In the real estate world, selling a house with a bad foundation is not easy. But, it is also not impossible. If you only want to know if it is legal, the answer is YES. But, it is illegal to conceal that fact. If the buyer finds out you did not disclose a known issue, you could be in legal trouble. Never lie to a buyer.
You can sell your house as- is, with a bad foundation. You can also fix the foundation before you sell. Just know that if you want to get the most for your house, repairs and upgrades are usually necessary. The new owner will need to make any repairs that are necessary, usually before they move in. Buyers always want a discount that can at least cover repairs.
What is a Bad Foundation?
Every home is built on a foundation. It could be a slab foundation or there could be a crawlspace. A bad foundation affects the floors, walls and even roof. It is important to have a solid foundation in order for your house to last and be a good home. If you are unsure if you have a bad foundation, here are the most common symptoms of a bad foundation:
- Cracks in the floor, walls or ceiling
- Uneven floor (sinking or upheaval)
- Sticking or damaged doors
- Sticking windows
- Damaged cabinets
- Sagging roof
How to Discover A Bad Foundation
Paying Attention To Cracks
First, you need to observe any cracks inn the wall or floor of your house, and take it seriously. Cracks are the most common symptom of foundation issues. And, they will worsen over time. The direction of the cracks can give you clues to where they originate. Vertical cracks are the most common to originate in the foundation.
Sticky windows or doors may also indicate you have a foundation problem. Doors in particular are installed into a door frame, so when the foundation shifts, the frame may also shift, causing the door to stick.
Water leakage could also indicate a bad foundation. Shifts in a window or door frame can cause gaps where water can intrude. Even worse is when you have cracks in your basement where water intrudes.
Ways to Sell A House With Bad Foundation
You have two options while selling a house with a bad foundation:
1. Fix the issue first, then sell it
You can fix your bad foundation before selling it. This will increase the price of your house in the market. Possibly, the issue can be repaired with little cost. The only way to know for sure is to get a few contractor bids. Even just having a few bids can increase your price, as the buyer will have a good idea of what it will cost to repair. Otherwise, they will need to guess and they will usually guess conservatively.
2. Sell As it Is
If you do not have the money or time, then you can sell it as it is and skip the repairs. In the real estate market, the people who buy your house with a bad foundation are investors. An investor will buy your house with a bad foundation. They will buy your house with any number of issues. Investors buy houses with problems, repair them and sell them for a profit. Selling to investors is a great option for a house with a bad foundation.