When it comes to a homeowner’s worst nightmare, the words “foundation problems” rank right up there, especially if you’re considering selling your home. From sagging eaves to cracking walls to water in the basement, foundation issues are expensive to repair and may send potential homebuyers running for the hills.
But foundation issues are more common than you may think. Houses built in hot, dry climates and areas with expansive clay soils are especially susceptible to foundation damage. Read on to learn how to sell a house with foundation problems.
How Do I Know If I Have Foundation Issues?
Foundation damage often occurs when the soil settles, constricts or expands, depending on temperature shifts, water levels and weather changes. But how do you know if your house has foundation problems?
Start with a visual check of your home’s exterior. Stand at a corner and look down the walls. Are they straight, both up and down and from side to side? Run a level along the walls to detect any bulges or leans. You should also look for:
- Cracks or gaps in the walls, concrete, bricks or masonry.
- Chipping slabs.
- Walls pulling away from the home.
- Warped siding.
Hairline cracks — those less than 1/4-inch — aren’t usually a major cause for concern. However, don’t discredit them completely. Keep an eye on them for any changes and consider filling them to avoid water damage. Look for large, horizontal or l-shaped cracks, as these may signal a problem.
Now inspect the home’s interior. Here, you’re looking for tell-tale signs of structural damage such as:
- Misaligned windows and doors.
- Windows that won’t shut or have cracks in the glass.
- Sloping floors.
- Cracks in drywall.
- Gaps between the wall and the ceiling.
- Cracks in vinyl or ceramic tile.
- Uneven wood floor planking.
- Water in the basement or crawl space.
Should I Fix My Foundation Before Selling?
If you find one or more issues, it may be time to have a professional inspect the foundation. If the inspection finds that your foundation is compromised, you can choose to fix it before selling, though it isn’t always necessary.
The foundation inspection to determine the extent of the damage may cost from $300 to $600.
The average cost of foundation repair isn’t cheap, either. For most homeowners, the price of repairing foundation issues is between $2,143 and $7,493. For significant repairs — which may involve hydraulic piers — the cost can top $10,000 or more. Fixing a minor crack may only cost about $500.
Some homeowners might decide that fixing the foundation isn’t worth the effort or the resources of the inspection and repair costs.
You can still sell your home without fixing the foundation, though you likely won’t be able to set a high asking price. However, the money you save on repairs may make up for the difference, especially if you have significant damage.
Can I Still Sell My Home Despite Foundation Issues?
You’ve been diagnosed with foundation damage. If you’re trying to sell your home, you’re likely worried that the damaged foundation will impact your ability to make any money from the sale.
Keep in mind that some lenders won’t always approve a mortgage loan if the house has a damaged foundation, which can dissuade buyers on the market from making an offer.
The big dilemma when selling a house with foundation problems is whether to fix it or sell it as-is. Let’s review each option carefully to determine what decision is right for you.
Option 1: Fix the Foundation Issues
First, consider the level of damage. If your home has L-shaped cracks where the foundation “steps down” to follow a curved slope, your foundation may experience shrinkage. Cracks where the masonry joins or horizontal cracks larger than 1/4-inch may also indicate severe damage.
A structural engineer can provide an educated assessment of the necessary repairs and give you an estimate of how much it’ll cost. In some cases, going ahead with the repairs may help ease potential buyers’ fears, as you’ve already done the hard work and completed the repairs.
But for many homeowners, the average cost of foundation repair — not to mention the time and stress involved — is simply too high. If the damage is extensive, the repairs can cause thousands of dollars that you might not have.
Repairing the foundation can also be a lengthy process. Whether they’re relocating for a job, retiring or looking for something bigger to accommodate new family members, many homeowners want to sell their homes as soon as possible.
In these cases, it makes sense to sell the home as-is.
Option 2: Sell As-Is
If you simply can’t or won’t pay thousands of dollars to repair the foundation damage, your home’s value will decrease, and you’ll have to lower your asking price so the buyer can make repairs.
You’ll save a lot of time and money by letting the buyer take care of the issue. Keep in mind that there’s no point in trying to hide foundation damage. You will have to disclose this information to your agent and the buyer.
The inspector will find it during the home inspection and most buyers won’t appreciate the deception if you didn’t disclose the problem right away. Additionally, once an inspection reveals that you have foundation problems, there’s a chance your buyer’s lender could cancel the loan, and the sale can fall through.
Rather than trying to sell on the market, you can work with a professional home buyer. These companies will buy your home as-is, regardless of foundational problems.
Once they assess your property, they’ll make a cash offer and allow you to close the deal on your schedule. You can even close in as little as seven days if you want to leave your current house as soon as possible.
A professional home buyer is responsible for all repairs and renovations and will factor those costs into their offer. You won’t have to worry about paying for repairs to your foundation if you choose to work with a professional home buyer, and they won’t suddenly drop out of the deal before closing.
Experienced home buyers are willing to work with your home as-is, regardless of its condition.
Choose HomeGo as Your Professional Home Buyer
Regardless of the state of your home, HomeGo is here to make an offer, freeing you from the responsibility of repairs and upgrades. Even if you have foundation damage, we’ll buy your home as-is and make the necessary repairs once you’ve closed the deal.
If you’d rather save money on repairs and move to a new home, HomeGo can take the burden off your shoulders.
We’ll conduct a short walk-through of the property to assess the condition of your home. Once we’ve made our assessment, we can make a same-day offer. You can rest assured that our offer will never change throughout the process.
You also won’t have to worry about commissions or hidden fees. We can close the deal on your timeline — in as little as seven days — to help you move quickly. Schedule a walk-through with us today if you’re ready to get started.