You’ve finally gathered enough money to move into a new and exciting home, and WHAM—water damage. It seems there couldn’t be a more inopportune time to discover water damage than when your home is on the market or about to be listed. Selling a home is confusing enough already; now, the process just got much more disorienting.
This problem affects more homeowners than you’d expect. We’ve done a bit of research into figuring out what to do in this tricky situation, and gathered a hew helpful tips for selling your home with water damage.
Tell Your Realtor
If you’re working with a realtor to sell your home, this process gets much simpler. Chances are, they’ve gone through this process before. At the very least, they’ll know what to do, or can find out the best ways to sell a home with water damage.
No realtor? No problem. Check out these other tips.
DO NOT Conceal Water Damage
As tempting as it may seem to just leave the information off your home’s information sheet, hiding water damage can come back to haunt you. If you knowingly conceal water damage, the buyers of your home can sue you and force you to pay for all the damages. That means damages both to the home and their property and, in some cases, emotional damages.
Do Little Things to Fix What You Can
If you can catch the water damage within the first 48 hours (i.e. damage from a flood), there’s a lot you can do to prevent future damage.
- Take photographs and call your insurance company as quickly as you can.
- Remove all furniture containing fabric, such as couches, mattresses, and clothing, from your home. Don’t throw it away—move it to a safe location until it dries. This way, retained moisture won’t be seeping into your floors and walls.
- Replace any drywall quickly to prevent mold.
- Recover as much as you can. Use these tips on how to recover from flood damage to see what other steps you can take to make your home safe again.
Consider Hiring a Water Damage Restoration Service
For better or for worse, your home will sell easier and quicker if you can handle the damage before selling. Think about working with a water damage restoration service to fix any damage before you list your home. Restoration Logistics gives a great overview of what to do in the case of water damage and how to find a trained and qualified restoration team.
Pay for an Inspection
One way to comfort your potential buyers is to pay for the home inspection yourself. By paying for the inspection, you are proving to your buyers that you are knowledgeable of the situation. An inspection will explain the full extent of the damage from the get-go and give an estimate for how much repairs will cost. This information can be used from the beginning of negotiations to avoid future confusion and keep a potential of a buyer from backing out of a contract.
Check Out a No-Questions-Asked Home Buying Company
We’ve all seen those “sell your home quick!” and “I’ve bought every house I’ve ever seen!” advertisements on TV or billboards. While ordinarily those companies aren’t a great option for selling a home, in this situation, it may be your best option. If you’re just looking to get out of your home quickly with no strings attached, think about contacting one of these companies to sell your home as-is.
In Short: It’s Difficult but Doable
Selling a home with water damage can be a bit complicated, but it’s far from impossible. Follow these tips as well as you can and be sure to be honest with any potential buyers. Chances are, someone will come along and love your home enough to negotiate how the damage will be resolved, and you’ll be able to replace that ‘FOR SALE’ sign with ‘SOLD’.