When completing or reading home sale disclosures, you may see something about “work finaled”. What does that mean? It’s simply asking if the county, city, or town inspector came to the property to sign off or final completed work. This happens after the home owner has paid for permits, had the work completed, and then scheduled the government inspection. The contractor may also arrange for this final inspection.

Work finaled in disclosure forms

This phrase will be seen in the PRDS Supplemental Sellers Checklist. That query will come right after one asking if permits were obtained.  The reason that they are together is that “work finaled” means was the permit work finaled by the town, city or county inspector.

Form asking if there is work finaled

In short: if a seller did not get permits, the seller did not get the work finaled.

Often I find that this gets mixed up. Sellers divulge that they did not get permits, and then say that the work was finaled.

My sense is that home owners completing the paperwork simply misunderstand and assume it means was the job completed. Their real estate agent should read what they wrote and help them to correct that mistake.

The PRDS forms go into depth on this topic, also asking about work from previous owners and its permit / final status.

The CAR forms, which are more widely used, skirt this issue for some reason. I don’t know why. that is the case. Either way, though, sellers frequently (if by accident) misrepresent the actual status of the permits and finals. If possible, buyers will want to check online to see what the county, city, or town may reveal. These online sites are sometimes off, too.

Home owners will want to keep copies of all permits, inspections, and finals, and then they can be part of the disclosure package.

Santa Clara County and the City of Monte Sereno do not provide permit searches online. The rest of the county does, I believe. Here are two:

San Jose  SJPermits.org
Santa Clara https://aca-prod.accela.com/santaclara/Default.aspx

Related Reading:

Silicon Valley Homebuyer Tip: Check the Property History of the House You Like

What remodeling or replacing work requires permits and finals?