How to Sell a House With Foundation Issues

January 6, 2023

One of the most daunting parts of putting your home on the market is doing everything you can to get top dollar for your property. While changes such as boosting curb appeal, upgrading appliances, and making your home more energy efficient are all relatively simple steps, selling a home with foundation issues is a very unique challenge. Fortunately, by considering the tips in this article, you can simplify the process of selling a home with foundation issues.

How to spot home foundation issues

The first step to determining if your home has foundation issues is to walk around your home and check for signs of structural or foundational issues. Early in the home selling process, you could have a real estate agent take a look through your home’s basement and general premises to advise on any red flags, such as:

  • Foundation sinking or settling
  • Gaps between the garage door and the pavement
  • Stair-step cracks in the mortar
  • A chimney or chimneys that are leaning away from the house
  • Cabinet doors that don’t stay closed

If you find any signs of a foundation that needs work, the next step is to get a professional opinion from a structural engineer. These professionals will examine elements of your overall property, drainage systems, soil type, moisture levels, and more to provide an objective opinion on if your home needs work. While you may need to pay a few hundred dollars for one of these visits, it’s better than first going to a foundation repair company because the inspection is much more thorough.

Although defects such as cracks, nail pops, and seam breaks can indicate foundation issues, they also are caused by a home’s aging. It takes an expert to notice when defects need to be actioned.

What to do if there are foundation issues in your home

If your home has foundation issues, you’ll need to hire a professional to handle the repairs. Generally speaking, foundation repairs cost around $5,000. However, the exact cost depends on the foundation’s issues and where you live. Repairing cracks can cost as little as $250 or as much as $4,000. 

If your home has settled or is sinking, you may need to pay up to $3,000 each for foundation piers. Another more affordable option is slab jacking or mud jacking, which is when concrete is pumped under the foundation to raise it. This typically costs between $500 and $1,300. 

Those are just a couple of types of foundation repairs, and there are many others that can’t be covered here. Keep in mind that in addition to the foundation repair labor and materials, there are other costs to consider, such as local permits (generally around $1,000), hiring a structural engineer (generally $500 overall), soil testing (typically around $1,000 but can go up to $5,000) and if applicable, tree root removal (often $200 to $2,000).

Should you repair the foundation before selling

When putting your home on the market, disclosing material defects is a must to avoid legal issues later on. The benefit of choosing to repair the foundation is that you can boost your home’s value, but you’ll be responsible for the upfront costs. If you sell as-is, you don’t need to make the repairs, but the selling price will likely be lower. Ultimately a real estate agent can help you make an informed decision.


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