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Old 09-03-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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Getting my older home in PA ready to sell

Hi All,
I've asked this question of 4 people in the electrical and real estate field around here and I'm getting 4 different answers. I'm hoping someone here can provide some perspective on my question.

My house was built in the '20s. It was partially remodeled sometime in the '50s I'm guessing because of the presence of some of the early "romex" style wring mixed in with the original KnT. As time and $$ have permitted I have been slowly replacing the wiring in my home. Well now we have an opportunity to buy a new place that we're really interested in. Problem is it won't last long so we'll have to put an offer in quickly. We will also have to get our current place into a salable condition very quickly as well. (I don't feel like paying for a bridge loan )

That is my main question. What is needed to get a home to a place where it is legally and practically ready to be sold?

The following items seem to be mentioned alot. The problem is that I get mixed messages about whether they are legally required or just best practices that will make my home more attractive:

1. Knob n Tube - Realtor tells me it all needs replaced. Reputable electrician friend says the requirement is to just replace what is visible and easily accessible with no need to rip open walls and ceilings.

2. Hardwired Smokes - Have only battery ones now.

3. Overall NEC adherence - I've already got my bathrooms on dedicated circuits w/ GFCI. Anything I have already done I have brought up to code. Am I obligated to put enough receptacles in my home per code? (That would add a ton of time and $$ to the project). What about the kitchen circuits?

Any other advice would be helpful.



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Old 09-03-2012, 11:15 AM   #2
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Nothing is required as long as it meet code at the time of installation.
Unless your area has codes on such, sell it as is.


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Old 09-03-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Nothing is required as long as it meet code at the time of installation.
Unless your area has codes on such, sell it as is.

The "electrician" that said only the visible K&T needs to be replaced either wants the job, or doesn't know what he is talking about.
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Unless your area has codes on such, sell it as is.
Good advice. I've sold several of my houses that way.

Interesting story: I was the trustee charged with settling my late father's estate. His will specified that the house (located in CA) be sold. I learned that it had several roof leaks, and decided to have the roof replaced. His attorney advised against that. He said to get a home inspection, have the results available for prospective buyers to see, and sell the house "as is." This was a house that had been recently appraised at $750K, and he wanted me to sell it "as is" with a leaking roof?? Didn't sound like such a great idea to me, but that's what I ended up doing. It was on the market for only three days, and sold for just under the asking price.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:02 PM   #5
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You can sell a house in any condition, even if it's not up to code, but some things might impact the marketability of your house. For instance, if your potential buyer is getting an FHA loan, then your property has to meet all FHA requirements in order for the buyer to get financing while a cash buyer would be able to buy anything "as is".

Depending on the type of house and local market, there might be other things that will be a "turn off" for buyers regardless of code or finance requirements.

So if you're going after first time buyers, you probably want to make sure your house would pass an FHA inspection. With that said, I think knob and tube is OK even for FHA provided it's in good shape, but it still might be something a buyer would negotiate if the home inspector points it out.

A good realtor should be able to guide you in who you'd want to target. No point in making it FHA compliant if it's a fixer upper suited for a cash buyer.

Last edited by LVDIY; 09-03-2012 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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Some insurance companies are surcharging homeowners for dwellings that contain active knob and tube wiring. That makes any house less valuable that still uses such wiring for some of its circuits.



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