Selling a House with Water Damage

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Selling a house with water damage

Selling a house with water damage is daunting for any homeowner. While the presence of water damage drastically reduces the value of your home, it is still possible to sell it as long as you are willing to put in some extra effort.

This guide will provide an overview of the causes and effects of water damage and offer tips on how to properly prepare and market your home for sale despite its condition. There are options for you, depending on your budget, timeframe, and desire to sell your home

Your Guide to Selling a House With Water Damage 

Many homeowners dread having to sell a house with water damage. Water damage causes:

  • significant structural damage
  • costly repairs before a sale
  • difficulty attracting potential buyers

In this guide, you’ll learn about the common causes of water damage in households and how to sell a house with water damage. We’ll also look at some tips for reducing your chances of selling a property affected by water damage and how to get your house ready to sell.

Causes of Water Damage to Houses

Water is potent and causes major damage to your home if it isn’t properly managed and monitored. Understanding the common causes of water damage is integral to knowing how to prevent it and protect your house. 

The most important thing you do when you find water damage is to move as quickly as possible. It only takes 48 hours for mold to set in, and the longer things remain wet, the more likely they are to be destroyed or cause permanent damage.

Pipe Leaks

Pipe leaks are one of the most common causes of home water damage. The water damage caused by a pipe leak is challenging to detect. 

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are reasonably durable, but they develop water damage if not regularly maintained. One of the biggest problems with flat roofs is that they don’t allow proper drainage. Without adequate drainage, water will pool on the roof, leading to potential issues with leaks and water damage.

Weather issues

Weather Issues

The weather plays a role in causing water damage to your home:

  • Heavy rain
  • Hail storms
  • Other severe weather events

All lead to flooding or water intrusion into your house. Wind-driven rains cause water to penetrate through weak spots in the roof or walls of your home.

Foundation Leaks

Leaks or seepage from the home’s foundation causes water damage sometimes. A wet basement is a warning sign of an issue with your foundation. If left unaddressed, this type of water intrusion eventually causes severe structural damage to the house.

If you suspect you may have a foundation leak, it’s essential to contact a professional as soon as possible. The sooner you identify the issue, the easier and less expensive it will be to repair the damage.

Clogged Gutters

Water damage to a house typically occurs when the gutters become clogged. Clogged gutters lead to overflow, which causes water to leak from the roof and sides of the house. When this occurs, water seeps into cracks and crevices in the foundation and walls of a home, leading to water damage.

Surge Floods

Surge floods are a particularly damaging form of flooding that cause severe water damage to a house. They occur anywhere near a body of water but are most common in areas near rivers or the ocean. In coastal regions, surge floods are particularly destructive because of the high storm surge that can accompany them. This flood often reaches far inland, damaging homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

How Home Insurance Works with Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most devastating events a homeowner may face. When a home suffers from water damage, it leads to costly repairs. 

Homeowners should check the specific language of their policies to determine what is covered. Home insurance policies typically exclude losses caused by water damage that results from a gradual buildup of water in the building or property over time. Generally, policies will not cover water damage caused by leaking pipes, faulty appliances, fixtures, or other ongoing maintenance issues.

Homeowners who need to make repairs or replacements due to water damage may be able to rely on the coverage provided by their home insurance policy, depending on the type of loss that occurred and the language of the policy. 

You should always take the necessary steps to ensure you  are prepared and protected in the event of any losses caused by water damage. By understanding the limits of their home insurance coverage and taking necessary precautions, homeowners ensure they are well-prepared to sell a house with water damage.

Is Water Damage Covered By Home Insurance

One of the most common questions homeowners have is whether or not their home insurance policy covers water damage in their homes. The answer to this question depends on your coverage type and what caused the water damage.

Home insurance policies sometimes cover water damage caused by sudden and accidental events, such as a burst pipe, leaking roof, or flood. However, the specific terms of each policy will vary widely depending on your insurer and type of coverage. It is essential to read through your policy details carefully and understand what is covered and what is not.

When it comes to water damage specifically, most homeowners insurance policies will cover the cost of repairs and clean-up in cases where the source of the damage was sudden and accidental. 

Insurers may not cover water damage caused by negligence or delayed action on the homeowner’s part. For example, if you have a leaking roof and fail to call a professional to repair it promptly, your insurance company could deny any claims related to the resulting water damage.

Policies may exclude coverage for certain types of water damage. For instance, many policies do not cover water damage caused by floods or sewer backups. Some home insurance policies limit the amount of coverage for water damage claims. If the repair or clean-up cost exceeds the limit, you will be responsible for paying out of pocket for any additional charges. ‘

It’s essential to understand your policy and speak with your insurer to ensure you have adequate coverage in a water damage-related emergency.

Fixing water damage on your house

Fixing Water Damage on Your House

Regardless of the cause, fixing water damage as quickly as possible is essential to prevent further damage to the house or its inhabitants.

The first step to fixing water damage is assessing the situation by determining where the water has come from and what damage it’s done to your home. If you need more clarification, it’s best to call a professional to help you diagnose the problem. Once this is complete, you should begin repairing any water damage.

Remove all items from the flooded or wet area. Get the items to a place to dry and clean it immediately to minimize mold damage:

  • Clothing needs to be washed quickly and thoroughly. 
  • Upholstery and other fabrics should go to cleaners who deal with them.

Use fans or dehumidifiers. They help to dry the wet area and pull the moisture out of rooms, which is critical for basements and darker spaces.

If you need to wade into a flooded space, make sure you’re protecting yourself with:

  • Waterproof boots
  • Mask
  • Quality rubber gloves

Once you’re in the damp or flooded space, start documenting what you see:

  • Take pictures. 
  • Take videos. 
  • Document items. 

Get every part of the home that’s been affected on record. You’ll want as much evidence as possible if you report it to insurance or need to prove what happened to a potential buyer.

In some cases, you will fix the problem by repairing or replacing any broken pipes, faucets, or other components causing the water leakage. However, it’s essential to consult a professional if you need clarification on any work you’ll be doing, as mistakes lead to further damage.

If your house has been affected by a natural disaster such as flooding or storms, it’s important to contact professional help immediately. These types of water damage causes severe structural issues and may require specialized equipment to repair. Professional water damage restoration companies provide services and expertise to restore your house to its former glory.

Challenges When Selling a House With Water Damage

Not only does water damage have the potential to reduce the value of a property significantly, but it makes it more difficult to find a buyer willing to purchase at the market rate. 

One challenge of selling a home with water damage is assessing its extent and determining whether it will require extensive repairs. Generally speaking, if there is ample evidence of water damage, such as mold or sagging ceilings or walls, then repairs are necessary. Document all instances of water damage to adequately address it before listing the home.

Another challenge of selling a home with water damage is determining which repairs you need for the property to be safe and habitable. Sellers may need to take additional steps, such as installing waterproofing systems or replacing portions of drywall or flooring. Sellers must factor these additional costs into their budget when selling a water-damaged home.

The final challenge of selling a home with water damage is finding a buyer willing to purchase the property at the market rate. Due to health hazards associated with water damage, potential buyers may balk at buying a home with this issue. Sellers need to be realistic about the market value of their property and how much they expect to receive from any potential buyer. 

How to sell your house with water damage

How to Sell Your House With Water Damage

Homes that have experienced water damage may require significant repairs and restorative work to make them livable again. If you want to sell your house that needs repairs, here are a few things to remember.

1. Assess the Extent of Damage

The most crucial step when selling your house with water damage is assessing the extent of the damage and how much work will be required to restore your home. Use a qualified and experienced professional to inspect the property to provide you with an accurate assessment. They will report on the extent of the damage, which will inform your decision-making process.

2. Make Necessary Repairs

Once you have received a report from a professional, it’s time to start making necessary repairs. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to replace pipes and plumbing fixtures, repair walls and ceilings, install new flooring and drywall, and make other repairs. Hiring qualified professionals ensures all work is correct, safe, and complete.

3. Document All Improvements

When selling a house with water damage, you should provide prospective buyers with documentation of all the repairs and improvements. The documentation gives peace of mind when buyers make an offer, as they’ll know that the restored property is in its original condition. Be sure to include photos along with any repair receipts or contractor invoices.

4. Consider Damage Disclosure Laws

It’s essential to be aware of damage disclosure laws in your state, as these affect the process of selling a house with water damage. In most states, sellers must disclose any known damages or defects when listing their home. 

5. Price Your Home Accordingly

When pricing your home, remember that houses with water damage may be less desirable to potential buyers. They may require additional repairs and maintenance and could even have associated health risks. 

6. Consider Selling To An Investor

So you find yourself with a water-damaged home, you need more money to fix it, and you don’t think you’ll be able to find a buyer on the open market. Your best bet might be to sell the home to an investor like Nexus Homebuyers, who will buy it as-is.

Selling a home with water damage is difficult, but it is not impossible. An option is to sell as-is to one of the cash home buyers in Tennessee. You could sell a house fast in Knoxville, Nashville, or Chattanooga with water damage. 


Selling a house is intimidating, but with the right strategy and partner, it doesn’t have to be. Dealing with water damage feels like opening a can of worms. Still, it’s important to remember that it is a common issue for home sellers, and numerous solutions are available.

Having the right experts on your side makes all the difference. If you need help with making repairs, feel free to contact Nexus Homebuyers. They are a ‘we buy houses Nashville’ home buyer specializing in helping homeowners who need to sell their houses fast and hassle-free.

Get an all cash offer on your home