How to Successfully Sell a Home With Foundation Issues

Selling a House with Foundation Issues? Here is How to Do it!

Selling a House with Foundation Issues

When it comes to selling a house that comes with foundation issues, is not an insurmountable task, but it can lead to delays, discounts, and major damage control. As you prepare your home for sale, add a foundation or structural home inspection to your checklist. It is always important to determine if your house has foundation issues because if it does, your pool of buyers might be limited since some mortgage loan companies might not close on a house with foundation problems.

If you use government-backed FHA, VA, and USDA loans, they might carry stringent requirements regarding the structural integrity of the home, so foundation problems could delay or even end a deal. If you are a homeowner who isn't sure if your house has foundation problems, or even how to determine if it does, this article will guide you through how to find out.

Continue to read to find out what to do if your home's foundation is on shaky ground.

How to Tell if Your Home Has Foundation Issues

Start with a walk around the outside of your house to look for some obvious signs of structural or foundation issues that might warrant further investigation.

Exterior signs of foundation problems might include the following:

  • Foundation settling or sinking
  • Foundation upheaval
  • Gaps between the garage door and the pavement
  • Gaps between the house and trim
  • Exterior walls that appear to be bowing or bulging
  • A foundation that is pulling up, causing a wall to rotate
  • Large horizontal cracks
  • Stair-step cracks in mortar

Interior signs of foundation problems might include the following:

  • Doors and windows stick or fail to properly open and close
  • Cracks or gaps in the walls, floor, or foundation itself
  • Diagonal wall cracks extending from the corners of doors and windows
  • Sagging, sloping, or uneven floors
  • Walls pulling away from the floor-to-ceiling
  • Sagging wood floor planks
  • Leaks and cracks in and around the fireplace
  • Damp crawl spaces or standing water around the foundation

Selling a House with Foundation Issues

What to Do and Steps to Take if You Suspect Foundation Issues

If you happen to find signs of foundation issues, here is what you can do:

  1. Obtain a Professional Opinion from a Structural Engineer 

A professional inspection will distinguish genuine foundation concerns from false signs, like nail pops, seam breaks, or hairline cracks in concrete. These types of issues are more typically due to wear and tear, a home's age, or poor craftsmanship and do not always indicate foundation issues. While cracks are the most obvious sign of foundation issues, they can be difficult to interpret.

2. Decide Whether to Fix or Sell a House with Foundation Issues

As the seller, you will decide whether to fix foundation issues or sell as is. Keep in mind that the foundation problem you see is usually the result of another issue, like soil shifting or moisture, and you might need to address issues to make any foundation fixes successful.

3. Hire a Professional to Repair Issues You Decide to Fix 

Once a professional has made an inspection, if you need to repair any foundation issues, call a qualified foundation repair contractor. Foundation fixes are not a do-it-yourself project. Get quotes from at least three licensed contractors before deciding on which best fits the job. Don't make your final decision based on. advertising and cheap prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

Common Causes of Foundation Issues

John Kinnunen of Kinnunen Group EXP Realty had this to say regarding foundation issues.

"Most foundation issues are caused by soil and water, although some may result from poor construction.

To fix a foundation problem for good, the cause first has to be addressed. The most common causes are the following:

  • Dry or shrinking soil
  • Soggy or swelling soil
  • Inadequate drainage that causes erosion
  • Poor construction"

Are There Buyers Who Will Consider a Home with Foundation Issues?

There are plenty of buyers who will consider purchasing a home with foundation issues, though you will likely end up selling at a lower price to account for the problems. Home flippers always look for a bargain, as they intend to renovate the home anyway, they may not be concerned about your foundation issues, as long as the price is right. Foundation issues can be used as a bargaining chip to get the prices lowered, which can be a means to afford to purchase your home.

Erika Rogers of Red Rock Real Estate had this to say about helpful agents navigating foundation issues.

"An agent with experience selling homes with foundation problems can guide you accordingly. Not every agent is going to know everything about a house but offering resources to find out is valuable. An experienced agent will have sold enough houses to understand the type of foundations in a particular area and can offer great tips on the construction. I know my area and know what to look for even though I am not an inspector. This experience can help all my buyers better understand what they area buying."

Disclosure Requirements of Selling a Home with Foundation Issues

In most states, if you are selling a house with foundation issues and you are aware of them, you are legally bound to disclose them. If foundation issues are not fixed, they are 100% a disclosure issue. If you are not aware of these issues when selling, when a buyer orders a home inspection, the inspector will look for indications of foundation issues. The buyer will get a report from a structural engineer if the home inspection turns up anything, and at that point, the buyer can buy it or walk away from the deal.

The Bottom Line–Inspect, Disclose, Share, Negotiate

Foundation issues are intimidating and can be costly, but they are not necessarily deal breakers. Keep in mind that if you live in an established neighborhood with dated homes, you are probably not the only one dealing with foundation issues. Some things that a top real estate agent might suggest are the following:

  • Get Foundation Inspected
  • Disclose known foundation issues
  • Share the inspection report
  • If you have repair estimates, share them
  • Negotiate accordingly

If you are selling a house with foundation issues, a top agent can give you firm footing each step of the way. Professionals at Homeowner Experience Real Estate can help you find the most effective, experienced agents in Blossom Valley today!

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