Can You Sell A House With Foundation Problems?
The words “foundation problems” are enough to send any homeowner into a panic. The very idea conjures visions of a crumbling porch, tilted houses, and irreparable damage. You can’t have a solid house with a solid foundation, right? Foundation problems might start small but they can quickly compound into issues across the entire house. Cracked walls, uneven structures, and dubious floors are just the start. Now imagine you’re trying to sell a house when you find out there are foundation issues. That might seem like a lost cause but you definitely have options. Here is how to sell a house with foundation problems.
Check For Signs Of Foundation Problems
Even if you don’t think you have foundation problems, it’s important to check before deciding to sell a house. The easiest way to find out if you’ve got foundation issues is to look for specific signs around the house. Some of these signs will be visible in places other than the foundation because the effects of a bad foundation will spread across the rest of the residence. You don’t need to be a home inspector to see these signs.
If you have a brick home, look for stair-step cracks that show up on the side walls. If it looks like there’s a fault line running up and down the house, that’s a red flag that the structure has shifted in some way.
Inside the house, you’ll want to look for vertical cracks of any kind. Sometimes these can be harmless but the more of them that exist in the house, the more likely it is that there’s a serious problem. You might not be able to diagnose the cause yourself but you can point them out to an expert.
Check the drywall for cracks. You’ll want to look above windows and door frames and keep an eye out for cracks that run at an angle. It could mean that the foundation shifting is tearing the drywall apart.
Look at floor tiles anywhere around the house. If you notice multiple cracked tiles, especially those in a row, you could be looking at a place where the floor is sloping. Use a level and straightedge to check if the floor is no longer flat. If it confirms that one side of the crack is lower than the other, you could be looking at a sinking foundation.
Finally, don’t forget to check doors and windows. Have you noticed that they’re suddenly harder to open or close? Or are you noticing that more daylight is coming in through cracks above or below the doors? That could be a telltale sign that foundation is affecting the walls around the doors and windows.
Find a Foundation Expert
You’ve identified that there is likely something wrong with the foundation. Now what? You can certainly try to fix the problem yourself. However, if you’re not a trained expert, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to identify every single issue caused by the foundation problems, let alone fix them all as well as the original source of the problem. Shoddy work will not only not solve anything but could make the issues worse by affecting the soil around the home or other factors that will exacerbate the cracking and sag.
At the very least, consult with an expert by having them assess the home and foundation. They’ll be able to give you a good sense of just how intense the issue is and what the full costs involved will run. From there you’ll be able to figure out if its worth it to have everything fixed or if you’d rather just move forward with selling the house as-is. Not to mention, if you’re dealing with insurance companies and mortgage lenders, they might require official reports and documents that explain the problems and whether or not they’ve been fixed.
Be Honest About Your Foundation Issues
If you decide to list the house on the open market with foundation problems, the most important thing is to be completely honest about the situation. You don’t want to lie to prospective buyers who purchase the house at a high price and come to feel as though they’ve been scammed. You’ll likely have a legal issue on your hands.
Instead, authorize your agent to be upfront with the issues and inspection reports. Have them available to all potential buyers so they can make informed decisions. They’re likely to make lower offers than you’d prefer but that’s going to be part of the concession with a house in need of repairs. The benefit to you is that the buyer is taking responsibility for the foundation problems once they buy the house, so it’s a trade-off for you.
You also want to look into the possibility of government-backed loans that can help the buyer with fixing the foundation and its issues. By offering up that information, that helps the buyer feel as though you’re trying to run a fair and honest transaction even if you’re unable to make the fixes yourself.
Also, consider how you can up-sell the foundation fixes. Perhaps the buyer would be interested to know that, as part of the foundation work, they’ll be able to completely re-imagine the basement and turn it into whatever they want.
Sell Your House To An Investor
The truth is that even if you do everything said above, it’s very possible you won’t be able to find a buyer on the open market. Foundation problems scare off the common house buyer and it often sounds like more hassle than it’s worth even if you’ve got all the documentation and possibilities laid out. Your best bet might be to sell the home to an investor like Burlington House Buyers who will buy the property as-is, foundation problems and all.
It’s pretty common for homes with foundation problems to be sold to investors. Buyers get to avoid all of the costs and headaches that come with this kind of issue while also getting your time and life back. An investor gives you a fair cash offer and takes the house off your hands quickly so you can move on and start fresh. You no longer have to worry about all the steps you’d need to take in order to sell this house.
If you’re interested in receiving a cash offer on your house, whether there’s a foundation problem on it or not, click here to get started.