Home Selling in Dallas>Question Details

SteveSted, Other/Just Looking in Whitefish, MT

Advice selling house with foundation repair done

Asked by SteveSted, Whitefish, MT Wed Apr 9, 2014

I'm about to sell my house. It's an older house (approx 90 years) and one of the basement walls has multiple cracks and is bowing inwards. I've had a number of quotes and have decided on a local reputable contractor to do the work. I live in a fairly small town and it seems most contractors don't really offer much in the way of warranties as they're mostly smaller companies.
The contractor doing the work will do it all under the proper permits. He'll get numerous inspections done throughout from the city building inspector and will get the inspector to do a final sign off of his work.
Question is, if I don't have a warranty will this cause problems when trying to sell and will it make buyers run away? Or will having all the permits, inspections and sign off by the building inspector be enough for this not to cause any issues when selling?


Help the community by answering this question:


Hello Steve,

Older homes tend to have structural issues.
The best way to approach this is to have a structural engineer to look at the house first.
He also should calculate what exactly needs to be done to mitigate the issues and reinforce the house. Then, hire a contractor to do exactly what the engineer prescribed.

This is because not all contractors are capable of doing the right thing in this situation.
They might have some understanding, but unless they have a civil engineering training or are structural engineers, they might make mistakes. The building inspectors may be trained on building codes, but they would not know the size of the beams needed for your particular situation...

I have encountered houses (built by very reputable contractors with many years of experience) where they didn't follow the proper procedure when building houses, and where they didn't even put proper supporting beams in...

You don't want a contractor who (to save money) would do things with shortcuts.
There are ways of missing a few steps of the process - and on the surface things would look good enough for the building inspector.

That's why you got to get involved with the structural engineer, learning about all steps of the process.
Then, you'd need to make sure all steps are done just as they are supposed to be done.
You got to find an honest contractor, willing to do things by the book.

Make sure to also add some important touches that would add character to the house.
Something to make it more charming. Then, it won't be just the "fixing up", but also restoring to its former glory - and buyers of older homes would love that! A lot of buyers love history...

After all work is done, your agent should market the property as a restoration project.
You should also provide the information about your reputable structural engineer and contractor upfront - to the buyers. It could also help to put the engineer and the contractor together with the buyer during the home inspection, so the buyer can ask any questions and get assurances.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 13, 2014
I think the first sentence here is the most important to keep in mind. Older homes are known to have structural issues, so your buyers should already be aware of that. That being said, they do expect you to be on top of any necessary repair work. If your contractor says something should be done with the foundation, then it's important to follow their direction. | http://structural-restoration.com
Flag Thu Jan 8, 2015
If I were in your situation, I would definitely look into exactly what certifications and permits the foundation contractor has, to make sure they are knowledgeable enough that you trust them. Then just be open with whoever buys the house so they know what was done and by who. Then if anything goes wrong in the future, while they may not have a warranty, the owners will know who to go to with the issue. And if they're a trustworthy company, they'll help them get it sorted. http://www.chamberlainconcrete.ca
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2015
Why isn't your contractor offering a warranty?
Warranties are common place these days, and most homes with foundation work have them.
It would be better than having no foundation work at all, but the warranty would be a big bonus to me.
Keith W Hefner
Halo Group Realty, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 18, 2015
A lot of older homes have structural problems. It sounds like you're doing the best you can to make sure that there are quality repairs being made. Most people that are buying older homes want to have the historic feel of houses like that. You could have it listed as restored when you're done. http://www.eichler.net.au/earthmoving
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 4, 2015
My sister had a few cracks in her foundation and had it repaired before she decided to sell. If you are worried about how well the repairs were done then you can have an inspector go through it. They would be able to give you the best advice for the home. http://www.reliablebasement.com/services/foundation-crack-re…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 12, 2015
I think if the price is right, buyers will stay interested. Old homes are bound to have some problems and most buyers are aware of that. If you are working towards getting some repairs done, I think buyers will appreciate that and consider your home more seriously. Good luck with selling. http://www.crescentplaceliving.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2015
Usually a good contractor will warrant his work or have some kind of agreement to return and repair if something goes wrong. I would try to find a larger company who will stand behind their work on the house. I would recommend you get the work done, because things like this cause a lot of problems in the midst of a Real Estate transaction. Some buyers will bow out of a transaction if they get scared of looming repair work that they are not familiar with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2015
I would just go ahead and get it done. I would feel much more confident buying a house with the repairs done rather then just the paperwork. Repairing the foundation is also a huge task. i don't think people will want to move into a house and then have to do all that work. http://www.foundationrepairfortwayne.com/Foundation-Installa…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 6, 2014
I am a recent home buyer. I bought an older home, not as old as yours, but knowing that you have all the permits, inspections and sign off by the building inspector (and of course, I would have my own home inspection done) I wouldn't have a problem. In fact, when you go into purchasing an older home, you know there are things that are going to be 'less than the best' in the building - it's older. Peace of mind goes a long way to know that things have been done to help keep it up to code.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 23, 2014
Having all the paperwork to prove that you aren't trying to hide anything says good things about a seller. With older homes there is potential for problems, but people know that. Even newer house could have problems. It really depends on the buyer and how worried they might be about something like the foundation.
Flag Wed Oct 29, 2014
As a home buyer, I wouldn't have a problem with it. You need to make sure they know that there was a repair done. As long as it passes an inspection, I'm sure they will be okay with it. http://sinkholesllc.com/services/foundation-repair/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 8, 2014
Disclose, disclose, disclose and provided all associated foundation repair paperwork to potential buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2014
You should really talk with local Realtors / contractors in your area. Dallas, TX doesn't have many basements, we have slab or pier and beam foundations which are all different.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 16, 2014
My experience is that any contractor worth their pay will give some type of warranty. Even if it is limited or with restrictions. With that being said, all the other items and progressive photos will certainly be of help.

I would suggest that you bring in your listing agent now before you start work so that you will get better advice based on the market conditions where you will be selling.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2014
It will be depending upon the buyer. If you have a lifetime transferrable warranty, of course, that will make your home more appealing. However, you may come across a buyer who feels comfortable with limited or no warranty.

Good luck,
Susie Kay, RealtorĀ®
United Real Estate
III Lincoln Centre, 5430 LBJ Freeway #280
Dallas, TX 78240

Servicing your real estate need is my priority!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2014
Take lots of pictures.
#1. Show depth of excavation (below footer)
#2. Show water diversion system. (don't skip this critical element)
#3. Rebuild, repair, refinish wall
#4. Show granulated fill process.
#5. Prepare full disclosure identifying contractor.

Price at market value or 10% lower depending on your skill or strategy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2014

The issue should be, why won't the contractors warrant their own work. No one would expect them to warrant the entire foundation but they should be willing to stand behind their workmanship.

I agree with you, by pulling the right permits, and obtaining inspector approval along the way, this should carry some weight.

My thought on this is that a foundation is one of the most important structural features of a home and too often taken for granted...that is until there is a problem. The best position you could possible take is one of not cutting corners and focusing on making it better than new! Remember the expression, "you get what you pay for...."

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2014
Having all the permits, etc, will definitely help. You need to be honest on the disclosure forms, but, it is what it is. You have to disclose it and you can't change it, so market it and just be prepared in case you have to reduce the price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2014
It depends on the buyer. A warranty would certainly be beneficial so you might want to check with larger contractors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2014
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