structural damage or is being used illegally (for example – with too many living units or illegal bedrooms/bathrooms), costs could be tens of thousands of dollars or not correctable at all.

On-Going Fines or Impending Auction. Monthly fines are a consequence of open violations, and if fines go on long enough, the property will be auctioned off. Selling “as-is” cuts your losses on the fines and prevents you from losing the house at auction.

Advantages of Remediating The Violations.

Higher Sale Price. Owners can increase sale proceeds by rectifying the violation before selling. Buyers naturally offer more if they save the time and money required to get code enforcement close the violation.

Mortgage Offers From Possible Homeowners. Want more buyer options? Open violations typically demand a cash buyer. Banks are hesitant to lend on houses that need work. If you’re house is up to code, you can get offers from regular owner occupant buyers using a mortgage.

Stopping The Fines. If you want to sell but aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger, investing in removing the violation is smart. You lose money every month on fines – cut down the losses by repairing the defect and closing the violation.

Wondering what you need to disclose to the buyer if you decide to sell a Sugar Land property with an open code violation?

In the standard Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) contract, sellers are expected to disclose “facts materially affecting the value of the Real Property” that are “not readily observable”. See the “Seller Disclosure” excerpt below:

4. Select A Buyer

When selecting a buyer for your house in Sugar Land, vet the buyer’s qualifications and review the terms of the offer (not just price!).

A “high offer” is virtually meaningless if the buyer won’t follow through on closing at the promised price (and comes back weeks later begging for a huge reduction), or the offer has hidden contingencies to let the buyer back out at the last minute.

The Brilliant Day Homes team considers contract terms and buyer qualifications even more important than offer price when we sell our own properties. Lots of people throw around big numbers to entice sellers to sign a contract – with little intention to actually complete the sale.

To learn more about selling your house with code violations in Sugar Land, don’t be afraid to reach out! We are happy to answer any questions you have about the selling process! Get in touch with our team today to learn more! (713) 903-2582


Kevin is the co-owner of Brilliant Day Homes, and primary author of the Brilliant Day Blog. He grew up around real estate investing and spent summers working on rental properties for his dad, who runs a home renovation company with Kevin's brother. He enjoys spending time with his wife Savannah, and children Isaac and Amelia. He also has a passion for volunteering and usually spends several hours each week doing so.