Foundation trouble poses a major concern for buyers and sellers alike. Selling a house with foundation issues makes it harder to find buyers. Many prospects could disappear after they find out about the structural problems.

As a buyer, you should take great care when planning to purchase a home that needs foundation repairs. There could be serious financial responsibilities involved in this decision.

Now we are going over all the major questions concerning transactions that involve homes in need of foundations repair. The following are some tips from McCaw Property Managementfor both home sellers and buyers.

How can you spot foundation problems?

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For starters, it’s important to understand how to notice potential foundation trouble. As with any other repair needs, delaying the inevitable will only result in major expenses down the road.

Sometimes you may find it hard to differentiate between regular aging processes and actual foundation damage. For instance, sticky windows and doors could indicate foundation issues. But windows that stick easily could just suggest an aging home.

Here are the top signs of structural issues that buyers and sellers should be aware of:

Cracks– they often indicate a problem with the property’s foundation. While tiny cracks may result from normal settling, it’s always a good idea to investigate the underlying reasons. This principle holds true for any cracks on the walls and floors.

Facade gaps and sagging ceilings or floors– these may imply that there is trouble with the home’s foundation. When a foundation moves, it will start pushing and pulling on the support beams. 

The weight gets an uneven distribution with the floors and ceilings turning visibly saggy. Similarly, a moving foundation could pull the facade away from the windows and walls.

Bowed interior or exterior walls– this could be the consequence of a shifting foundation. Keep in mind that simple paint blisters could be mistaken for bowing. However, even water damage could be linked to foundation failure.

What do buyers need to know about foundation repair?

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Getting a proper home inspectiondone is an essential step to uncover foundation issues. Whenever you discover foundation problems on the inspector’s report, you have three main options on how to move forward:

  • Move on and find another home
  • Ask the seller to fix the issues
  • Ask for a discount and repair the foundation by yourself

Before you make the final decision, take care to understand the type and extent of these structural issues. Not all foundation problems hold the same weight. Some types of damage call for quick fixes, whereas in other instances you could incur expenses of up to thousands of dollars.

When you ask the seller to repair the foundation, ensure that they hire a professional contractor. Otherwise, you could face further costs in the future as the conducted repairs were of substandard quality.

Getting a discount on the closing price is more than likely. That’s because sellers find it hard to close the deal on a home that needs foundation repair. Just see it through that the applied discount is enough to cover the repair costs.

What sellers need to know about foundation repair?

As a seller, you should mentally prepare for the effort that is needed to sell a home with foundation problems. Most home buyers steer clear of properties that need structural repairs.

In such a scenario, you have two main strategies at your disposal:

  1. Sell a home that needs foundation repair. The existing issues could drive away a lot of buyers. However, there is always the possibility of finding a person who loves your home, accepts the issues, and will take care of the repairs in the future.
  • Repair the foundation trouble before putting your home up for sale. In this case, it’s important to retain all the documentation regarding the fixes. Then your buyers will have access to proper proof that you have taken care of the structural inadequacies.

Ignoring the foundation problems will result in the most challenging conditions for getting your home sold. As most buyers are wary of foundation repairs, your pool of people seeking a new home is considerably small.

Getting the foundation repaired may incur significant costs. The actual expenses depend on what kind of foundation issues you have to deal with. For instance, sealing a few small cracks is likely to cost you just under $500.

But when you need to use strips of steel to stabilize a shifting foundation, total costs of up to $10,000 are not unheard of. As such, you need to prepare a budget according to the extent of your foundation issues.

The bottom line: Foundation repair for buyers and sellers

Foundation issues worry buyers and sellers in equal measure. Home sellers are likely to have a difficult time finding people interested in purchasing a property that has structural flaws.

Buyers, on the other hand, have to take all the steps necessary to uncover any hidden foundation repair needs. Not all sellers are upfront about such problems, which means buyers should exercise caution and investigate any warning signs.