If you’ve experienced flooding in your house, you may want to learn how to sell a house fast with water damage. We know those who experienced the flooding in Texas are going through a lot. In many regions, the flash flooding was completely unexpected until hours or minutes before, and people were unprepared for the devastating and sudden damage to their property. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the storms.
Steps To Minimize Damage
First, if your house has flooded, there are steps to consider within the first 48 hours to help prevent further damage and minimize repair costs. For flooding safety tips, read our article on What to Do in Case of a Flood.
- Create a list of all of your damaged property and record them through pictures. FEMA has an inventory list that is available online: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1404409110266-d93226fb52d05ff0dcb9eb036719cd3e/FEMA_Form_086-0-6.pdf
- Call your insurance company right away. Take photos of ALL damage, inside and outside. Be thorough in your documentation.
- Remove all fabric and water-holding items such as furniture, mattresses, clothing and bedding. Note that you should not throw these items away though, as adjusters will want to see photos and the actual items themselves.
- Sometimes real wood floors can be salvaged after a flood if the water was removed quickly or receded. Try using a humidifier and keep it running. This will not only help the floor, but it could help your walls and ceilings as well.
- Drywall does not dry well. In most cases, the parts of your dry wall that got wet need to be cut out and replaced immediately to prevent mold.
- If the ceiling is plaster, it will be easier to save because it is an inorganic material and cannot grow mold. If it is sheetrock, the paper on the back can easily be a source for mold. It is better to replace it.
- When it comes to furniture, if it’s wood, there is a good chance that it can be salvaged. Waterlogged solid wood will dry in about four to six weeks. However, furniture that is created out of particle board, no matter how upscale, can most likely not be saved after sitting for a long period of time.
- Wash upholstery fabric or send it to the dry cleaners. Certain fabrics can be cleaned, but other may not.
- For clothing affected by flood water, speed is essential in order to prevent mildew and fading garments. Try to avoid storing clothes in plastic bags as they need ventilation to air out and dry. Make sure to wear gloves when handling clothing, and sewage water may contain many harmful materials.
- Leave shoes to air dry as heat from a dryer may cause them to shrink.
- In order to avoid potential mold issues, it is crucial to begin to dry everything as fast as possible as mold only needs 48 hours to germinate. For serious flooding, use a fan or a dehumidifier to help remove water away from walls and floors (after your insurer gives the go ahead). Make sure to clean surfaces with a non-ammonia detergent and or pine oil cleaner and use a 10% bleach solution for disinfecting (do not mix ammonia and bleach products, this is incredibly dangerous). Always test this solution on a small area of the item or area you’re cleaning to be sure it doesn’t cause staining or fading. Wear boots, rubber gloves and/or a mask during this process in order to ensure safety as mold can be harmful.
- If your car has been damaged, contact your insurer as they can assist with things such as towing, repair, rentals, etc.
- For other safety tips regarding flooding, please check out our post on What to Do in Case of a Flood.
Repair Water Damaged Areas
Signs of water damage scare buyers away. Even if you make all the necessary repairs, if you do not repair the damage, buyers will assume the worst. They will fear what they can’t see. Because buyers entering the transaction with a greater amount of negative baggage and thus risk, it will be difficult to break through the assumptions to show that the home is worth a higher value.
In addition to replacing drywall and flooring where needed, consider painting everything white or beige before you sell your house. Not only do neutral colors appeal to buyers because they can better imagine how they would sue the space, but it will also make the interiors look clean and fresh. Your goal should be to make the space look as pristine as possible, to assuage any fears regarding water damage and past flooding. Water damage can be intrusive and intense, but it’s not impossible to fix.
Hire An Inspector to Comfort Buyers
One way to get the highest price possible for your water damaged house, whether or not it is repaired, is to pay to have the property inspected. An inspector can identify signs of water damage and inform you where your potentially problem areas lie for water damage in the house. Knowing exactly what is wrong will give you an upper hand because the repair estimates (or lack thereof) will not be debatable. They will be a known factor.
If repairs are needed, obtain an estimate for water damage repairs. Contact a contractor to provide you with an estimate, and provide the contractor with a copy of the home inspector report. For yours and the buyer’s peace of mind, you might consider contacting more than one contractor for a second opinion to make sure the estimates are accurate, and to give you a better understanding of the scope of work and costs involved.
Sell The House Fast As-Is
If you find yourself without insurance, or unable to make repairs for any reason, then you can still sell a house with water damage. All you have to do is advertise that the house is being sold as-is, and buyer will know to expect that the house needs repairs. Some water damage is not uncommon in as-is properties.
While you can certainly use an agent, or sell the property yourself, the best option when selling as-is is to use a home buying company such as Big State Home Buyers. In many cases, Big State can direct you towards resources that can help you clean the house. They will also handle other issues such as title processing and closing, so that you can simply focusing on starting your new life in a new residence.
To get a no risk, free quote from your friends at Big State, call us at 888-915-6501 or fill out our Quick Offer form. We can have a quote for you within 24 hours.