Trying to sell your house if it has foundation problems is a big challenge. Most buyers do not know enough to distinguish between a foundation problem that you can repair and one you cannot. As a result, most buyers will run at the mere mention of the word "foundation problems".
That is why some home sellers with damaged foundations resort to underhanded methods in their bid to sell the house. But this is not necessary. If your home has foundation issues and you are thinking of putting it on the market, there are legit ways to sell the property.
Hard as it is to believe, some buyers want a house like yours. But if you don't find such a buyer, you can still sell the home to an everyday buyer. However, you have to be patient and work harder when marketing a house with foundation issues.
But how do you even know that your home has foundation damage?
Signs of foundation damage
If the house is suffering from the following, it is okay to suspect foundation damage.
- Cracks in the floor or foundation and wall fissures.
- One part of the home appears higher of lower than other parts.
- The ground is not level but sloping, uneven, or sagging in some places.
- Doors and windows are sticky and hard to close or open.
- Cabinets are separating from walls, and the gaps are getting wider.
- There are gaps around the frames of windows and exterior doors.
- The crawl space is always damp.
The ordinary presence of these signs is not enough though. A professional evaluation of the foundation will help you know the cause, extent of the problem, and the best way to solve it. The information will influence the cost and foundation remediation and also determine the best way to approach the sales of the house.
How to sell a home with foundation damage
There are two options for selling a home if its foundation is damaged; you can fix the problem before you put the home on the market, or you can sell the house "as is". Each option has its pros and cons. Which is the better option for you?
Fixing the foundation before selling the house
The first problem here is the cost of foundation remediation. Repairing a damaged foundation can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $50,000. The national average is around $4,495, but the actual cost of fixing your home's foundation will depend on the problem's duration, the cause of the problem, and your location.
Note that fixing the problem does not erase the issue; as a seller, you should still inform buyers of the history of the homes foundation. But if you choose not to, that information will eventually come to light when the buyer conducts a home inspection. Failing to disclose the problem will make buyers suspicious and more likely withdraw from the purchase.
But then, the disclosure will not automatically make buyers willing to buy the home. Most buyers don't know anything about foundation problems. Therefore, the majority of buyers will have questions about how well you did the repairs. They fear that the issue will reoccur in the future.
One the other hand, buyers who know how to deal with a foundation problem may prefer to do it themselves because they think sellers may be motivated to cut corners.
Selling the home "As Is"
If you choose to sell the home without fixing the problem, you will avoid the cost of foundation remediation. But you will also have to drastically lower your asking price to make the house attractive to buyers. The only reason a buyer would want to buy a home with foundation damage is if the property is a lot cheaper than similar homes.
Since you are selling the home "As Is" it is a good idea to tell prospective buyers about the problem early in the sales process. That will scare many buyers away, but it will ensure that you don't waste buyers' time and they don't waste yours. The only buyers you attract will be those ready to go through the trouble of dealing with the foundation damage.
When pricing your home, it helps to know the cost of fixing the foundation problem. Deduct the cost from the market value of the home with a lot of wiggle room added. It is necessary because you want the cost of buying the house and fixing the problem to be less than the market value of the property. That way, the buyer can make an immediate profits.
Which option should you choose?
If the foundation damage is minimal it probably makes sense to fix the problem yourself. But if it is significant damage, buyers will be more comfortable if they handle the repairs themselves. If you chose to sell the home in its damaged condition, selling to a property investor is often your best option.
I want to personally thank Douglas Briggs from Granite Foundation Repair for this contributing story to my blog. You may reach Douglas via phone (415)251-4209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also use their website www.granitefoundationrepair.com