There is nothing that can wipe the smile from a homeowner’s face quite like the discovery of a serious fault in the property’s foundation. Certain foundation problems can be hard to spot, expensive to repair, and prone to exponential growth when left unchecked. This has serious implications for anyone looking to sell a home that has foundation damage; there are many things to take into consideration.
Is it Possible to Sell a Home with a Faulty Foundation?
Yes! It really is possible to sell a property with foundation damage without undertaking repairs—it simply requires a new strategy and a willingness to make some concessions. Of course, you could always take on the time and cost of repairs yourself and sell the property afterward; it all depends on what works best for your situation. So, before you make any choices you must first ensure that you are properly informed.
It all begins with a full inspection of your property and an estimate for the repairs required to bring the property up to scratch. JES Foundation Repair offers free inspections across the Washington, D.C., metro area. Once you know the extent of the damage, the likely costs, and time scales associated with repairing this damage, you will be able to make an informed decision. When making this decision you should also keep in mind the pros and cons of selling a property that is badly damaged.
The upsides of selling a damaged property without undertaking repairs are:
To put it simply, selling the property without making repairs will save you money on repairs, speed the process of selling, and generally speaking, be the more convenient path by leaving the hard work to the next owner.
The drawbacks of selling a damaged property are:
- Lowered value
- Fewer buyers
The money you save on repairing a property may well come away from the asking price if you decide to sell without making repairs. There is also the matter of the pool of potential buyers; this is much smaller when it comes to a home in need of serious renovation. You will need to prepare for negotiation.
Signs of Foundation Damage
Recognizing foundation damage is not always as easy as it sounds, but there are some red flags that you should keep in mind when assessing your home before sale. The most prominent signs of foundation damage are:
- Spreading cracks
- Foundation heave or settlement
- Sagging floors
- Bowing walls
- Musty odors
If you notice signs like these, it is important that you contact a professional to assess your property immediately. In some cases, it may be that the damage is in your walls rather than your foundation. Dampness and mold, for example, are not mutually inclusive with foundation damage. If you see some of the more structural signs, however, it is more likely that you have serious damage somewhere in your property’s foundation. If this is the case, you must act quickly; foundation problems do not resolve themselves.
How to Sell a Property with a Faulty Foundation
It’s important that you are honest with your real estate agent and any potential buyers; make the information gained from your inspection easily available to potential buyers and be open-minded about negotiations. Of course, you should still have a benchmark to aim for; making concessions should not undermine what you need from the sale.
Thankfully, there is a growing trend for house flipping that could work in your favor. Buying, renovating, and selling on properties in need of TLC is a growing industry, so if you’re willing to offer wriggle room you could even land a cash buyer (rare in general, but more common in situations like these). Whether you’re dealing with a professional property developer or a first-time buyer, you must make a point of being honest, communicative, and flexible.
Walk buyers through the signs of damage that you have seen—for example, cracked or bowing walls and mold formation—the details of your report, and the estimated costs of repair. Ideally, of course, you will want the buyer to take the costs of repairs and they will want you to take them. If you negotiate cleverly, you could essentially split the cost by dropping your asking price a little. This will yield a result that is largely agreeable to everyone!