Selling a House with Foundation Issues
You start to notice that your doors and windows aren’t properly closing. Hairline cracks have appeared on your walls all of a sudden. You drop something and it rolls away from you, towards the wall, indicating your floor is sloping when it wasn’t before. You do a quick web search about these symptoms, and you realize that all signs point to a foundation problem.
Realizing your house has foundation problems is a dreadful discovery to make.
Should you consider fixing it and continue living in your house? Is it still safe for you and your family to be staying in your house?
According to the National Foundation Repair Association (NFRA), foundation damage costs $12.5 billion in repairs annually. Underpinning, one of the more well-known foundation repair methods, costs an average of $18,000! Most homeowners might consider just selling your house and starting anew elsewhere.
Can You Sell a House with Structural Damage?
While a house with a foundation problem can sound daunting, don’t panic.
The answer is YES. A foundation issue is not a contract killer. It’s not impossible to find interested buyers.
But trying to sell a house with foundation problems brings with it 3 D’s: Diminished property value, Delays, and Damage control.
Diminished Property Value
A house with foundation problems can have its value reduced by as much as 15%. In order to mitigate its impact, it might be worth hiring a professional home inspector or structural engineer to have your house looked at and you may find that it may be pretty inexpensive to repair.
You need to have your foundation inspected in order to determine the extent of the damage and to decide whether you would fix foundation issues or sell your home as is. Having to do this would take quite a while before you can offload your troublesome property.
Depending on what it says on the inspection report, you may need to do some urgent repairs in order to avoid further foundation damage. Additionally, timely foundation repairs can prevent your home’s value from plummeting.
Causes of Foundation Problems
The nightmare of foundation problems are typically caused by two things:
Change in Soil Properties
Acts of mother nature, such as earthquakes and flooding can alter soil properties so that they are unable to support your home’s structure.
In earthquakes, there is a phenomenon called liquefaction, wherein the water in the soil bubbles up to the surface and causes the soil particles underneath your foundation to sink, bringing your home down with it.
Severe flooding, on the other hand, could saturate the soil, increasing the hydraulic pressure and causing foundation upheaval, which manifests in severe bowing of basement walls and floor slabs.
Hot weather can affect the soil as well, causing it to shrink and leaving your foundation unsupported. During rainy weather, the opposite can happen and it can expand, stressing your foundation and causing cracks.
Other causes of foundation problems are large trees with expansive roots that can grow under your home and damage your slabs; adjacent construction especially if their excavation is unsupported, resulting in soil subsidence; and a plumbing problem that is left unrepaired.
Inadequate Understanding of Soil Properties
The most famous case of inadequate understanding of soil properties at the time of design is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was built on soft soil, causing it to tilt inexorably to one side nearing collapse. It still happens in modern times, but rarely, as advances in geotechnical engineering has given structural engineers the information that they need.
How to Know if Your House has Foundation Issues
Small cracks are usually the first sign of underlying structural problems–not necessarily on the foundation–but it is worth looking into before it gets out of control.
Water in basements and crawl spaces, walls that bow outward, stair step cracks, and separation of floor slabs from the walls can be an evidence of house settling and foundation movement. Arrange a home inspection immediately to get a picture of how deep your foundation problems are and find out what you can do about it.
Types of Foundation Repairs
As mentioned above, a thorough foundation examination is needed to determine what type of repairs are needed. Depending on what you need to do, foundation repair can cost between $250 to upwards of $100,000.
Let’s take a look at some foundation repairs:
Piers are tubes made of concrete or steel that are driven using a hydraulic ram to reach the stable soil layer deep underneath your property. It is an underpinning method which is used to stabilize homes that have began to settle or are leaning at an angle.
A steel or concrete tube like the ones above, but instead of being driven underground, they are “drilled” towards the hard soil layer, similar to a large screw.
One of the most common concrete foundation repairs, it is done when soil subsidence is observed, dragging your floor down with it. This involves strategically drilled holes and injecting grout or high-density polyurethane foam to lift the slab. This is more cost-effective than replacing the slab.
For hairline cracks in concrete and masonry, structural epoxy can be injected to keep the cracks from growing and aggravating the damage. This is effective when the structural issue is discovered early on.
This involves filling the voids in the soil with grout or mortar in order to increase its stiffness and stabilize it, improving performance.
Selling a House with Foundation Problems
Once you have decided to sell, here are the options available to you:
Option 1: Undertaking Foundation Repair Prior to Selling
Before selling a house with foundation issues, it could be worth to have it repaired. It could significantly widen your pool of potential buyers and allow you to command a higher selling price for your home.
If financing is a challenge, there are companies who give flexible payment plans and repair credit to help you with the cost.
Furthermore, foundation repair by a reputable company typically comes with a warranty for you and the potential buyer’s peace of mind.
While you’re at it, fix all cosmetic issues such as adding a bit of landscaping or do some repainting; so, whether you list with real estate agents, or go the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) route, your house would be presentable and have increased curb appeal.
Doing the repairs would also help your potential buyer, as many banks or lenders won’t approve of the mortgage on a property with foundation issues, narrowing your buyer pool to cash buyers.
Option 2: As-Is Sale of your Property with Foundation Issues
Fortunately for you, not all buyers look for a house where they can instantly move in. Where most buyers see structural issues as headaches, a certain type of buyer sees an opportunity…
House flippers seek out the most distressed properties they can find and then, with their team of professionals, renovate and rehabilitate the house before selling it for a tidy profit.
Selling your home as-is can save you more money in the long run as spending money on repairs that could cost thousands has no guarantee of getting a return of investment by way of the future sale.
4 Factors to Help you Decide Whether to Fix Foundation Issues
A professional foundation inspection is the most helpful thing to have in making an informed decision whether you’d go down the path of selling as-is or doing the foundation repairs first. A professional inspection will be able to tell you the following:
1. Extent of the Damage
If you find the foundation issues too enormous, such as wide foundation cracks resulting in severely bowed walls, you can sell your home as-is, so the buyer can demolish it and build on the lot.
If the foundation inspection finds that those are only minor cracks reparable for an affordable fee, you can consider doing the repair first before finding buyers.
2. Projected Repair Cost
You can request your home inspector to tell you the total scope and how much it would cost to address your home’s foundation problems.
3. Time vs Money
Ultimately it would come down to the price you’d be willing to accept. Would you undertake the major repairs yourself, if it means you can sell the house at a higher price point?
Or would you be content with getting a lower price but avoiding the hassle of repair and rehabilitation altogether?
4. Real Estate Market
Your decision can also depend on whether it is a buyer’s or seller’s market. You can ask a local real estate agent to get a feel of the market. In a seller’s market, where inventory is low, you may find that selling a house with foundation problems is easier than you think.
If you want to bypass paying real estate agent commission, you can reach out directly to companies that buy houses for cash and get cash offers from multiple real estate investors.
5 Tips on Selling a House with Foundation Issues
1. Be Transparent with Interested Buyers
When doing business with anyone, integrity is important. Therefore, it’s beneficial to be upfront to potential buyers about your home’s condition including foundation issues.
Even if you undertook the foundation repair prior to listing on the open market, and all interior signs and exterior signs of the issues had been eliminated, you must hand over the documentation of the repairs to the buyer. Disclosure of any flaws, weak spots, and hidden dangers, past or present, is mandatory in most states.
While past foundation issues can be a deal breaker for some, you’ll be certain to find a buyer sooner or later.
2. Obtain a Written Buyer’s Acknowledgement of Foundation Issues
For your protection, it is advisable to get a buyer’s acknowledgement, in written form, that you have disclosed any and all issues concerning your house.
3. Get Multiple Foundation Repair Quotations
When looking for a contractor who can do the necessary repair work, it is not advisable to get a single quote from a foundation repair company. Shop around to get the best price and the best contractor for the job.
4. Give Buyers the Repair Quotes You’ve Collected
If you decide to sell your house as-is even after obtaining repair quotes, you can pass them on to the cash buyer so they can decide if they’re going to repair foundation issues themselves or pass on the sale.
5. Specify that You’re Looking for Cash-Only Buyers
If the foundation damage is too extensive, potential buyers may have difficulty getting their loans approved. A cash investor is your best bet in getting your distressed property sold.
Final Thoughts: Selling a House with Foundation Issues
If you’d like to sell your house as-is, we at Sell My House Fast are ready to make you a cash offer. Free yourself from the stresses and hassles of trying to repair foundation problems.
With us, you don’t have to pay a dime to fix the foundation issues or wait months upon months for the foundation repairs to be completed. We purchase homes in absolutely any condition–sagging eaves, crumbling foundation, you name it.
We can close on your timeline–in as little as 7 days! Yes, you can get your cash IN A WEEK! We even cover all closing costs!
If you want all the benefits of a fast cash sale, fill out our form below!
Have any questions? Reach us at (844) 207-0788, and we’d be happy to help you!
Sell My House Fast For Cash!
More Related Articles:
- Selling a House with Code Violations
- Selling Inherited Property
- Selling a House During Divorce
- Can You Sell a House in Foreclosure?
- Can You Sell a House with Mold?
- How to Sell a Hoarder House
- Selling a House that Needs Repairs
- Selling a House with Termite Damage
- Selling a House in Poor Condition
- How to Sell a Rental Property
- Should I Sell My House and Rent?
- How to Sell a Fixer Upper House Fast
- How to Sell Your House in 7 Days
- Can I Sell My House While in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
- Title Problems at Closing
- Expired Listing: Can I Sell My House?
- Can You Sell Your House After Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
- Can You Sell a House With a Mortgage?
- How To Get Rid of Bad Tenants
- Selling My House and Moving to Another State
- Who Has to Leave the House In a Divorce?
- Can I Sell My House and Still Live In It?
- Lender Required Repairs
- Short Sale vs Foreclosure
- How Long Does It Take to Relocate For A Job?
- Selling a House With an Old Roof
- How Much do you Lose Selling a House As-Is?
- Sell A House Before 2 years
- Selling a Fire Damaged House
- Selling a House in Probate
- Selling a House with Water Damage
- Selling a House with Foundation Issues
- How to Sell a House by Owner
- Can You Sell a Condemned House?
- Can You Sell a House with Asbestos?
- Can I Sell My House with a Failed Septic System?
- Selling Parents House Before Death
- Selling a House with a Lien
- Selling House for Job Relocation
- How to Sell Rental Property with Tenants
- Can I Sell My House if I’m Behind on Payments?
- Selling Distressed Property
- Selling a House with Storm Damage
- Benefits of Selling a House for Cash
- St. Joseph Prayer to Sell House
- How to Get Rid of Squatters
- Inheriting a House With Siblings
- How Much Equity Should I Have Before Selling My Home?
- Can an Executor Change a Will?
- Lost My Job Can’t Pay Mortgage
- Can I Sell My House Below Market Value?
- Can You Sell Your Home If You Have a HELOC?
- Selling a House to an Investor
- How to Sell You House in 5 days
- Can you Sell a House Before Probate?
Author: Andy Kolodgie
Andy Kolodgie is an experienced real estate investor with a network that expands nationwide. As owner of Sell My House Fast, Andy’s goal is to provide home sellers with more options to their real estate problems than a traditional home sale. He’s been featured on multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, MSN, HomeLight, Credit.com, Apartment Therapy, Business.com, LegalZoom, Zolo, and Creditcards.com.