I know I have basement leaks, what should I do if I’m selling my house?
Many homeowners who have had both occasional and frequent basement leaks often ask that question because they are concerned that the presence of a basement leak may affect the sale of their home.
Here are a few points to consider in making your decision as to whether or not you should repair basement leaks prior to the unavoidable home inspection that will follow an accepted Offer to Purchase:
- When you put your home on the market with a realtor you may be asked to complete a disclosure form on which you will be asked if you have any water ingress problems.
- If you answer falsely, one would assume that you are prepared to take the legal and/or financial risk associated with this decision. Then again, if you answer truthfully, you may frighten prospective purchasers and not get the highest purchase price for your home.
It is highly likely that the eventual purchaser of your home will hire a home inspector to check your home as a condition of the sale; one of their checklist items is the condition of the foundation. They will look for cracks and signs of basement leaks; many home inspectors now use a moisture meter to detect high humidity levels behind finished basement walls.
- If a potential purchaser observes water in your basement or leaking cracks, or non-leaking cracks for that matter, they may not even bother to make an offer, even if they love your home. Uhfortunately many people mistakenly view foundation cracks as being symptomatic of major foundation problems.
- If a home inspector’s report contains concerns about foundation leaks and/or cracks, you may be compelled to repair all problems as a condition of the sale, or a reduced price (likely in excess of the actual cost of repair) will be offered. The purchasers may decide they are uncomfortable even with non-leaking cracks in the foundation and they will refuse to waive the home inspection condition in their offer.
- If you are the type of person who would never knowingly leave a problem for others to deal with, you already know what to do.
Selling a home is stressful enough without having to worry about a basement leak and the potential hassles that are likely to surface while you are selling your home; in our view it’s worth avoiding all the hassles discussed above.