Foundation Company Told Client Repairs Would Be $17,000...WRONG!!!

This has happened on two homes in the last two weeks...

First home - Occupants call a foundation repair company to provide a report on a house they are negotiating an offer on.
Lo and behold the company finds serious foundation problems.  They take measurements and draw a diagram which calls out piers to be installed around (almost) the entire house and the quote is $17,000.00.

 

Second home - A buyer calls a foundation repair company (a different company) to provide a report on a house they have under contract.  Lo and behold they find foundation problems.  Their report only includes a diagram for one corner of the house and does not state how their measurements were taken.  Their quote is for $7,550.00.

 

I represent the sale on both homes, but my advice to home sellers and buyers alike is always the same, order a report from a structural engineer. A foundation company is most likely reputable; but they are in the business of repairing foundations and let's face it, no repairs = no business.  A structural engineer is in business to evaluate and advise on what a structure needs.  They do not sell piers, or anything else for that matter. 

The engineer evaluated both homes and his findings were that no foundation repairs are needed, on either home.  There was movement noted and some cracks too, but all were determined to fall within standard guidelines for slab foundations.

Each report cost $500 and both sellers agreed this was some of the best money they had ever spent.  I, of course, agree...how about you?

www.LisaSellsTexas.com

 

Lisa Von Domek

 

Lisa Von Domek
BROKER/ASSOCIATE/REALTOR, 
ABR, AHWD, ALHS, ASP, BPOR, CAPS, CDPE, CGP,
CLHMS, CMS, CRS, CSP, e-PRO, GREEN, GRI, MRP, PS, QSC, SFR, SRES, TAHS, TRC
Lisa Von Domek & Associates, LLC / Real Living Real Estate Group 
Phone:      972-849-1300 
Email:        Lisa@LisaVon.com      
Website:   www.LisaVon.com

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Lisa

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Comment balloon 38 commentsLisa Von Domek • May 02 2016 12:43PM

Comments

foundation companies make no money when they say the home does not need work. Very few will ever say that. It is amazing how they can always find NEEDED repairs.

Posted by Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty, Florida Space Coast Homes (Waves Realty) almost 3 years ago

Lisa I agree, and they were lucky to be represented by you and get wise advice.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 3 years ago

Good afternoon Lisa,

One case where an engineer is required not a foundation company trying to stay afloat.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 3 years ago

Great Post Lisa, Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree it's best to get a neutral third party to evaluate the situation.

Posted by Joe Jackson, Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty) almost 3 years ago

Hi Lisa.  Can you say conflict of interest.  That is terrible.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) almost 3 years ago

Lisa,

That was such good advice on your part.  I remember a newbie agent representing a tenant who wanted an entire floor of a building,  Upon our advice the owners had removed the former offices, so that a single floor tenant could visualize the possibilities of where offices could be built to take advantage of the 180 degree views...

the agent pointed the hairline cracks in the slab, and telling me how irresponsible the building was...Never mind that our tenants we quality entertainment tenants that had been there for years, and this was a prestige building...The potential tenant shut the agent up!   A  

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 3 years ago

Lisa Von Domek  Great suggestion to get a structual engineer with no  financial advantage to the situation

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) almost 3 years ago

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 www.SpaceCoastHomesNow.com 

I wish I could say these were the only two instances of this happening...but over my many years, the engineer's reports typically show how wrong the foundation companies reports are.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Thank you George Souto getting a professional report from one with no skin in the transaction, it's a good thing

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Hello Raymond E. Camp sadly, it happens more times than not.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Getting that engineer's report certainly changes the dynamics of negotiating repairs Joe Jackson 

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Absolutely Conrad Allen ...I don't understand why foundation repair companies are not required to be state regulated and licensed.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Thank you Ron and Alexandra Seigel a little bad information is dangerous

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Thank you Hannah Williams .  In the one case the buyer's agent was adamant that their foundation report was accurate.  Showing him just how wrong it was proved to be an eye opening experience for him!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

I couldn't possibly agree more with you Lisa! $500 is money well spent. Plus the report is their's too keep and the info could come in real handy when the buyer becomes the seller.

$17,000! Yikes!

Posted by Andrea Bedard, M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond (Thompson Company, REALTORS®) almost 3 years ago

Lisa

Looks like two inspection reports was a make work inspections . . . . While the other two inspections showed the like they really are and did not need massive foundation work.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 3 years ago

This happens too often Andrea Bedard as many foundation companies are just pier salesmen!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

That is it exactly Lou Ludwig and the one buyer had already mentioned that their company has called them with "such a deal" on their work!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this information Lisa Von Domek.  I will be sharing with my fellow Okie's.  With all the earthquake activity ~ there is a lot of pier talk around here.

Posted by Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed., Buy and Sell Real Estate with Confidence (Buy and Sell Oklahoma LLC) almost 3 years ago

I here about that in your state a lot, it's so rare here. I wonder if it's because our soil is red clay and well... just doesn't seem to give or move.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Lisa. Wise lady, you shared good advice and many years of experience with your client. They were fortunate to be working with you.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Lisa Von Domek ,

Glad to hear you advised these sellers to see a professional structural engineer..the best course of action..they are very fortunate to be working with you.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 3 years ago

Hello Alesha A. Wilson 

Our areas have a lot in common when it comes to foundation issues.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

That's strange Tammy Lankford, as our areas that have clay are the worst ones for foundation issues.  But, you haven't experienced the severe drought years and now the heavy rain that we have...that clay contracts and expands like a sponge!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Thank you Joe Petrowsky it is such a shame that so many try to take advantage of homeowner's foundations.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Thank you Dorie Dillard an engineer's report is money well spent...if they don't find an issue - it's wonderful.  But even if they do, the homeowner is then able to work with reliable foundation repair companies and have done what is actually needed.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing your experience. This is excellent advice for home sellers.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 3 years ago

Thank you Roy Kelley I am so pleased that you found my post useful!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Smart move to get unbiased  reports from a structural engineer.  Both sellers were lucky to have you in their court!  

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Thank you Dagny Eason they were so happy that I strongly advised them to get the engineer's report!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

I absolutely never use anyone to provide information who can financially benefit from prospective business by doing so. It's a slippery slope. Always hire a neutral party who has no skin in the game except to provide an unbiased report.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) almost 3 years ago

Nina Hollander And so many consumers call foundation repair companies and don't get the best information that they need ...a costly mistake.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Lisa Von Domek ~ my experience with most of them here in Charlotte has been not good--they always seem to be out to gouge the home owner. I've learned to ask my structural engineer whom to use.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) almost 3 years ago

As much as I do not like too much government regulation Nina Hollander I do believe that the foundation repair industry needs to be licensed and regulated.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

Lisa... that's a great point. I'm not sure to what extent these companies are licensed by NC; but I do know I tell my clients to be sure and have their work done under the supervision of their own structural engineer and signed off on. At a certain level of repair, the county inspectors also have to be involved as the work requires a permit.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) almost 3 years ago

I knew that we were of like minds Nina!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

This is what means to work with an experienced Realtor: saving a lot of money and avoiding unnecessary stress. 

Well done, Lisa! 

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) almost 3 years ago

Thank you Inna Ivchenko !

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 3 years ago

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