It’s possible to sell your house with foundation problems. But, the issue can result in longer sell time, a reduced sales price, and repairs.
As you’re getting set to sell your home, you should consider a foundation inspection as part of your to-do list. Determining whether you have foundation problems is critical because it may limit your buyer pool. Some mortgage lenders may refuse to close on a house with signs of foundation problems.
You might not even be aware of foundation damage. A potential buyer will have a home inspection done on your house as part of the transaction. The home inspector will identify any telltale signs that there are foundation issues.
Inspectors must record what they see and tell the buyer their findings. An inspector will not make any inferences about the cause of any issues they see. Instead, they report the defects they find.
Suppose the home inspection reveals indicators of foundation issues. In that case, the buyer will receive a report from a structural engineer about the home. After the inspection, a buyer has the right to buy the home, terminate the deal, or negotiate.
You may find some buyers that will use the presence of foundation issues as a bargaining chip and get you to lower your price.
Foundation issues can be scary, which may cause you to avoid facing the problem head-on.
You may wonder how to sell your house with foundation problems. We’re here to help and discuss what steps you can take to ensure you get a fair price for your home with foundation issues.
What are foundation issues?
Foundation issues affect the concrete slab of your home. Foundation issues are typically caused by some shift in the ground caused by the soil’s moisture changes. This change in moisture causes the earth to move. As a result, your concrete slab moves, which can cause cracks, breaks, or erosion.
The shifts in the ground can be from events like:
- Drainage issues
- Landscaping and tree roots causing moisture to fluctuate
- Low-quality soil conditions
- Plumbing running beneath your foundation
- Poor construction of the home
While it may take years for foundation issues to make a house collapse, continued inattention to the problem makes it a near certainty.
It’s hard to tell if you have foundation issues. Still, there are external and internal signs of foundation damage that may reveal you have foundation issues. If you see any of these signs, you should investigate more,
External clues of foundation issues
Begin by walking around your house and looking for apparent signs of a damaged foundation. Y should be looking for the following:
- Bowed or bulging exterior walls
- Cracks in the slab and outer walls
- Crumbled foundation
- Decks that lean or pull away from the home
- Leaning chimney
- Gaps between the house and trim
- Open space between the garage driveway pavement
- Foundation settlement or sinking of the concrete slab
- Stairstep cracks in mortar
Interior clues of foundation issues
There are interior clues that you may have a damaged foundation too. Those signs of foundation issues include the following:
- Bowing walls
- Cabinets that refuse to stay shut
- Hairline cracks or diagonal cracks in the interior walls or drywall
- Dampness in crawl spaces
- Small cracks in the floor tiles
- Sticking door frames and window frames
- Uneven floors
- Walls pulled away from the floor or ceiling
Make a note of the issues you see. The only way to find out is to hire a foundation inspection company or structural engineer to inspect your home. They will check your foundation and explain the extent of the damage.
Is it Worth It To Fix Foundation Issues Or Structural Damage?
That’s up to you as a seller. You have to decide if you want to repair the foundation or sell your home as-is. Repairing a foundation can be costly and reveal a bigger problem, like poor construction. That new problem will have to be fixed as well.
Suppose you decided to repair your home’s foundation trouble and go forward with a traditional sale and a higher sales price. After the initial inspection, you should hire a structural engineer to assess the extent of your slab repairs.
Depending on the type of service and work needed, a structural engineer can cost $700.
HomeAdvisor says a typical foundation repair costs between $2,153 to $7,736 but may run as high as $15,000. On average, you can expect to pay about $5,000.
Your specific cost will rely on the severity and type of problem your foundation has. In the worst-case scenario, you will have total foundation failure. That repairs may cost as much as $100,000.
Let’s review some of the most common foundation problems:
- Bowing: When your foundation bows, your basement walls will bow too. It can eventually cause your home to collapse. There is usually an underlying cause that you must repair first.
- Crumbling: This can be caused by erosion, old age, settling, and water damage.
- Erosion: Like a crumbling foundation, this may be caused by drainage issues and water intrusion. It refers to a situation where dirt is moved from your home’s foundation wall.
- Horizontal foundation cracks: These horizontal cracks are caused by pressure in the water or soil or poor construction and backfilling. It may indicate a more significant problem with your home’s structure.
- Leak: This is caused by poor drainage from gutters, rain, excess moisture, and standing water.
- Shifting: Foundations settle from soil movement. Some foundation movement is okay. That’s natural, but a big shift may result in big problems. You might have to get support piers to correct the problem.
- Sinking: This is caused by the soil and ground settling beneath your home’s concrete slab. As the soil settles, concrete foundation settling occurs, causing broken tiles, sunken floors, and uneven spots.
Is it worth it to fix foundation issues or structural damage? It depends. If you find out that your home’s foundation has minor issues, you can have a foundation repair expert fix them. That repair might help a potential buyer meet your asking price.
But, if your foundation is in bad shape, it might better serve you to sell your home as is. The issue with a faulty foundation is that it limits your potential buyer pool. Some mortgage lenders balk at closing on a house with foundation issues. Lenders are reluctant to provide mortgages on homes with foundation issues because they are responsible for most structural issues in homes.
That means you will only have access to a few homebuyers that are using a traditional loan.
Also, federally backed loans like FHA, USDA, and VA loans have strict rules about the home’s foundation and structural integrity. Foundation issues will likely delay or terminate a deal.
Inspect, disclose, share, and negotiate
You should get a foundation inspection, especially if you have warning signs. The extent of the damage may not be as bad as you thought it was.
In virtually all states, you must disclose the fact if you know about any foundation issues. Typically, when selling a home, you’ll fill out a seller’s disclosure form, and foundation issues are one of the legal disclosures you must make.
Share your inspection report with the buyers. In addition to the disclosure, the notice will make your buyers aware of the issue and allow them to make a fully-informed decision.
Negotiate with your potential buyer. They will look for a lower price to reflect the foundation repair cost. You should be comfortable that you will have to lower the price if you don’t do repairs.
House foundation issues are a challenging situation. The degradation of your home’s slab might uncover an even bigger problem with your home, like drainage issues or poor construction. Those other issues may have to be fixed as well.
You’ll have to determine if sinking money into a foundation repair company is the right choice for you. If you decide to repair the foundation, you may be able to ask for a higher price on the open market. But, if foundation repair is impossible, you’ll have to sell your home as-is.
Foundation repairs can be expensive, so you’ll have to figure out what’s right for you.
When you do sell your home, make sure to:
- Inspect the foundation
- Disclose any issues with buyers
- Share your report
- Negotiate with the expectation of a lower sales price
Maybe a traditional buyer isn’t right for you. What would the right buyer look like? Would they offer a fair price? Would they take the problem home off your hands?
A cash buyer might be the solution to your problems. We are in the business of helping people in distress by buying their distressed houses. That means you don’t have to worry about costly repairs or to navigate the open market.
When you sell to us, you can expect a cash offer. That means you won’t need to worry about mortgage companies refusing to finance the deal.
Another thing you can expect is a relatively quick process; we handle the inspection and negotiate with you directly.
There is no need for real estate agents or any other type of middle-person. There is no lag in loan application or approval. Plus, you can avoid the hassle of closing costs, marketing, staging, or lengthy transactions.
Fill out our contact form and find out how we can help you today!
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