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Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I don't know the answer to this question but would be surprised if someone not on title could initiate a permit on property they don't own.  What about getting the current owner to initiate the permit?

Jan 18, 2018 03:39 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

one could in my town/state.... why would one want to spend money before closing.... stuff happens before closing that can prevent a closing!!! builder begin the process of pulling a permit and having it in hand prior to closing....but they won't spend any money....and the owner of the land won't allow tree cutting before closing..... 

Jan 18, 2018 03:41 PM
Mike Kelly,CRS,CIPS
The MJKelly Team - Santa Rosa, CA
"One of Sonoma County's Natural Resources"

Sure, but you'd better have permisson from all involved agencies PLUS the Seller. Here in the greatest state of California we have to obtain Seller's permisson to have any county/city inspections done. Sounds like our town! 

Jan 18, 2018 03:42 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Talk to the appropriate governmental bureaucrat. But I think that as long as the property owner would sign off that they were on board with it you probably could. Probably more accurately, it would be them obtaining the permit in their name because as the owner of the property they would really be the only one authorized. We've gone through zoning changes during escrow. It's pretty much the same thing.

Jan 18, 2018 04:17 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I would think that’s a question for the local building department. And would you want to spend money before closing

Jan 18, 2018 03:56 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

John Bear I do not think so!

Jan 18, 2018 09:12 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I'd just call city. Each city is different on permits, also depends what kind of tree you want to cut down.

Jan 18, 2018 05:23 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

As long as it is okay with the seller and the municipality.

Jan 18, 2018 04:47 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Sure but you would need written permission of the owner of record

Jan 18, 2018 04:26 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I would say no as the seller as the owner has to do it or has the 'right' to do it. Buyer has no right to request anything until they own it. You could start the process as the seller but check to see if it can be transferred or does the new buyer have to start over.

I would run it by a different village to see what they say lol. 

Jan 18, 2018 03:48 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

       The sooner, the better.    I was at a Land Use hearing for a proposed new subdivision in summer of 2016, there were two dozen bureaucrats from local and state agencies, plus the protesting environmentalists.   A year and a half later, the developer got final approval and started building.

Jan 18, 2018 03:39 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Sounds like the buyer has some issues here that should be a contingency to the purchase. Seller could apply at purchaser's expense or reimbursement for fees, if seller is successful in request to cut down trees!

Jan 18, 2018 08:34 PM
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Only the owner can initiate a permit in Austin.

Jan 18, 2018 07:28 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

It depends on what the rules for the area are. I would bet the seller has to initiate that but then the question would be ... will that transfer to the buyer.

Jan 18, 2018 07:21 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

NO, the owner has to do it. The buyer cannot.

Jan 18, 2018 06:53 PM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

I can't argue with Carol Williams' response. If money is no option and the buyer would like to try to pull the permits I say go for it. I suppose you could even have the seller and buyer go pull the permits together and have the buyers' name on the permits together so they could get around privity of contract. This seems like a great question for an attorney or the town permit department.

Jan 18, 2018 05:50 PM
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

We write contracts subject to getting zoning or septic permitting so don't see why you couldn't do the same with the cooperation of the seller t make application for the buyer if need be.

Jan 18, 2018 04:55 PM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

I would write contract contingent upon getting a permit, otherwise, we don't close.

BTW I have never heard of twp requiring a permit to cut down a tree in Erie, PA or surrounding area.

Good luck.

Jan 18, 2018 03:41 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

YOu may have to get some kind of notification from the seller to give the the governing authority...at least here in Minnesota

Jan 19, 2018 08:31 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel


Jan 19, 2018 03:39 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I think being able to initiate a permit before owning is dependent on your jurisdiction.  I did have a buyer pull permits for trimming the trees on a listing of mine prior to close and the work to be done after close.


If it's allowed and the city takes a long time to issue them, I'd start it early with the knowledge that the permit fees (usually minor out here) could be lost if the escrow doesn't close.

Jan 19, 2018 08:51 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Sounds like you need to check locally. If permitted, would need to be done by current owner, I would think.

Jan 19, 2018 06:50 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

John Bear It looks like the owner has no choice if they want to close on the property in a timely manner. As far as I know only owners can initiate a permit.

Jan 19, 2018 06:39 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Sure, the current owner could initiate this process.

Jan 19, 2018 05:31 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Not sure i would want to love in such a restircitive town

Jan 19, 2018 05:27 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Parked and reading...

Jan 19, 2018 05:26 AM
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I have no clue. Depends on the local jurisdiction.

Jan 19, 2018 04:05 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

some things in my market a buyer can get a permit prior to purchase,  other things they can't.  (dock permits as an example on the can't)

Jan 18, 2018 09:49 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Typically in our area, we put together the documentation and request that the seller of the property present it. They typically will only approve for current owners. Most sellers don't mind at all as they know the red tape process can be lengthy!

Jan 18, 2018 09:28 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I would check with the local governmental authorities.  In some areas cutting trees can bring about a lot of problems.  There is a community in Northern California that names its trees, and they are very protective of them.  A

Jan 18, 2018 08:40 PM
Dan Pittsenbarger
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Improving Conditions

In our area the owner would have to make application.

Jan 18, 2018 07:48 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Not to my knowledge.

Jan 18, 2018 05:43 PM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

I'm sure you probably could but why would anyone do that?  The property hasn't closed yet and there could be issues that rear their ugly head so the property may not close.... I would definitely wait until it closes.

Jan 18, 2018 04:51 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

The town will set the requirements.

Jan 18, 2018 04:28 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I would not know this, but would think you would have to own the property first.

Jan 21, 2018 08:00 AM