What Canadian Homeowners Should Know About Selling a Home with a Cracked Foundation

Posted by Justin Havre on Friday, April 19th, 2019 at 10:20am.

Selling a Home With a Damaged FoundationHomeowners do not need a surprise expense when a buyer is ready to go to contract. An inspection may uncover some issues requiring immediate attention by the seller. Canadian homeowners should be aware that a damaged or cracked foundation, whether it's in South Calgary or elsewhere, may require the attention of a specialist.

It is important for homeowners to set aside additional funds for any unusual repairs and understand the clauses that may come into play with home mortgages and within a real estate contract in Canada. Learn more about selling a home with a cracked foundation today.

Can a Home Be Sold with a Cracked Foundation?

A cracked or damaged foundation is not going to go unnoticed during an inspection. However, a homeowner may be taken unaware of the need for repairs to a foundation. Costs of repair can be significant and a prospective buyer may not want to purchase a home requiring such attention.

A home inspection may lead a buyer to request repairs to the foundation by the seller or a considerable price reduction. Mortgage lenders may require the foundation issue to be addressed before approving a home loan. This often forces the seller to pay for necessary repairs to sell a home. Sellers looking to get maximum value for a home may want to make repairs before bringing a home to market. Homeowners can look for tell-tale signs of a foundation problem, such as:

  • Bowed basement windows
  • Gapping between the ceiling and crown molding
  • Concert weakness
  • Cracks in walls, windows and doors

Note areas of concern and look into the cost of a repairs before deciding to sell a home with a damaged foundation. A seller will either pay for the repair or take a cut on their asking price when a home goes to market.

Does a Crack in a Home Matter?

Damage to the foundation does not necessarily make a home inhabitable. Many owners go years without even realizing that such a problem exists. According to Mike Holmes of the HGTV series, Holmes Inspection, a crack in the basement wall or floor is a reason for an owner to contact a foundation specialist. There are variations in the types of cracks which can indicate different issues. In general, “the bigger the crack, the more expensive the repair.” Cracks may be caused by reasons including concrete shrinkage, settlement or lateral pressure on a wall. It is important for owners or potential sellers to address any unusual cracks they find before they become a more significant issue. Sellers would do well to speak with a real estate agent to discuss how much they stand to lose on their asking price if they let a problem in the foundation go unaddressed.

How to Get Your Damaged Foundation Repaired

In some cases, the smart choice is to have your damaged foundation repaired before you try to sell the home. This is, usually, not a DIY job, but instead, one that requires professional expertise. Contact at least two or three local companies that specialize in foundation repairs and get an estimate for the job. However, rather than just looking at the bottom line cost, make sure you're comparing apples to apples in terms of what work will be completed. In addition, check out the reviews and testimonials of former clients to help you determine which company is the best one for the job. In some cases, you may need other repairs on the home that could be completed at the same time--saving you time and money. While the upfront cost can be a bit overwhelming, the result is a more structurally-sound home that is likely to be easier to sell and at a higher asking price.

Buyers Will Notice

As many Canadian buyers have an informal viewing checklist, they are on the lookout for potential red flags and additional repair costs during a walk-through. During an open house, they may be interested in roofing materials, working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, cracks in the exterior off the foundation, all well as other observable conditions of the interior and exterior of the home. Clauses are included in the Canadian real estate contract negotiation, and there simply may not be enough time to make a repair to the foundation when a home is in contract.

Speak with a real estate agent to discuss the options available when it comes to making a significant repair to a home before going to market or after an inspection and how the timing of a repair may potentially affect home value and asking price.

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