Should I Repair My Foundation Before Selling my Home?

If you’re in the market to sell your home and you know or suspect that your house has foundation issues, you may be wondering what steps to take next. First of all, if you haven’t confirmed your suspicions of foundation problems, your best bet is to hire a professional to come assess your home. If foundation problems are confirmed, you’ll need to decide whether you will repair the foundation before you sell your home or not. By exploring your options as well as weighing the potential pros and cons of each, you can make a well informed decision.

Repairing Before Selling

Repairing your home’s foundation problems before listing is one option to consider. This will involve hiring a foundation repair specialist to fix and stabilize your home’s foundation so there are no future problems. By going this route, you’ll enjoy added peace of mind and will be able to list your home at market value. Furthermore, your home will be more attractive to potential buyers (especially those who don’t want to take on large repairs involving foundation issues), so you will likely have an easier time selling your home.

Generally, this option tends to be best for sellers who want to get the maximum sale price on their home, and don’t want their home to sit on the market for very long. To the surprise of many sellers, a home that sits on the market costs a good amount of money. It’s important to note that foundation repair can take some time and may involve some digging up of the land around your home, so you could also be faced with the task of fixing up the landscaping afterwards, so try to plan well in advance of listing.

The Buyer Handles the Repairs

For sellers who don’t want to deal with foundation repairs, there is always the option of listing your home at a reduced price with the understanding that the future buyers will pay for foundation repair themselves. This will involve selling your home “as-is,” which means you still need to disclose any known foundation problems and will not realistically be able to sell your home for market value. This option may be a solution for sellers who need to move quickly or in situations where sellers don’t have a great deal of financial investment in a house. For example, if you recently inherited a home from a relative and wish to sell it, you may be fine with settling on a lower sale price or offering a repair credit at closing.

Of course, when you sell a home “as-is” with foundation problems, you may also have a harder time finding buyers. That’s because in today’s real estate market, the majority of home buyers want a house that’s as close to move-in-ready as possible. Because foundation repairs are a relatively large undertaking, many prospective buyers will automatically rule out a home with foundation issues.

Keep in mind that you will need to disclose the previous foundation problems properly no matter what when you sell your home. This is a legal obligation that you could face serious fines or other penalties for failing to disclose. Of course, if you have repaired the foundation issues, you can also include this information on the disclosure sheet so that potential buyers won’t necessarily be scared off.

Preparing to sell a home with known foundation problems can complicate the process a bit, but the good news is that you do have options. By carefully weighing your options and finances, you can ultimately decide whether it’s best to repair the foundation or sell your home “as-is.”

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