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Who needs the drama, get a permit instead.

New Milford CT Real Estate.... keeping the real estate drama to a minimum!

Real estate drama New Milford CTI like my drama on the TV screen, not in my work space. And I can assure you, I am not on a real estate reality show! So what is the point of getting a permit for work to be done to your house? So that it will close, without drama and trauma! 

Any good buyers agent will hit the town/city hall to see if you obtained the necessary permits for work that was done. If not I can bet that they will be asking for you to get the permit AFTER the fact. Which can mean that the town official will actually want to see the wiring BEHIND the walls, or want to get up underneath the deck to make sure it was done properly. 

After the fact just isn't a boatload of fun. Often times it will cost you more money to have someone come in and do it the right way. 

If you are going to get work done on your home, ask the following questions of the contractors you are interviewing.

Do you have a current license?

Be careful with this one, realize that although your friend is a licensed electrician, only an E-1 license can actually apply for a building permit. An E-2 cannot. So if Larry is going to rewire your house for you and he has an E-2 license, the drama is all yours.

Do you carry insurance? 

Think about this one. You hired Darryl and his other brother Darryl to re-roof your house. They bring their third brother Darryl to the job and he falls off the roof... and pulls Darryl #1 and Darryl #2 off the roof with him, and they didn't have liability insurance! Let alone any other type of insurances. Guess who gets sued? Check on bond insurance too. I know in New Milford the contractor who applies for the permit must show the town a certificate of insurance for the job. 

Does your price include the cost of the permit?

That's one way of finding out if they were going to pull a permit in the first place!

Is the work guaranteed and will it transfer to the new owner?

If a permit was required and it wasn't done, or your contractor isn't licensed, you can bet the answer will be NO. More drama on the way.... 

Remember, it might get past the buyers agent, but  you still have the home inspector and the appraiser to go. Skip the real estate drama, get a permit for work being done on your home!

If doing any repair work is a condition of the sale, then you can bet that you will have to provide documentation to the buyer's attorney, and they weren't born yesterday. They want to see permits that are signed off on, they want to see receipts from REAL contractors. And often times an appraiser or home inspector will have to go back to reinspect the completed job. 

Leave the drama on the television set where it belongs. Hire a licensed contractor for those repair jobs on your home, make sure a permit is pulled where required and make sure the permit is signed off on by a town/city official when the job is finished!

New Milford CT real estate drama




Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 26 commentsAndrea Swiedler • September 09 2014 12:11PM


Hi Andrea - Great advice. Years ago, I was wishing my client had listened to it, as we were digging new piers for his deck at 3:30 am the morning of his scheduled closing. Another hard lesson.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 4 years ago

Dick, it does seem we all have some of "those" stories to tell, it just surprises me that even after we tell them.... there is drama and trauma anyway!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 4 years ago

Ha!  Love the amount of dram in the post, who needs theatrics in real estate.  Although many I've encountered are actors...

Posted by Christopher Pagli, "I Stay Open Until You Close" (William Raveis Legends Realty Group) over 4 years ago

"Hi, I'm Larry and this is my brother Darryl and my other brother, Darryl" mind went in a totally different direction there for awhile...LOL...but I managed to recover and finish your excellent post. Every homeowner should read this.

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 4 years ago

My mind went where Susan Haughton, REALTOR 's went.  That was the Bob Newhart Show, right?

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 4 years ago

Andrea - playing with this would be incredibly risky. Too many issues, and some homeowners are only looking for savings hiring "good guys". "Good guys" end up costing so freaking much more, it might become a nightmare. Beating any TV shows

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 4 years ago

Andrea, it doesn't have to be just a buyer's agent a listing agent should check for permits as well.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 4 years ago

There have been times I just shook my head and walked away from a listing and NEVER showed a house that I knew didn't get permits and COULDN'T get them after the fact.  You know when they built 6 more bedrooms in the basement with no windows and no extra septic drain lines... and not having room for it.  

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Good morning Andrea. I am approaching the permit thing again, but as tough as it may be it is crucial on so many levels.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 4 years ago

Get a permit. Always get a permit!

Just not worth the effort and lies and liability!

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 4 years ago

Christopher, drama and actors in real estate? HA!

Susan, was the first brother named Larry? I forgot, LOL. Thank you.

Chris, yes it was. Dating myself here.

Jon, it costs so much more to go the friend route, just not a good idea.

Ed, that is one of the first things I do. When I wrote this I was thinking of those repairs negotiated for a sale. But for anything, permits and licensed people PLEASE!

Tammy, amazing isn't it? I do the same thing. So, 6 bedrooms in a basement, I think you already ran across this, and ran fast!

Sheila, I hope you resolve it, easily and in the right way. With a permit!

Than, it is so not worth it. There really is so much liability involved, and it can turn out to be one huge drama!


Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 4 years ago

Hello Andrea ... I agree with the other AR comments, great advice! ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) over 4 years ago

Hi Andrea, our conractor got a permit when we were renovating our master bath and painting....I didn't even think of this, but the contractor did!!

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker) over 4 years ago

Fantastic advice!  I have seen contracts fall apart over permitting issues.  You also hit the nail on the head with the additional costs after the fact, you may end of paying half as much over again to put all back right after the inspections and that is assuming all is in order and the permit/inspection is approved.

Posted by Karen Mathers - Vero Beach FL, When it Matters, Choose Mathers! 772-532-3221 (Keller Williams Vero Beach) over 4 years ago

I once had a listing with a deck extending over the canyon.  It made for a great view but it's a big no-no in my area.  I knew immediately there was no permit. That baby had to come down or at least be pulled back from the edge.

Get a permit, no one wants to buy a problem.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 4 years ago

Andrea Swiedler 

So much important information here! It is not uncommon to see listings with a note that X is not permitted. Depending on what is it, it makes me leery. And Buyers, too. And of course lenders and appraisers. Permits don't cost all that much. But then in some communities I'm not sure what they really mean when you find out how some inspectors sign off on them.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 4 years ago

Andrea - I am in full support of hire a license, insured contractor! 

Getting a permit takes away so much drama down the road. I have many stories of people trying to correct problems that should have been done correctly from the start.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 4 years ago

Andrea~ We have had issues in the past with permits not being pulled and 9 times out of 10, the buyer WILL ask for it, so just do it up front!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 4 years ago

Hey, Andrea!  I included this post in today's Last Week's Favorites.  Have a fun weekend!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Oh yes, it costs way more to do this later, and sometimes the codes change making it even more difficult and costly.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 4 years ago

One step further..ask to see the permits that have been pulled...the best surprise is none at all.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 4 years ago

Andrea Swiedler I wonder why some home owners want to save few hundreds of dollars and risk the sale of their home when needed! 

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 4 years ago

This is fantastic advice and thanks to Pat I got to come over and enjoy it.... We buy a lot of houses to re-hab and the first thing Rich does is visit the town to learn what codes they require and how long it will take to get them... then it goes without saying that everyone we hire must be licensed... in fact in some towns they must be licensed in that town...   Good post...

Posted by Beth and Richard Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940 (Long Island Cash Home Buyer) about 4 years ago

Your post hit the spot with Permits. They are so important, it avoids sooo much drama. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Brian Sharkey, SharkeyRE - #SouthFloridaBroker (SharkeyRE LLC) about 4 years ago

Written permission ... home work upfront works best. Save the hooting, hollering for not being prepared going in.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 4 years ago


I totally agree, it is best to get the permit when the work is done. Even if you're not selling the home when something goes wrong will your insurance company cover the problem if you can't prove (inspected, signed off permit) the work was done correctly?

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) about 4 years ago