The property market in Columbia, SC, is fairly active right now, but it is definitely a buyer’s market. This can make finding foundation damage even more worrying than it would usually be. Foundation problems are liable to make even the most seasoned developer shudder in a good market, but for a homeowner just trying to sell their property to move on to the next stage of life, it can feel like the end of the world.
Thankfully, this is not the case. While selling a property with a faulty foundation is not easy, it is far from impossible. If you have the right know-how and a willingness to be flexible you could bag a relatively quick sale. Of course, you first have to know what you’re dealing with!
Recognizing Foundation Damage
There are many different signs and symptoms of damage to your property’s foundation. Unfortunately, many, like dampness and mold formation, can also signify many other problems in a property. There are some signs, however, that are almost always the result of foundation damage. These are:
- Bowing walls
- Spreading cracks
- Tilting or uneven floors
- Sticking windows and doors
- Leaning chimney
If you see any of these signs, you should contact a foundation repair specialist immediately to assess the property. This will be helpful if you intend to undertake repairs by yourself, but even if you have decided to sell the property without undertaking repairs, you will need this information to pass along to buyers.
The Pros and Cons of Selling a Damaged Property
If you have decided that the best thing you can do is sell the property as-is, there are things you should be aware of.
The upsides of selling a damaged property as-is include:
- Saving money
- Saving time
Foundation repairs can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, so one of the main benefits of selling a home as it stands is the fact that you do not have to spend money you do not have. This is also better for people who want to make a sale quickly. More than anything, however, the main benefit of selling before completing repairs is the convenience.
The drawbacks of selling an already damaged property are:
- Lowered property value
- Smaller buying pool
The main drawbacks of trying to sell a property that has a faulty foundation are generally lowered property value and the smaller number of people who are interested in taking on large renovations. However, if you are willing to be flexible on your asking price, you could attract a property developer or cash buyer.
How to Sell a Property with a Faulty Foundation
If you have a property with a damaged foundation that you intend to sell (without undertaking repairs), there are three basic steps you should take to get the best outcome.
Have a professional inspect your property to identify the problems and formulate a reliable idea of the cost of all required repairs. Mount Valley Foundation Services offer free estimates to homeowners in the Columbia, SC, area without obligation to book, so there’s no reason to delay. You are required to disclose all issues to potential buyers anyway but having a detailed report can help make this process easier.
Once you have this information, you should make it immediately available to your real estate agent as well as any potential buyers that you are in direct contact with. This will build trust but also ensure you are on the same page when it comes to negotiations.
Once you have an idea of what you are willing to drop your price to and an understanding of how severe the problem is you can come to the table to discuss the property sale. Obviously, in your ideal world, the buyer would assume the cost of repairs, and in theirs, you would lower your price to cover the cost. If you negotiate well, you could find yourself essentially splitting the cost.
If you take these three steps and maintain an open and honest relationship with your potential buyers at every stage you will enjoy a much smoother selling process, despite the pre-existing damage to your property.