Selling your home can be stressful, especially if you’re under pressure to move to a new location as soon as possible. You’ll need to price your home appropriately enough to ensure it sells quickly, but not so low that you lose money, and you could end up negotiating paperwork for weeks to months even after you receive an initial offer.
As you prepare your home to be sold, you’ll likely encounter a handful of issues that need to be corrected, like holes in the wall that need to be repaired or an old paint job that needs to be refreshed. Typically, these minor upgrades won’t cost you much in terms of time or money, but there are some home flaws that could render your house virtually unsellable.
So what exactly are these features that could stop your home from selling, and what can you do about them?
The Biggest Home Problems
These are some of the most negatively impactful problems that could influence your home sale:
- Every home owner fears the moment they encounter mold in their home. There are many different types of mold, and none of them are pleasant, but some of them are ridiculously destructive. Mold usually manifests as a result of trapped moisture, often inside a wall or in a basement, and sometimes, it can disappear if you simply bleach the area and keep it dry. Other times, mold is a persistent, deep-seated problem that can result in health problems for everyone in the home. If you do have a major mold problem, it needs to be addressed by a professional right away—even if you don’t sell your home. It’s not fun, but it has to be done.
- Foundation problems. Moisture can also affect the strength of your home’s foundation—one of the most crucial structural elements in your building. If your foundation has cracks or is no longer reliable, it could compromise the value of the entire house due to safety concerns. Signs of a weakening foundation are fairly obvious, manifesting as long cracks in plaster walls or sagging floors, but subtler signs may be harder to notice. Again, this is a safety issue and needs to be addressed even if you aren’t going to sell.
- Water damage. Water damage rarely exists in a vacuum. It’s often the result of a secondary problem; for example, if you have water damage to your ceiling, it’s probably a sign that something’s wrong with the roof. If there’s water damage in the basement, it could be a sign of poor drainage. Water damage is also long-lasting and hard to fix, so if there are signs of water damage, it will likely turn a homebuyer off. Thankfully, these are often a less expensive fix than getting rid of mold or fixing a foundation.
- Septic failure. Not all homes require a septic system, but if yours does and the septic system has failed, your home could be practically unsellable. Not only are homebuyers more interested in homes with passing septic systems, most mortgage lenders also require passing a septic test before they lend money for a purchase. The only viable alternatives are replacing the system or offering an as-is sale for much less than your original asking price.
- Well issues. For homes that require wells, a problem with your existing well could also compromise the sale possibility of your home. Safe, clean, and plentiful drinking water isn’t an issue that homebuyers are willing to compromise on, nor should it be. If your well system is in serious need of repair, the only option is to get it repaired or replaced, so try to get this done before you get too far in the process.
- Major pest infestations. Most pests are more of a temporary nuisance than a serious problem, but there are some cases that cross the line. If your home is infested with termites, for example, you could suffer serious damage to the insides of your walls. If you have rodents like bats or squirrels in your home, it could also cause serious issues for future homeowners. It’s best to work with an exterminator before selling your home if you encounter a major infestation; home remedies may keep the issue at bay temporarily, but likely won’t fix the root cause of the problem.
- Significant neighborhood problems. Most neighborhood problems are barely noticeable; a neighbor who doesn’t mow their lawn frequently or a questionable business on the corner probably won’t hurt your sale that much. But if you have a registered sex offender or two nearby, or if the quality of properties in the neighborhood is going downhill, there isn’t much you can do. Unfortunately, there’s no professional who can fix these issues for you, no matter what your budget is. A lower sale price is likely your best option, even if it undermines your profitability.
- High radon levels. Radon is a radioactive gas that’s found pretty much everywhere, but in most locations, it exists at such low quantities that it doesn’t pose a health hazard. However, if your home is found to have naturally high levels of radon, homebuyers will be reluctant to finalize the purchase. Removing radon from air and water sources is definitely possible, but it’s also expensive—and it may be your only option if you want your home to sell.
Is There Hope?
There’s no such thing as an unsellable home. You may need to make some compromises you don’t like, such as lowering your sale price or working extra hard to compensate for those damages, but if you’re working with the right selling agent, you should be able to find yourself a buyer eventually. If you need help finding an agent to sell your home, or you’re looking for expert advice on the home sale process, contact Green Residential today! We’ll evaluate your current home and help you through the process so you end up with a fair price and sell your home in a reasonable amount of time.