Selling a house is a complex and often exhausting process for homeowners. Now, if you find foundation problems in your home when preparing to sell it, that can compound the difficulties and perhaps make the selling process even longer.
Before you start wondering if you can even sell a home with foundation problems, let us reassure you that you absolutely can. However, the process might look a bit different from selling a home that is in good condition.
If you need to sell a house with foundation problems, the information below will set you up for success. It will prepare you for the selling process, from tips on identifying foundation problems to how to sell a house with such issues.
Even with foundation problems, several options are open to you when it comes time to sell your home in Idaho. The process does not have to be scary or cause you anxiety when you have the knowledge to help you through every step of the way.
What Constitutes a Foundation Problem in Idaho
Foundation problems happen when the cement slab or other type of material that the house is sitting on becomes compromised somehow. This process generally occurs over time, and you can determine if your foundation has damage by looking for the following signs:
- Cracks on the Outside Walls: Large cracks zig-zagging through the foundation or exterior walls are the most obvious sign of a foundation problem. Depending on the exterior of your house, you may find these cracks running vertically through the stucco or similar outer coating. Exterior siding can also become cracked and warped.
- Cracks on the Inside Walls: Large foundation cracks running from floor to ceiling on your drywall are another sign of foundation difficulties.
- Structural Damage: Significant foundation issues can lead to structural damage like walls coming free from the foundation or nails jutting out from the walls.
- Uneven Floors: Your floors may become uneven or begin to sag. If you have a home with tile floors, noticeable cracks may start to appear on them. Wooden or vinyl floors could begin to have a bounce in a few places.
- Sticking Doors or Windows: Doors and windows may begin to stick inside their frames, making them difficult to easily open and close. Doors may become challenging to lock or latch if the foundation problems cause the doorknob plate and the door frame plate to become misaligned. Door frames may begin to distend from the walls if you have a severe foundation issue.
- Shifting Chimney: Foundation problems can cause your chimney to shift away from the walls causing cracks and loose brick.
- Increased Dampness: Moisture can become a problem in basements or crawl spaces. This dampness may not be apparent because it is usually happening in sparsely used areas. When checking for foundation problems, go over these areas thoroughly.
Apart from these telling signs of foundation problems, you should also look for termite damage. While these tiny insects cannot eat through concrete structures, they can come through small cracks and eat through the wooden support beams.
While generally a pest problem, termite damage can also be considered a type of foundation issue. Still, you can sell a house with termite damage, even if it is in the foundation.
Idaho Laws on Selling Houses with Foundation Problems
Idaho laws require all home sellers to disclose any defects they are aware of within ten days of the potential buyers putting in an offer on the home. Idaho is different from most states in that there is a specific form you must use for your disclosure. It asks questions about several areas of the home, including the foundation.
The disclosure form states that the seller only needs to put down disclosures they know about. You are not required to have an engineer report on your foundation if you have not already had an inspection.
The home buyer has the legal obligation to get a home inspection before they buy the house or seek out a lender. If you know of foundation problems, disclose them on the form and set your listing price accordingly.
If the buyer discovers issues that you knew about that were not on the disclosure form they
have the legal right to sue you for the price of the repairs.
Should You Fix the Foundation Issue?
If you fix the home’s foundation before listing the house, you will command a higher asking price. The higher selling price should cover the cost of the foundation repair. You will also be able to show that the work was recent and most likely guaranteed, so the buyer has one less thing to worry about.
However, fixing the problem may be difficult depending on the average cost of the repairs. You will have to pay for any major repairs before you get the money from selling the house. If you do not have the money or can’t get funding to do the work, it would be better to disclose the issue and lower your asking price or closing cost to cover the buyer’s cost.
You should get an estimated repair cost and decide based on what is best for you as the seller.
Tips for Selling Houses With Foundation Problems ID
There are a few different ways to approach selling your house with foundation problems. Before you begin selling the home, call in a home inspector or a structural engineer to perform a foundation inspection. Then call a foundation repair company and find out the exact price of the repairs.
Fix the Foundation Issue
Based on the information you have, determine if you can have someone fix the foundation damage. It may be better to have the issues taken care of in the long run before you even list the house. It will be an upfront out-of-pocket cost, but you will make more money on the house.
You will be able to put “brand new foundation” in your listing. A solid foundation will attract buyers willing to pay top dollar for a house they know will be stable for many years to come.
Plus, you will be able to fill out your disclosure form without worrying that you may be sued for the repair cost later.
Document the Foundation Fix
Make sure that you receive and file all documentation involved with the foundation repairs. This paperwork is proof that the foundation is in good condition. You can use the price of the repair cost as leverage to ask for a higher selling price. You are also able to pass any warranties of the work on to your buyer. The warranty could make a difference when they are thinking about which house to buy.
This paperwork also protects you from liability if the foundation problems return after you sell the house. You can prove that you took care of your repair costs and filled out your disclosure form in good faith.
List the House As-Is with the Foundation Issue
The cost to repair the foundation may not be something you can do before you sell your house. In this case, you should list the home “as-is” and disclose the extent of the damage on your discourse form.
Most buyers looking for a family home will probably look for a different house. As-is sales put off a typical homebuyer because they know they will have to make expensive repairs before moving in.
You will, however, attract companies that buy houses in Idaho. Many of these businesses thrive on buying homes with defects. They will have the capital to make all the repairs needed.
Believe it or not, establishments that specialize in buying houses can offer you an excellent price for your home and still turn a prophet after they make the necessary repairs.
Consider a Cash Buyer
If you list the house as-is, your best option is to take a cash offer from either a house flipper or a company. Cash offers are great in this situation because you get your money without an appeal that may hinder a buyer needing a loan.
Luckily for you, we buy homes in Idaho. If you need to get rid of your house quickly, check out our cash home buyers in Kuna or the closest city to you. We come in to look at the house, and we can give you cash immediately. It is a quick and easy process, free of all the typical hassles you would normally face when selling a house – especially one with foundation problems.
Now you have a lot of information that should help you make the best decision on how to sell your house with foundation problems.
If you are able, you can fix the foundation before listing and get a better asking price. Or, you disclose the foundation issues, list the house as-is, seek out a cash offer, then finally move on.
You can also list the house for sale with a real estate agent as long as you disclose the foundation issues. You may make less money on the house, but it will no longer be your problem.
One of these options will be suitable for you and your situation. Selling an ugly house – especially one with foundation issues – does not have to be difficult!