What To Do When You Want To Sell A Home That’s Been Flooded

Selling a home that's sustained water damage can be challenging. So if your house has flooded and you want to put on the market, there are a couple of things you will need to do before and during the sales' process to ensure you can unload for the maximum amount of money possible. Here's some advice on handling this type of sale.

Decide Whether to Repair or Sell "As Is"

If you haven't already made repairs to your home—or those repairs were strictly cosmetic—the first thing you need to decide is whether to renovate the property to make the home more attractive to potential buyers or to sell it as it exists in its current state. There are pros and cons to either option.

You're more likely to get the market price of your home if you fix the water damage and invest in mold prevention and remediation services. However, the amount of profit you make will be reduced by the cost of the repairs, though you may not have to pay as much if you have flood insurance and submit a claim for reimbursement. This may be a good option if you still owe money on a mortgage, because you'll likely sell the home for enough money to pay off the loan.

On the other hand, selling the home as is may help you get rid of it faster but at the cost of getting less money. This may be a good option if the water damage is extensive and you don't have the financial resources to pay for repairs. Be aware, though, you are still responsible for paying off your mortgage even if you get enough money from the sale to completely cover it, and the loan must be paid off before the bank will release the lien so you can transfer the title to the new owners.

Disclose the Flooding

Whether you make the repairs or decide to sell the home as is, you must disclose to potential new owners that the home had suffered water damage from flooding. Most states require homeowners to list this type of information on disclosure forms. However, even if it isn't mandatory in your state, it's probably a good idea to let future homeowners know anyways, especially if the flooding was caused by a natural disaster.

First of all, the real estate agent may know your home was flooded and he or she is required by law to disclose that information to buyers. Not telling the buyers yourself may make it seem like your trying to hide something and cause them to question what else you may be keeping from them.

Second, you may open yourself up to a lawsuit if you fail to disclose to the new owners and they are injured by the mold or other problems associated with the water damage. You could end up being held liable for compensating the new owners for their damages and losses, which may be more than what you would lose by disclosing the problem and negotiating a discount on the home's price.

Get the Home Inspected

If you made the repairs on the home, the third thing you should do is pay the $323 and get the home inspected by a professional. Once potential buyers learn the home had suffered water damage, they're going to be concerned about any leftover problems that may have been missed. Getting the home inspected can alleviate their worries and make them more comfortable about putting in an offer.

Just to cover all your bases, you may also want to have the home tested for mold so you can assure potential buyers that's not a problem.

For more tips on selling a home that had been flooded or assistance with the process, contact a real estate agent at companies like Reece Nichols Real Estate.