Have you experienced flooding or water damage and are looking to learn how to sell a house fast with water damage? Use our comprehensive assessment for guiding you through the troubled waters.
In many Houston areas, flash flooding is unexpected… Often times until hours or minutes before the damage is done.
This leaves many unprepared for the devastating and sudden damage.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to everyone affected by storms and its subsequent damages.
Minimize the Damage
Before making major decisions, there are important checklists to consider within the first 48 hours. These lists help prevent further damage and help minimize expensive repair costs.
For extended safety tips regarding flooding, please check out our post on What to Do in Case of a Flood.
Create a list of all of your damaged property.
FEMA has an inventory list that is available online: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1533072322762-1d189f65dcde47ec916ebdf2a477552f/FEMA_Form_086-0-06_08012017_worksheet_contents.pdf
Call your insurance company immediately.
Take photos of all damage, inside and outside–regardless of how big or small the damage is. Be thorough in your documentation and take detailed notes for each photo taken.
Begin cleaning and assessing damage.
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 possibly the actual items before discard.
In many cases, real wood floors can be salvaged after a flood if the water was removed quickly or receded quickly. Consider using a humidifier and keep it running until your floors are dry. This will not only help the floors, but it will help your walls and ceilings dry as well.
Contrary to its name, drywall does not dry well. In most cases, parts of your drywall wet or submerged in water need to be cut out immediately. This helps prevent mold and further water damage.
If you have a plaster ceiling, it may be salvageable because of its inorganic material and resistance to grow mold.
Clean furniture, upholstery and fabric.
For furniture, in particular wood furniture, it may be salvaged. Waterlogged solid wood will dry in about four to six weeks. Furniture created from particle board cannot be saved… Especially after sitting in water for an extended amount of time.
Wash all upholstery fabric or send them to dry cleaning professionals. Select fabrics can be cleaned and reserved for later use once your furniture, accessories, and property have been restored.
Promptly wash and dry clothing affected by flood water. This essential tip helps prevent mildew and fading garments. Avoid storing clothes in plastic bags as they need ventilation for air drying.
Leave shoes to air dry as heat from a dryer may cause them to shrink.
How To Avoid Mold Issues After a Flood
To avoid mold after a flood, dry everything as fast as possible. Mold only needs 48 hours to germinate. Use a fan and/or dehumidifier to help evaporate water from walls and floors (after you’ve consulted with your insurer).
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. This ensures it won’t cause staining or fading. Wear boots, rubber gloves and/or a mask during this process to ensure safety as mold can be harmful.
If your car has been damaged, contact your insurer as they can assist with arrangements such as towing, repair, or rentals.
Before handling any flood damaged materials or items, make sure to wear industrial-quality gloves as sewage water may contain harmful materials and contaminate your belongings. For other safety tips regarding flooding, please check out our post on What to Do in Case of a Flood.
Repair Water Damaged Areas
If you are considering to sell a water damaged house, signs of previous water damage may scare buyers from purchasing your house. Even with all the necessary repairs, if you do not repair the underline damage, buyers will assume the worst of what they can’t see. Because your buyers are entering the transaction sell of your house with thoughts of flood damage and risk, it will be difficult for them to see your house’s higher value.
In addition to replacing drywall and flooring where needed, repaint your walls to white or beige hues before you sell your house. Not only do neutral colors appeal to buyers because they can better imagine how they would use 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 are without insurance, or unable to make repairs to your house, you can still sell a house with water damage. You have the option to sell a house as is, and buyers will know to expect to purchase a house that needs repair work. Water damage is not uncommon in as-is properties. While you can employ a traditional real estate agent or attempt to sell the property yourself, the quickest, most effective option is to sell a house as through a buying company like Big State Home Buyers. In many cases, Big State can direct you towards resources to help you clean the house. Big State can also assist with moving expenses, resolve most title issues, and simplify the closing process, so that you can focus on moving forward.