Launch Homebuyers

How to Sell a Water-Damaged Home Fast and For Cash

Flood Road Gone Down

Have you suffered a flood? Was there an emergency with your utilities or appliances, like burst pipes? Did a serious leak cause issues to your home, forcing you to vacate indefinitely? H

as there been a natural disaster or severe weather event in your area? These things could happen to anybody, and sadly there’s little we can do in the moment to control or mitigate the damage. 

If you’re struggling with the aftermath of severe water or flood damage to your home, Launch Homebuyers can help you find a solution. We’ve helped countless homeowners in situations just like yours to sell their home quickly and for cash, regardless of its damaged condition.

Selling a House with Water Damage Is Not as Difficult as You May Think

If you’re deep and drowning in property debt, just trying to keep your head above water, you have help. Although it may seem highly unlikely at the moment that you’ll ever find a potential buyer, the truth is, numerous investors are looking for homes just like yours.

Don’t believe it? In this article you can learn how to sell your water-damaged house regardless of the condition of the real estate.

Selling a water-damaged home doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You’ve dealt with enough already. To sell a house with severe water damage, there are many things you can do.

Whether you choose to sell with the help of a traditional real estate agent or want to reduce the trouble and sell directly to cash investors, you can do so. Understand your options and take action starting today.

What Is Considered a Water-Damaged House?

Although the legal definition of a water-damaged property will change based on local laws and contexts, a water-damaged home is generally any real estate that incurred damage from water, such as:

  • Flood Water
  • Leaks
  • Accumulated Moisture

Now obviously, the reasons for these water intrusions can be wide-ranging. Leaking pipes, natural disasters, heavy rainstorms, flood zone issues, weakened floor joists, and other structural integrity issues may lead to water damage in a house.

In some cases, a house with water damage fails to meet certain building codes or regulations. Insurance companies will also use their own terms, definitions, and provisions for water damage, meaning many homeowners are left without protection.

Water Damage and Flood Insurance: What You Need to Know

Beach Erosion Hurricane MatthewWhether you’re a real estate investor with a water-damaged home or the home is your primary residence, it’s necessary to fully understand your insurance coverage. While insurance companies provide various provisions and coverage options and could cover a range of water-related damages, there are often provisions that exclude many homeowners with water-damaged properties from being able to claim.

It’s a good idea to go over your insurance policy and consider the specifics of any flood insurance before you file a claim on water damage.

Forms of Water Damage

Not all insurance policies may cover water damage caused by certain events. Was there a crack or gap in your exterior walls? Do you live in a flood zone, flood-prone area, or wet area? Did pipes burst or appliances leak? Was the water damage due to backed-up sewers?

More importantly, did you perform the necessary repairs and maintenance to keep your home up to code?

Depending on the source of the water damage, you may be left footing the whole bill or none of it. Fortunately, with cash buyers, you can often sell quickly despite these poor conditions. With traditional buyers, however, real estate agents may find it hard to sell your home.

Cutoffs on Coverage

Typically, flood insurance policies have clear limits or caveats. These limits represent the highest amount of coverage a homeowner can receive for water damage. Many homeowners may find themselves dealing with serious expenses, especially if the damage is catastrophic. Major issues also make it difficult to market to potential buyers.

Homeowners should always have a clear understanding of their flood insurance policy limits and restrictions.

Damage Reduction Requirements

Insurance companies won’t just throw money at water-damaged homes. If it’s determined that the homeowner didn’t make certain mitigation efforts to prevent or reduce water damage, the insurance company may deny coverage. For instance, policyholders should turn off the water, remove water, and take other actions to avoid future damage.

Homeowners should also check their plumbing gauge, as enough pressure can lead to leaks.

Another example is cold weather which may freeze water. Once the severe cold passes, a policyholder might need to prove they have taken steps to thaw the pipes. In other areas, such as flood-prone areas, residents may be expected to use removable flood barriers or flood gates. It all depends on the area regulations, policy specifics, and property characteristics.

Water Damage Exclusions

Depending upon the policy, you may be unable to get coverage for damage stemming from lack of maintenance or deterioration. Moreover, some insurance policies may exclude mold damage, such as from black mold, forcing you to cover the costs of mold remediation. You may have to prove the source of the moisture and mold to get coverage under your plan.

Then there’s the question of substantial documentation requirements. Without the proper paperwork, your claims could be denied.

Deductible Amounts

Deductibles are the amount a given policyholder must pay before an insurance policy starts covering damages. Deductibles vary based on policy specifics. Homeowners typically receive coverage after either a precise amount or a predetermined percentage has been reached.

It’s important that you properly assess and document all damages. Professional inspectors and contractors can help put the right price tag on water damages as you pay off the deductible.

Filing Damage Claims

Damaged Storm Flood

Insurance companies require that policyholders report water damages as soon as they possibly can. If a homeowner waits and the problem gets worse, the insurance company may decrease or deny coverage. In some cases, failure to report quickly may not only impact coverage but also significantly increase any health risk.

Policyholders should always speak with an insurance representative, and if need be, consult a legal professional in the case of coverage discrepancies. In cases dealing with potentially deadly black mold, your health and wellness should be a top priority!

Fortunately, despite all of the issues that affect a house with water damage, homeowners can still sell their property. There are two main ways to sell your water-damaged house to real estate investors and potential buyers. One method includes using a real estate agent, the other method features a cash buyer.

5 Easy Steps for Selling a House with Water Damage

If you’re facing expensive repairs, significant water damage, and numerous cleanup costs and efforts (i.e., mold remediation), you may have a long road ahead. Although selling with traditional real estate agents is always an option, it can be hard to find a buyer interested in damaged property in the open market. Your best bet may be to take a fast cash offer from a trusted cash buyer.

If you do elect to sell your water-damaged house the traditional way, the following 5 steps may be vital to selling to a traditional buyer on the market.

1. Inspect and Assess

Hurricane Harvey Texas Home

Obviously, before you sell a house you’re going to want to present that house in the best light possible. Even if you can’t address all the water damage-related issues, you’ll still want to take care of the most problematic and blatant issues. Remember, water and other substances shrink and damage many materials,

Consult an expert, get a home inspection, speak with contractors, and learn how you can address repairs and save money. After all, if the home is not marketable or livable, it’ll be more challenging to sell on the market.

2. Be Honest About Damages

Selling a house with water damage may be a daunting task, but it’s even harder if you don’t fully disclose the damages to a potential buyer. Not only does this make you more trustworthy in the eyes of potential buyers, but it can also help you avoid serious legal consequences in the future.

What are the salient issues? Are there leaking pipes? A flooded basement? Mold damage? Ruined appliances? Stained carpets? Do the washing machines leak water? Is the home’s electrical system completely destroyed?

Be transparent with potential buyers. Full disclosure is the way to go!

3. Use Effective Marketing

If you’re selling a house, good marketing and advertising are key. But if you’re selling a house with water damage, they’re especially important. Even if you can’t address all of the damage-related issues, be sure to emphasize the many great features, qualities, amenities, and most importantly, potentialities of the property.

Find a Real Estate Agent Who Can Bring It to Life

Consult a real estate agent or professional photographer so that you can snap great photos or even present concept art that shows what the property looks like when its current water damage isn’t a problem anymore. 

Also be sure to leverage the power of detailed, targeted descriptions. Does the potential buyer intend to rent it out, flip it, or live in it for years to come? Make sure you target the appropriate demographic.

4. Lower Your Asking Price

As you may know, a house with water damage will not sell at the same price as a pristine house. So be prepared for price concessions. Price your home appropriately, and don’t expect to get more money than it’s worth. Consult an expert about repair costs, market conditions, and particular valuations.

Depending on the water damage, the home’s fair market value may be severely impacted or only marginally affected. Either way, be open to a price reduction and ensure you have a consummate professional on your side when the house hits the open market.

A good asking price can be the difference between the property stagnating for years or selling in weeks or months.

5. Do a Quick Cash Sale

Finally, consider a cash sale. If all of this sounds too exhausting, too tedious, or too much anything, you’re not alone. Cash buyers and investors are always a viable option, especially for homeowners of water-damaged properties. Many cash purchasers like Launch Homebuyers will even take on the property in ‘as-is’ condition, meaning you don’t have to do fixes or inspections before selling.

Also, consider the cost structure. With real estate agents, you have to pay realtor fees, commissions, transaction costs, and other significant expenses. If a cash buyer buys the property as is, you won’t have to worry about any of this.

Using Cash Buyers Vs Using Real Estate Agents: Key Differences

flooding in the city

After your home has taken on water damage, the last thing you need is more stress, anxiety, and confusion. A trustworthy real estate investor can either purchase directly or help you get your home sold quickly.

If you don’t have the time, money, or energy for going through the long-winded traditional process of selling a home, you don’t have to.

Cash buyers often offer innovative solutions, even for homes with extensive water damage. Such a buyer may provide you with a cash offer, regardless of the condition of your home or your current financial or life situation. Yes, they even buy ‘ugly’ houses.

Meanwhile, a real estate agent may have to search far and wide for prospective buyers, even as the bills pile up.

Pros and Cons of Realtors and Cash Buyers

On one hand, realtors are good because they can potentially get you above market value for your home. However, to command such a price, you’ll have to pay to fix all of the water damage, which can be exorbitant.

By comparison, a cash buyer will care far less about water damage repairs and renovations. You can receive a cash offer in a matter of days and won’t have to worry about all the paperwork associated with traditional realty.

While realtors can provide you access to listing services, professional staging and photography, and everything else, it all comes at a fee. Closing costs may include escrow fees, notary fees, transfer taxes, and more. Not to mention, outstanding property taxes and mortgage payments.

Your home already has water damage… Do you really want more expenses?

Get a Fair Cash Offer on Your Water-Damaged Home in No Time

Ultimately, selling water-damaged homes should not require a herculean effort. And it doesn’t. With Launch Homebuyers, you can receive prompt, attentive service, and expect to close on your water-damaged home when you want.

It doesn’t matter if it’s mere days or 12 months. Launch Homebuyers makes cash offers to homeowners all the time. We’ve helped sellers in every situation. Whether they were facing foreclosure, had disaster-damaged homes, had lost their job, or needed to move immediately, our investors were able to get them cash in hand.

Simple, Fast, All-Cash Offers for Water-Damaged Homes

With Launch Homebuyers, the real estate transaction process is simplified, so that selling a house is as easy as one, two, three… four.

All you have to do is fill out an online form, get on a brief call, send over some photos, and we’ll get back to you within days with a final cash offer.

It’s that simple.

So, consider the cash buyers with a track record second to none. With over 100+ 5-star reviews and more than 200 houses sold across over 25 years of expert transactions, Launch Homebuyers is your go-to in times of need.

Give us a call to get a fair cash offer 100% free on your water damaged home. 

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