If you currently have a home sitting on the market or are considering putting your home up for sale, it’s important to remember that your foundation doesn’t go into stasis just because the property is in a weird place right now. As the current owners move out so the home can be staged and prospective buyers visit from time to time for tours, a house often sits essentially empty for weeks or even months without a resident. The longer it takes to find a buyer and close the deal, the greater risk your foundation is at for cracks and damage due to inattentiveness and inconvenient weather conditions. Naturally, you want to make sure your property is worth just as much at the end of the sale as it was at the beginning and while your personal feelings about the house may be changing, you are still the official owner responsible for foundation care until a new buyer signs the paperwork and pays you for the property.
Fortunately, your situation isn’t the first time an owner has had to tend their home and foundation after moving out for a sale and it won’t be the last. Here’s how you keep your foundation nice and safe during a successful selling process.
Maintain a Healthy Foundation Environment
There are five key factors to healthy foundation conditions in and around a home. These come together to ensure that the soil beneath the foundation is stable and that the house above the foundation isn’t contributing to the problem.
To account for these factors, make sure that the soil beneath the foundation stays reasonably moist but that the yard is arranged so that rain runoff drains downhill away from the house. The home should not be allowed to drop below about 50 degrees F even during unoccupied evenings or above about 80 F if you’re selling in the summer. Roots of trees and bushes need to be kept away from your foundation and the plumbing should be verified as solid and not leaking down onto the foundation.
Check In Regularly
Keeping up with all of these factors can be difficult, especially if you’ve already moved out. However, even during the dead of winter when there’s a chance of the house warping in the cold if unconditioned, you should be able to maintain the ideal conditions with only a few visits a week. You can work together with your real estate agent to help you check in on the home regularly and make sure that the checklist is still completely covered. Most of all, keep an eye on the soil moisture and set the house thermostat low so that it doesn’t eat too much energy maintaining a safe temperature.
Consider Live-In Stagers
As a final interesting note, if you have a larger home and don’t want to continuously check in to keep it in good condition, there is a rising trend in the real estate business known as live-in stagers. These are people often between homes who have their own elegant furniture, an eye for beautiful design, and are willing to offer a double service of both staging and house-sitting. Live-in stagers can act as hosts for buyer tours and you can absolutely ask them to keep an eye on the foundation conditions and any other maintenance concerns.
Taking care of your home’s foundation is something that must be considered all the time, especially if your home may be left vacant for a few weeks to a few months as you find a buyer and close the deal. Remember to keep a close eye on soil moisture and keep that thermostat on. For more tips and advice for foundation care, maintenance, and repair, contact us today!