5 Tips for Selling a House With Structural Problems
Aug 05, 2022 | Hometown Development
As a homeowner, problems like leaky pipes or cracked window frames are typically minor inconveniences. They can be resolved quickly, and your house can be back to looking and operating as normal in no time. Structural problems, on the other hand, can be a major cause for concern.
Structural damage is any type of damage that puts the overall integrity of your home at risk. This could include anything from a sagging roof to a cracked foundation or uneven flooring. It’s more serious and more expensive to fix than smaller home improvement projects.
If your home has structural problems, it can be scary and unsafe to live in. But it can also be pretty intimidating to sell. In this article, we’ll walk you through some steps to better prepare you.
Can You Sell Your House If It Has Structural Problems?
Yes! You can absolutely sell your house, even if it has structural problems. In fact, no problem is too big to make your home unsellable.
However, selling a home with structural problems is a different process than selling one without. It might leave you with questions like:
- Do I have to spend time and money on repairs before selling my home?
- Do I have to sell my home for a much lower price?
- Will anyone even be interested in buying my home?
Fortunately, we’ve got answers to each of those questions in the sections below.
Common Signs of Home Structural Damage
The first step to selling your home with foundation problems is noticing that there are problems. In many cases, you’ll be able to identify signs that point to foundation issues without the help of a professional inspector. Here are a few of the most common signs of structural damage to look out for on your own:
- Cracked, bulging, or bowing walls
- Leaning chimney
- Cracked bricks or masonry
- Unaligned and difficult-to-open/close doors
- Sloping, uneven, or cracked floors
- Cracked foundation
- Damp basement
If you notice any of these signs within or outside of your home, don’t ignore them. It’s best to act quickly and find a solution so that the problem doesn’t escalate — even if the solution is to sell the home and get it off your hands.
5 Tips for Selling a House With Structural Problems
Selling a house with structural problems is possible. Getting a fair price for it is possible too. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Determine the Severity of the Problem
First thing’s first: figure out the severity of your home’s structural problems. This involves identifying the issue (and hopefully the source of it), then documenting the extent of the damage surrounding it. Knowing what you’re working with can help you make informed decisions regarding repairs, estimates, and potential listing prices.
2. If Needed, Get a Professional Opinion
Having trouble identifying the cause or severity of your home’s structural damage? You may consider getting a professional opinion. Calling a structural engineer to inspect your home can give you a better idea of what you’re working with.
In some cases, a professional can even help you identify “false” signs of structural damage. Things like hairline cracks in concrete and popping nails aren’t always true indicators of larger structural damage at play.
3. Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
If your house’s structural damage was a result of a natural disaster like a storm or tornado, it may be covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy. If so, your insurance provider will likely cover a portion or all of the costs for repair. Then you could sell your house repaired, for a better price.
Every policy differs and has different conditions, so it’s worth a look before getting too far ahead with this plan. It’s also important to remember that most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover damage or aging due to everyday wear and tear.
4. Disclose Any Structural Problems to Potential Buyers
In most states, including Michigan, you must disclose what you know about your home’s damage to potential buyers. This includes anything from small imperfections to big issues like structural damage. If you or your buyer choose to work with a real estate agent, they’ll require a home inspection as part of the process just to make sure nothing was missed in your disclosure.
5. Make Repairs vs. Negotiate Repair Costs vs. Sell As-Is
This is where things start to get trickier. If you want to sell your home with structural problems, you need to choose the selling option that works best for you. Generally speaking, you have three different options: make repairs before selling, negotiate repair costs in the listing price, or sell as-is to an investment buyer.
- If you choose to make repairs before selling, you’ll likely add value to and get a better price for your home. You’ll also probably be able to attract more buyers who place competing bids you can choose from. However, if the extent of your damage is large (it usually is with structural problems), you’ll have to invest a lot of time and money into the project. Some homeowners don’t have the time or budget for that.
- If you choose to negotiate repair costs in your listing, you won’t have to spend the time on repairs, but you’ll still have to spend the money. Even though it won’t seem like money coming out of your pocket, you’ll still get less for your home overall.
- If you choose to sell as-is to an investment buyer, you won’t have to handle any of the repair work or associated costs. While homes with structural damage typically sell for less, you’ll make up that money in saved repair costs and time. Plus, many investment buyers offer cash and can have the whole process completed in a matter of days. For many homeowners struggling with structural damage, this is the most lucrative, convenient route — allowing them to move on quickly to something better.
Sell Your Structurally Damaged Home to Hometown Development
If your home has structural problems, you can still get a fair offer for it. How do we know? Because we’re one of the West Michigan all-cash home buyers that will take it!
At Hometown Development, we’re passionate about giving homes like yours the TLC they need — taking a huge weight off of your shoulders and uplifting your community as a whole. To learn more about our passion and process, give us a call at (616) 379-3099 or contact us online.