Kim Barnocky Grossman, Cape Cod Realtor

Honey, did you pull the permits?

Preparing to sell your home?

If you plan on selling your home, here is a simple tip to save yourself any heartache with a potential buyer. Read about my personal experience with upgrading our HVAC system.  

We bought our home in 2018, and 2022 we made some home improvements. Of course, I was thinking of a kitchen or bathroom upgrade, but my husband was more practical and wanted to upgrade our heating and cooling system. Our air conditioning looked like it was on its last legs, and I don’t enjoy roasting in mid-July. Furthermore, most air conditioning units last 15-20 years, which means our air conditioning unit is 14 years old and starting to enter the replacement years phase. 

Mass Save Program

We also wanted to take advantage of the Mass Save rebate program. They offer up to $10,000 when converting your HVAC system to a heat pump system. They can efficiently heat your home in the winter and double as a cooling system in the summer – while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. That would be a perfect solution for our house.

My husband is a website designer, and he recently completed a website project for an HVAC company. We spoke to them, got our energy audit (required by Mass Save), and they came one day to install the heat pump. We also decided to swap out our gas furnace and have a dual heating system. They trained us to use the system, and everything exceeded our expectations. 

Real Estate Intuition

A few weeks later, my “real estate” hat kicked in, and I asked my husband, did the HVAC company pull any permits? A few years ago, I was representing a buyer, and when we had the home inspection, we discovered the seller needed to pull permits for some updates to the home. Because the permits weren’t pulled, my buyer assumed the work wasn’t done correctly and pulled her offer. 

Back to my story, the installer told him no permits were required. However, we contacted town officials who advised that any electrical work or swap-outs need a permit. We went back to the installer, and him pull the proper permits. Now we know we have all of our permits when we sell the house. 

Seller Homework

As a seller, you don’t want to scare off a potential buyer for your property. You need to do your homework and review any updates to your home while you own it. Be sure to check with your town officials that the proper permits were pulled for the work done on your house. If they weren’t, contact the company that did the job and ask them to pull the proper permits. You’ll be glad you did when you sit at the closing table.

If you want to learn more about permits, here is an article the financial and legal consequences of not having them.


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