Personal Finances and Real Estate: 5 Good Reasons to Fix Your Foundation Before Selling Your House!
When faced with foundation problems, homeowners have mixed reactions. Some will panic and call a professional right away, others will simply ignore it or try to hide it with a quick and often ineffective fix.
Then, comes the time to sell the house and, if you are one of the ones who chose to ignore the problem or patch it up, you are faced with a hard choice. Sell the house “as-is” or fix it first?
Well, as someone who works for foundation repair companies, I had the opportunity to see many a real estate deal broken because of foundation problems. So I am offering you a piece of advice: fix first, then sell. Here are six very good reasons to consider it:
1 – Make no mistake: Foundation problems always get worse.
Foundation problems never go away, never get better on their own, and never remain the same: they always get worse. And the worse they get, the more expensive the fix will be.
2 – Visible foundation cracks scare away buyers.
Who wants to buy someone else’s problems? A visible crack, even if it is patched up, is most likely going to raise suspicion among buyers. The same goes for windows and doors that don’t close properly, sagging or bouncy floors, or tilted chimneys.
3 – Critters like cracks.
Keep in mind that insects and rodents can get into your home through foundation cracks, adding yet another layer of problems to the existing foundation issues.
4 – You’re going to lose more money not fixing it, than you would pay to fix it.
When it comes from foundation problems, you can’t run nor hide. At some point during the sale process the house will be examined by a home inspector and he will most likely point out the foundation problem. What happens next is never to the seller’s advantage. The buyer will either walk away from the deal or will expect a significant discount on the asking price: 10% or more off the property market value, in most cases.
Modern, state-of-the-art foundation repair technologies might be able to solve the problem quickly, effectively and for much less than you would lose by selling the house as a “fixer-upper”.
5 – You can be held liable for the problems after the property is sold.
By law, sellers in Florida are required to disclose anything that can affect the property’s value, integrity, safety and appeal, by signing a Real Estate Disclosure form prior to the closing. Ignoring the foundation problem for failure to assess the nature of the damage will not save you from liability. In other words, “we knew we had a crack on the wall, but we didn’t know how serious it was,” is no defense.
80% of all Real Estate lawsuits are for failure to disclose, and foundation problems, along with mold issues, are among the most common topics in these lawsuits.
So before your foundation problem comes back to haunt you, call a reputable foundation repair contractor, and have it inspected. Many good companies will provide the inspection and estimate for free!