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Old 06-30-2007, 04:10 PM   #1
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


Hi,
Six years ago we bought a 50-some-year old home. It had some cracks in the slab, in the home and garage, which our inspector was not concerned about. He thought they were the result of settling 50-some years ago, and showed no sign of changing recently.

Also, a couple years ago, the area had an earthquake. No changes happened then, no new cracks, no worsening etc.

My husband repaired all the cracks as he installed new flooring. He repaired them, then had a moisture barrier, and installed floating floors (pergo). We've had zero problems with the floors, with the slab, with moisture, nothin'.

Now we are trying to sell the home. Their inspector ripped up some (old) vinyl in the pantry closet, just about the one piece of flooring that my husband didn't replace, and saw--gasp!--a crack. Much like the other cracks were. The inspector was not particularly concerned, he just noted it in his report, and said that since the other flooring in the house was not easily removable he couldn't "tell the extent." Nevertheless he said the slab seemed "serviceable" and did not recommend additional inspections.

Well the buyer is freaked out now about "the foundation problem." There IS no "foundation problem." There is a crack in the slab, which we are willing to repair. He wants us to rip up ALL the flooring on the first floor and to have a structural engineer or civil engineer or something come and "tell how to fix the foundation."

It's just stupid. My question is, is there any information we can give this buyer, so that he is not freaked out about a crack in a concrete slab? I think it would be more shocking if there were not a crack in a concrete slab. We are not willing to rip up our flooring. We are going to lose this sale (in a slow real estate market) unless we can give him reassurance about these cracks.

Any suggestions welcome. Thanks a lot!

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Old 06-30-2007, 05:04 PM   #2
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


If the inspector was not terribly concerned why would the buyer freak out?
More than likely because they feel this is a perfect opportunity to have you knock down the selling price! If the crack is not wider than the thickness of a quarter, and is dry, then it's considered a non structural crack and of little concern. Most inspectors will note this and recommend monitoring these cracks seasonally. Same goes for foundation walls. He will also use a moisture meter and note that the readings were dry. You know there's no problem, but trying to convince the buyer will be a challenge.

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Old 06-30-2007, 05:11 PM   #3
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Thanks, Ron,

Yes i just reviewed their own (very thorough) inspector's report. He noted the crack but he also said that the foundation seems serviceable and he also specifically did not recommend any further inspections (specifically did not recommend a structural engineer as they are requesting).

And yes, they just act all suspicious of us, as if we might try to sell someone a house with a ruined foundation. If we try to tell them it's nothing (as their own inspector agrees), they act like we're trying to deceive them.

So frustrating.
-Barb
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Old 06-30-2007, 07:47 PM   #4
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


You can also inform them that the nature of concrete is to crack....we try to control the cracks.....it is very rare to have a slab not have a crack somewhere, especially after 50 years. The reason the inspectors were not concerned is because it is not an issue....Most slabs will show cracks before the home is complete.....
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Old 06-30-2007, 11:05 PM   #5
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Thank you, joasis!

I tried to inform them--if only they would do a google search, they would see that!--but of course they think we are trying to trick them. It's really sad, because they seem to love the house. They just don't know about cracks...
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:00 AM   #6
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BY the way, If I were you, simply return their escrow or deposit, and relist the home.....their are other buyers....and I would not negotiate one cent...meanwhile, replace the flooring in the closet.
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:24 AM   #7
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


Hold your ground or make a token concession in price, since you may have a serious purchaser.

If you relist, hire a professional engineering for an opinion that you can show to any potential buyer a professional opinion.

Be prepared to show future serious purchasers your old inspection report that states the cracks were inactive..

If possible, get a copy of the recent test report that state the cracks were inactive and show that to any pespective purchasers. This may be difficult to obtain, but your realtor may be be able to help you, especially if present during the inspection.

This "knock the price down" tactic is why many sellers are now getting pre-listing inspections to use as a fix-up guide and show sellers your intention to offer a sound home.
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:28 AM   #8
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by joasis View Post
BY the way, If I were you, simply return their escrow or deposit, and relist the home.....their are other buyers....and I would not negotiate one cent...meanwhile, replace the flooring in the closet.
I think we will do that--they already were getting a rock-bottom price because we are in a slow market and we wanted to go ahead and buy another home in our new area before school started. Since that's not going to happen now, it makes sense to hold out for a more middle-of-the-road price.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:35 AM   #9
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Be prepared to show future serious purchasers your old inspection report that states the cracks were inactive..

If possible, get a copy of the recent test report that state the cracks were inactive and show that to any pespective purchasers. ...

This "knock the price down" tactic is why many sellers are now getting pre-listing inspections to use as a fix-up guide and show sellers your intention to offer a sound home.
This is all great stuff, thanks! My husband was just saying the same thing yesterday--if only we had gone ahead and had an inspection and fixed some of this piddly stuff before showing it.

Our attitude was that he (my husband) had already done so much major work and updating that the house was in really excellent shape and anything that turned up would be piddly. And it is, but...that doesn't matter to a seller, who wants to take any opportunity to get a lower price.

And we do have a copy of the report, thanks! The realtor told us very ominously that now we would have to "disclose this." And I told her that I would gladly disclose exactly what the inspector found: there was a crack in the slab, that in spite of this he thought the foundation appeared serviceable and that he specifically did not feel that any followup inspections or repairs were needed.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:20 PM   #10
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


There are always people who will use any excuse to come back at you to reduce the price, again and again.
I'd tell them it's a none issue, to you and their inspector. They can either buy the house as agreed or go somewhere else and annoy someone else.
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:42 PM   #11
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


Hold your ground. Don't tear up your floor! Almost every foundation has cracks. Those buyers will never be able to find a house without cracks! It sounds like you have either very paranoid first time homebuyers or very tricky buyers who found a way to try and get the price reduced. Tell them you have consulted several sources and everyone agrees cracks are normal. Let them know you are satisfied the foundation is safe and secure and you intend to re-list if they still have concerns. Put the ball in their court and if they walk away, it wasn't meant to be. Sounds like you have put some hard work into fixing up the house. Good luck with the sale!
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Old 07-02-2007, 02:28 PM   #12
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


I agree, hold your ground. Don't concede any money to the crack, thats like admitting there is a problem.

I assume this house is being financed. If the crack was a problem, the bank wouldn't finance it. Maybe you can call the inspector and ask him to expound on what "servicable" means.
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bp13 View Post
they just act all suspicious of us, as if we might try to sell someone a house with a ruined foundation.
like that hasn't been done before

next time, don't let them in the closet!
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:34 AM   #14
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


I sold my house last December to a first time buyer. In the listing, the agent made listed that the garage had 220 Amp service, when it should of been volts.

The buyer AND his agent were trying the "well the listing says" bunk, and everyday they were stepping it up a notch. I told they buyers agent that it was NOT going to be brought up to the listing, what's there is what's there, if the buyer wanted his money back fine, we were fully prepared to re-list the home.

They quit being a pain and realized it was an honest mistake, and my point for you is don't cave because someone is putting pressure on you, and like Dan101 says -- stand your ground...another buyer is out there. Many new home buyers seem to think they are going to tell the world how to turn and have so much insecurity to boot.

Could you post a picture of the crack so we could get a sense of the scope?

Hang in there...
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:32 AM   #15
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cracks in concrete slab causing home sale to fall though! help!


Take a real hard look again at the purchase agreement the buyers signed. They may not be able to back out without losing the deposit simply because they are "concerned." I would put the onus on them to substantiate the home is structurally unsound, because it is not unsound, or go through with the deal. If they don't want to go through with the deal, tell their agent you will allow them to back out, but because there is no verifiable structural problem, they won't get their deposit back. Make them put up or shut up.

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