The statistics might surprise you. But water damage is one of the leading causes of home value depreciation, even if you live in a region of the country which is relatively secure against natural disaster.
Industry estimates indicate that some 14,000 Americans experience some form of water damage emergency in their home each day, while 98 percent of all basements will experience water damage at least once in a home’s lifetime.
But it’s not just the likelihood of water damage which can prove to be a burden for homeowners. It’s the cost. The average water damage repair in the US has been estimated at just over $2,700. That doesn’t even take into consideration the reported $7,000 average most insurance companies have to pay on each claim!
If you’re worried about either selling your house as a result of water damage or your increased insurance, here’s a few things to think about to help protect the value of your home.
Report Any Water Damage to Your Insurance Company Immediately
Depending on how severe the damage is, you could be facing mold repair well in excess of $5,000. That’s not just damaging to your wallet. That’s damaging to your health.
Prior to filing a claim, make sure you remove any standing or still water and attempt to dry as much as you can of the damaged area. You’ll also want to document and inventory any damaged personal items as a result of a water emergency for your claim and seek temporary housing if necessary. While virtually all providers will cover natural disasters, you may find many companies unwilling to address damage caused by certain factors, including:
- Ground seepage.
- Sewer or water pipe backup.
- Leakage as a result of poorly maintained pipes.
- Flooding (with the exception of separately purchased flood insurance.)
Disclose Any History of Water Damage to Potential Buyers
You’ll find that revealing the history of any damages to your home will be a prerequisite from virtually all appraisers as well as mortgage lenders. Failing to do so could hold you legally liable down the road, at costs that could run you tens of thousands of dollars.
Be Prepared for a Drastic Reduction in the Value of Your Home
Water damage doesn’t just result in health and safety hazards as a result of mold. Even your home’s electrical system can be affected by water emergencies. And if water damage has happened once (especially as a result of old or poorly maintained pipes,) the likelihood of it occurring again is simply all too great for buyers to ignore.
It’s not that buyers are unwilling to purchase a home with water damage. It’s simply that they’re not willing to pay full market value. Don’t be surprised if you have to settle for substantially less than you asked after disclosing water damage. Like any other real estate transaction, selling your home is as much dependent on the motivation of a buyer as it is your motivation to sell.
Can I Sell My Home Despite Water Damage?
Yes, and you may even find that necessary repairs might turn out to be minimal.
- Make certain you’ve removed any standing water. Remember, mold can set in at less than 48 hours after a water emergency. Dry every affected area that’s been damaged as quickly as possible, and make certain you have thorough video and photo documentation for your insurance claim.
- Speak to a qualified contractor about assessing repairs. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may wind up paying less than $1,000. But keep in mind that water damage can be far reaching, and you may find the cost of overall renovation after an emergency to be prohibitive.
- Sell your home as is, despite the damage. You’ll find that many reliable home buying services are more than happy to offer you the best deal for a damaged home in need of repairs, without having to face embarrassing questions or hesitation from prospective buyers. You might even find that you can receive in estimate in as little as 3-5 business days, despite far reaching water damage.
If you live in Salt Lake City and are concerned about selling your home with water damage, Enlight Homebuyers can help. Call us at 801-939-0123 to find out how we can help you get out of your home, so you don’t have to worry about making repairs!