For many people, selling their home is a very stressful experience. In addition to the stressors currently affecting you, there are several additional stressors that are introduced into your life when you sell your home; the need for leaky basement repair can be a big one.
What you need to know if you want to sell a home with a leaky basement
According to the Holmes – Rahe Stress Scale, some of the stressors associated with moving are:
- Taking out a mortgage;
- Change in financial state;
- Major change in living conditions; and
- Change in residence.
To learn more, click on the following link: Wikipedia
AquaGuard Injection & Waterproofing® is not in the stress counselling business; however, we can assist you by minimizing or eliminating some of the stress associated with the sale of your home by providing expert guidance and solid advice relating to waterproofing issues that affect both the re-sale value of your home and the length of time it takes to sell it.
A typical sign of a leaky basement
Basement waterproofing issues related to home sales
When you put your home on the market you will likely face several issues with respect to your basement:
- When you list your home with a realtor you may be asked to complete a disclosure form on which you will be asked if you have any basement leaks or foundation problems that you are aware of. If you answer falsely, you are taking legal and/or financial risks. Check out a video on this. If you answer truthfully, you may frighten prospective purchasers.
- Most of the time, the eventual purchaser of your home will hire a home inspector to thoroughly inspect 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 other leaks and humidity. Note: Home inspectors are increasingly using moisture meters to measure humidity levels in the basement and/or abnormally high levels of moisture behind basement walls.
- If a potential purchaser observes water or water stains in the basement, leaking or non-leaking cracks, or if they are advised of high humidity levels, they may not even bother to make an offer or waive the home inspection clause in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, even if they love your home. It is a regrettable fact that many purchasers view foundation cracks as being symptomatic of structural failure. While this is generally not the case, a prospective purchaser puts great faith in their home inspector’s opinion above that of any other person (in some cases, even the opinion of a professional waterproofing contractor).
- If a home inspector’s report identifies problems associated with foundation leaks and/or cracks, you may be compelled to repair all problems as a condition of the sale, or settle for a reduced price (likely inconsistent with the cost of repair) to close the deal.
- If you own a home built between 1950 and the late 70’s, you most likely have a concrete block or cinder-block foundation. Unfortunately, this foundation type is prone to basement leaks and deterioration over time. Consequently, a home inspection will likely reveal a high relative humidity level in the basement and moisture behind the finished basement walls.
- Even if you have never personally observed water on the basement floor, it doesn’t mean that your basement hasn’t leaked. Our technicians consistently report that many leaks go undetected by homeowners for many years.
Within the past decade, many home purchasers and/or Realtors have increasingly hired us to conduct detailed inspections of foundations/basements when home inspectors reported finding moisture problems and/or basement dampness. Our inspections are thorough and provide realistic repair costs associated with necessary basement waterproofing. Our reports are then used by purchasers to renegotiate the purchase price of homes; in many cases, the price reductions are quite substantial.
Why you should inspect your basement for leaks before selling your home
As a homeseller, we recommend that you engage a qualified waterproofing contractor to conduct an independent assessment of the condition of your foundation prior to putting your home on the market; there are several advantages in doing so:
- You will have a report of the condition of your basement that was prepared by a Professional Waterproofing Contractor; this will provide you with a strong counterargument when a home inspector with limited knowledge of foundation issues and repair costs frightens the purchasers with wet or cracked basement concerns;
- You will have an opportunity to rectify simple foundation related issues before they have a chance of becoming “showstoppers” during price negotiations;
- With the knowledge of the actual condition of your foundation, you will be able to formulate a strategy, concerning a leaky basement, with your Realtor without being under tremendous time pressure;
- You will be in a position to avoid having to take your home off the market for several weeks to have it waterproofed; and
- By knowing the actual cost of required waterproofing repairs, you will be in a stronger negotiating position when you receive a discounted offer.
Leaky basements often affect home sales
A True Story:
In the summer of 2008, AquaGuard Injection & Waterproofing® was called in by a realtor for an opinion concerning a home inspector’s report that identified moisture ingress issues pertaining to a home with a concrete block foundation; there was visible evidence of water ingress in a closet. In his report, the home inspector provided an estimated repair cost of $25,000.00; consequently, the buyers asked for a $25,000.00 price reduction. This situation was extremely stressful for the homeowner, an elderly widow, in tears, naturally, who needed the highest possible selling price for her home. When AquaGuard Injection & Waterproofing® conducted an inspection using thermal imaging, we found that the moisture ingress problem was limited to the corner of the foundation. The problem was properly repaired for $2,500.00, not $25,000.00. Upon completion of our work, the home sold the following week for fair market value.
AquaGuard Injection & Waterproofing® is involved in many real estate transactions either before the listing, after the home inspection, or after the new homeowner moves in only to find water ingress problems that were not identified by their home inspector when they had the property inspected.
We realize that most homeowners do not want to spend money on a home that they are selling, as these expenditures are considered to be a net loss. Unfortunately, with today’s technology, it is increasingly unlikely that a leaking basement will go undetected during a home inspection.
The need to prepare for the sale of your home is so important that several leading organizations have published advice on this subject specifically. Click on the link below to read more: