Have a house with water damage and need to sell it? You can – here’s how.
Water damage happens! Unfortunately, one of its best places to reside is in homes — your home! Thirty-seven percent of homeowners have suffered losses due to water damage, and 98% of homeowners say they have experienced a water issue in their basement at some point.
If you’ve been wanting to sell your house but faced with water damage, there is hope. At We Buy Your House we can show you how to sell a water-damaged home.
Causes of Water Damage
There are multiple causes of water damage in your home. Some causes may start small but can turn into major issues if left unattended. Here are some of the most common causes of water damage:
Severe Weather or Faulty Eaves troughs & Downspouts
Weather fluctuations, especially here in Canada, can often pose a serious threat to your home. We have harsh winters and often dramatically fluctuating weather conditions. Often if water is not properly routed away from your house it can cause a freeze-thaw action that can be pretty dramatic especially on concrete walkways, decks, and foundations. This is often the main cause of water penetrating the basement of a house. If you live in an area fueled by high winds, flooding, and the like, you may have some instances where high winds have removed pieces of siding, trough or soffit. This is another very common instance where water can penetrate the interior of a property.
Severe cold can freeze water in your pipes, especially pipes running through exterior walls. Most substances shrink in cold temperatures, but water expands about 9% when it freezes. That’s enough pressure on pipes to cause them to crack or create large ruptures that cause them to leak water. But the leaking doesn’t happen until after the pipes thaw. That could be days after the severe cold passes, and by that time, you’ve got a major water leakage.
Appliance Water Leaks
Water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, all of these appliances are great sources for water leaks. Leaks from these appliances can happen in hidden spaces, so you may not even realize they exist until it’s too late.
How to Respond to Water Damage
Water damage to your home is serious business. It’s even more serious if you intend to sell. Here are some quick tips if you intend to sell a water-damaged home:
You may not know you even have water damage until after it’s been around for a while. But the first thing you do when you realize it exists is to act fast. You do that, even if you’re not selling. It only takes 48 hours for mold to set in from water damage, and the longer it remains wet in the water-affected area, the worse your damage will be.
Be cautious as you are entering any flooded area. It may be difficult to determine obstructions and sharp objects lurking below the surface or what chemicals and bacteria are in the water. So wear protective gear like masks, waterproof boots, and quality gloves to protect yourself.
Remove as much as you can from the flooded area — furniture, clothing, boxes, whatever is easy to move by hand. You want to put it in a dry area, so it can be dried and cleaned immediately to minimize damage from mold. If you have fans or humidifiers, this is a great time to use them to dry the wet area and pull the moisture out of the rooms. That is critical for dark spaces like basements.
If possible, take pictures or video the area to document as much as you can for insurance purposes or to show proof of damage to a potential buyer.
Repair What You Can
Whether you sell your home or not, you’ll want to get an estimate of the damage and decide from there what will be worth fixing. If you’re selling your home, potential buyers will want to incur as few repairs on their end as possible. So you’ll want to be realistic from a seller’s perspective of what to fix, as well as from your pocket’s point of view.
Selling a home works best when there is full disclosure to potential buyers. Investing in a contractor to get an accurate assessment on repairs is a smart move — because there’ damage you see, and there’s damage you can’t see. You should know the totality of all the damage before home inspectors share it with potential buyers as you’re in the process of negotiating. If they find out about severe water damage from their house inspection, the entire deal is likely to be blown.
Challenges to Selling a Water-Damaged Home
Challenges exist on any home buyer-seller agreement. When it comes to water-damaged homes, there are even more challenges:
- Price reduction: When potential buyers know they will need to invest for existing repairs due to water damage or for future problems from past water issues, they will likely want to counter offer at a reduced price.
- Potential health concerns: It’s not only possible that the water damage affected the home’s electrical system, which is a health risk within itself, but potential mold could pose a concern for new homeowners.
- Future damage: Water damage never gives a warning before it strikes. It could happen again. However, some buyers might be willing to take the risk if they know all problems have been addressed.
How to Sell a Water-Damaged House
Selling a water-damaged house can be challenging. Water issues do need to be disclosed as part of a sale and are considered a Latent Defect (an issue that cannot be easily discovered but can cause damage to a property), If not disclosed you could face issues down the road with a potential lawsuit on your hands even after the deal has closed. Now let’s say you’ve gotten an estimate to repair and the price is too steep, and insurance isn’t kicking in as you’d hoped. Selling the property on the open market will be very challenging. Most conventional buyers aren’t looking for a water-damaged home since it won’t be considered “move-in ready”. In these situations, you may need to disclose that the house is being sold as-is.
Here at We Buy Your House we will buy your water-damaged home for cash to take the burden off of you. You can avoid all the headaches of failed inspection reports, costs for repairs, listing the home and dealing with agents and most importantly the looming stress after the sale that someone may come back to claim damages!
We will not only give you a fair offer for your home, but we will also factor in serious damage, like mold, and any other latent defect as part of the acknowledgement in the offer. In this way, you’re selling the home stress and worry-free! Learn more about how it works.
How It Works
We research the details of your home and start crafting a great offer for you.
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Get the cash you need now. You do NOT have to wait 6 – 12 months to get your house sold.