How To Sell a House with Foundation Problems
Selling a house with foundation problems can be tricky but it can be done. Letting potential buyers know you have foundation issues can significantly increase the amount of time it takes for your home to sell and can also dramatically reduce the amount buyers are willing to pay for your home. But not disclosing the problem can lead to even bigger problems.
The first step is to determine whether you actually have a foundation problem. Here are some things you can look for yourself:
- Spaces between the wood trim and frame
- Separation between brick and window frames
- Sticking windows and doors
- Stairstep cracks in the exterior brick
- Cracks in the drywall above doors or windows
- Doors not latching properly
Keep in mind that the issues listed could be the result of normal settling, not foundation issues. The only way to know for sure is to have an inspection done by a reputable foundation repair company. Unfortunately, many people put off having their foundation inspected the same way they put off having a painful tooth examined by a dentist. In both cases, the result is usually the same – bigger and more expensive problems.
While ignoring possible foundation problems may be an option as long as you’re living in the home, that changes when you decide to put the house on the market.
If you’re able to see possible signs of foundation problems, potential buyers will be able to see them too. Simply telling a potential buyer that you don’t think you have a foundation problem isn’t going to be enough to calm their fears, and it won’t satisfy the bank that will be financing their mortgage. Unless the buyer will be paying with cash, they’ll have to take out a mortgage and their lender will require an inspection. Ultimately, you have two options and they both involve having your foundation inspected by a professional.
If damage is found during the inspection, you have a decision to make. You can either have the damage repaired in hopes of recouping the cost when you sell the home, or you can discount your asking price and try to sell the home “as is.” Even if you decide to sell your home for less because of the questionable foundation, the buyer will still have it inspected – either to satisfy their lender or to help them decide what they’re willing to pay if they’re planning to forgo financing and pay with cash. In the end, you’ll have to trust that their estimate of the damages and the cost to repair them is accurate.
On the other hand, having the foundation repaired before placing the home on the market will allow you to roll the cost of any needed repairs into the asking price. And it can actually give you extra leverage as long as you have the repairs done by a reputable foundation repair company that backs their work with a warranty. Just make sure the company you hire offers a transferable foundation warranty that will cover the property itself.
When it comes to selling a home, no two situations are the same. But in most cases, making sure the foundation is sound will allow you to sell faster and at a higher price.
If your home has foundation problems, call the professionals at Atlas Foundation Repair Company for a no-cost, no-obligation estimate. We’ve been providing reliable foundation repair services to homeowners in the Fort Worth area since 1958 and we stand behind our work with a transferrable lifetime warranty. Give us a call at 817-478-1181 today.