When buying a home, one of the areas a potential buyer is likely to train their eyes on is the foundation. A well-built and sturdy foundation is the key to preserving the structural integrity of the home. If it has issues or is poorly-constructed, it can be hazardous not just for the occupants but for the neighbors and handymen.
The question on every seller’s mind whose home has foundation issues is, can I sell my home? Yes, you can. But it’s not going to be easy. After all, this is a part of the home that supports everything above. Any problem down there could put the house on the line. Sagging porches, cracked walls, and uneven floors are all complications that arise from a faulty foundation.
Should I Worry About Foundation Issues?
Foundation problems are normal. But they’re also ominous enough to make a new buyer shudder and reconsider their buying decision. Most buyers are thinking of their safety. Will the walls cave in and roof come tumbling over my head?
With these questions in mind, selling a Baltimore home whose foundation has issues is a tricky affair. The majority of would-be buyers want an issue-free home. And if someone is going to be interested, they may be put off by the cost of repairs that could run into thousands of dollars.
The other issue is problems that arise from a damaged foundation. For instance, cracks on the foundation wall could let in water and moisture, making your basement damp and moldy. These are issues that would-be buyers would like to avoid when shopping for now homes. Don’t let these issues linger. Fix them so you can inspire the confidence of buyers.
If the rest of the home is in perfect shape, it might still make sense to sell it to a buyer who’s looking for a fixer-upper. Your homeowner’s insurance isn’t likely to be of much use. Your policy may only cover specific factors or issues, not foundation damage. Unless the cause of the damage is an earthquake, a tornado, or any of the specified natural disasters, be prepared to pay for repairs out of pocket.
How to Increase Your Chances of Selling Your Home
When selling your home, ensure the following is in order as far as repairs are concerned:
- Give a Discount – You can sell your home less the cost of anticipated repairs. Any amount that you’re going to give as a discount, the buyer can use it to undertake the necessary repairs or waterproofing.
- Waterproof the basement – If you have a basement, ensure it’s waterproof. Fix cracks and install a vapor barrier and a dehumidifier to lock out moisture.
- Insurance and bond – Transferable insurance and bond means the new buyer is protected. In the event of damage, your basement contractor will still come in and do the necessary repairs.
- Labor Warranty – Many contractors are happy to back their foundation repairs with a warranty in the range of 10-20 years. Well, that’s long enough for your foundation to start having issues. And any new buyer wouldn’t get jittery as they’re now covered.
- Be transparent – Share the home inspector’s report with the potential buyer, including any invoice for repairs. You want to make sure the buyers know what they’re getting into to avoid legal tussles later.
Do you need to pay buyers for additional waterproofing?
One question that could be swirling in your head is whether you have to pay buyers for any additional repairs or basement waterproofing job. The answer is no. You don’t have to pay for an extra job. However, we wouldn’t advise taking this route. If you can, fix all the underlying foundation issues first before you put your home up for sale. You’ll increase the value of your home and make it attractive to interested buyers.
Lenders may be less willing to finance a home with structural problems. This could put a damper on any buyer’s plans, and even if they still get financing they could be charged high interest rates, making the loan terms unfavorable.
If you’d like to sell your home, ensure all foundation issues are fixed. Call your local basement contractor to schedule a free foundation repair inspection and get answers plus lasting solutions to your foundation problems.