How to Sell a Home With Water Damage
You’ve prepared to sell your home and then a disaster strikes — your basement floods, your roof decides it has seen its last days, or your water heater goes kaput. What do you do? Are all hopes of a successful home sale off the table? While this is a situation that you’ll have to deal with, it doesn’t mean the end. There are steps that you can take to ameliorate the damage and get that ‘for sale’ sign up on your home.
Prevent further damage
If you are aware of what caused the water damage and the likelihood of it occurring again, you are more likely to put buyers at ease. Some common home repair issues that can cause water damage are: rusty or leaky pipes, leaky water heaters, leaky toilets, flat roofs that are susceptible to debris buildup, and clogged gutters. Home inspectors are trained to be on the lookout for these common issues and if a problem does come out during an inspection, you’ll want to work with an expert for plumbing advice.
Water damage and insurance
Depending on the type of water damage in your home and its cause, you may be able to get insurance to cover repairs. The types of water damage covered through insurance typically include sudden or accidental discharge, overflow, floods, and sewer or water backup. Gradual damage may also be included, but it must not have been a problem from deliberate neglect. How much is covered will depend on your policy, but comprehensive homeowners insurance comparison engine ValuePenguin estimates that most will cover up to $5,000 for mold remediation.
The problem is fixed, do you still need to tell buyers?
Experts say that if you aren’t sure whether or not you should disclose a problem then you should err on the side of yes. That’s because disclosures are a requirement of real estate transactions, and if you don’t share an issue with a potential buyer and they find out after they’ve purchased your home, you could face legal action.
Be aware of the challenges
If you’ve remediated the problem and there is still a known issue that needs to be resolved, there are a few challenges that you’ll want to be aware of. Selling a home with a history of water damage might mean a price reduction, but how much will depend on the cost of repairs. If you’ve already fixed the problem, it’s to your advantage to show documentation of it.
Should you sell your house as is?
Depending on the severity of the situation, you might consider selling your house “as is” to a cash investor. You might go this route if you find yourself in a gridlock with a potential buyer, or find that offers aren’t coming in once you make disclosures. But there are some drawbacks with this option, such as potentially receiving less for your house than you would with a non-cash offer.
The bottom line is, if you want to sell a home with water damage, it’s possible as long as you take steps to remediate the problem, or offer incentives for a buyer to go forward with the deal, despite your home’s potential flaws.