sell house with water damage

How To Sell A House That Has Flooded

Selling a house with water damage presents unique challenges and considerations.

Water damage can significantly impact a property’s value and deter potential buyers due to concerns about structural integrity and mold. It’s crucial to disclose all known issues and have a thorough inspection to identify the extent of the damage.

According to the National Association of Realtors, homes with significant damage can lose up to 20% of their value.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. We are not experts in legal matters, and readers are encouraged to seek the proper professional legal counsel for specific guidance.

Key Takeaways  

  • Be honest about the water damage.
  • Think about repair costs and lower selling prices.
  • Understand long-term issues like mold.
  • Consider selling “as-is” to save on repairs.

Selling a House With Water Damage?

Water damage can be a challenging and emotional experience for homeowners. Whether it’s a burst pipe, severe flooding, or persistent leaks, dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming. 

If you want to know about selling a house with water in the crawl space or have questions about selling a rental property in Southern California, contact us today and let us handle the complexities!

Can You Sell a House With Water Damage?

Absolutely, you can sell a house with water damage, but it’s not a walk in the park. A successful sale is dependent on you being upfront about the issues with potential buyers and fixing the source of the damage. Also highlight the property’s potential and engage with buyers!

It’s a similar situation when selling a house with fire damage in that the key is being transparent.

How to Sell a House That Has Flooded or Been Water Damaged

Selling a water-damaged house involves strategic steps. Start by thoroughly assessing and repairing the damage, and be straight up with potential buyers. Show off the place looking way better, and think about setting a fair price. Team up with real estate experts who know their way around these situations.

Selling a house with foundation issues as well as a damaged home from water? Addressing these concerns upfront is crucial for instilling confidence in potential buyers.

If you’re in Southern California and need assistance on when to sell rental property, reach out to SoCal Home Buyers for expert guidance and support.

Selling A House That Has Flooded To Cash Buyers 

Selling to cash buyers can be particularly beneficial when time is of the essence. Cash transactions generally close faster than traditional sales, often within a week or two. This quick turnaround can be a significant advantage for sellers facing foreclosure, urgent relocation, or financial distress. Cash buyers, often real estate investors, are experienced in handling distressed properties and are familiar with the potential issues and repair costs. They may also be more flexible with the terms of sale, offering more convenience to the seller. However, it’s crucial to work with reputable cash buyers and ensure all agreements are clearly documented to avoid misunderstandings or potential scams.

1. First Fix the Problem, Then Sell

Before putting your water-damaged house on the market, it’s crucial to address the issues head-on.

While this might seem like an additional hurdle, it can have both advantages and disadvantages: 


  • Increased property value: Repairing a home with water damage enhances its overall condition, potentially boosting its market value.
  • Broader buyer pool: A well-maintained property attracts a larger pool of potential buyers, increasing the chances of a quicker sale. 
  • Smooth negotiations: Proactively handling repairs minimizes negotiation obstacles, as buyers are more likely to make reasonable offers when the property is in good shape. 


  • Upfront costs: Investing in repairs can be financially demanding, requiring an initial investment before your property is sold. 
  • Time-consuming: Addressing water damage can take longer than expected, with the knock-on effect of a delay in putting it on the market.
  • Uncertain returns: While repairs can enhance your property’s appeal, there’s no guarantee that you’ll recoup the full cost through a higher sale price. 

Additional reading: Can you write off a loss on the sale of an investment property?

If I Sell My Flooded Home After Repairs, Do I Need to Disclose It?

Disclosing water damage when selling a house, even after repairs, is crucial, especially when considering tenants’ rights when the landlord sells a property.

Transparency builds trust with potential buyers and protects you from legal issues down the line, so clearly communicate the history of water damage, the repairs undertaken, and any preventive measures implemented to provide a comprehensive overview to prospective buyers.

Additional reading: Do you have to disclose mold remediation when selling a house?

Water Damage Remediation Process 

The remediation process for a home with water damage begins with a thorough assessment to identify the extent of the damage and the source of the water. Professionals will use specialized equipment to detect moisture in walls, floors, and ceilings. Once the assessment is complete, the first step is to remove any standing water using pumps and vacuums, followed by drying out the affected areas with dehumidifiers and air movers. This step is crucial to prevent mold growth and further structural damage.

After the area is dried, the next phase involves cleaning and sanitizing the affected surfaces to remove any contaminants and prevent mold growth. Damaged materials such as drywall, insulation, and flooring may need to be removed and replaced. Mold remediation may be necessary if mold is present, which involves using antimicrobial treatments and removing mold-infested materials. Finally, repairs and restoration are carried out to return the home to its pre-damage condition. This includes repairing structural damage, replacing damaged materials, and repainting or refinishing surfaces to restore the home’s aesthetic and functional integrity.

Cost to Repair and Assess Water Damage

Assessing and repairing water damage involves multiple steps and costs that can vary greatly depending on the severity and location of the damage. The first step is to have a professional inspection, which can cost between $200 and $600. This inspection will identify the extent of visible and hidden damage, including issues behind walls and under floors.

Repair costs can range from minor fixes like patching leaks and replacing drywall, typically costing $1,000 to $3,000, to major renovations exceeding $10,000. Mold remediation alone can add significant expense, often requiring specialized treatment to ensure all mold is thoroughly removed and the home is safe. Replacing damaged materials such as drywall, insulation, and flooring are common repairs, each with its own associated costs.

In addition to these repair costs, homeowners should consider preventive measures to avoid future water damage. Improving drainage systems, installing sump pumps, and maintaining the roof and gutters can prevent recurrence. It’s also essential to document all damage and repairs for insurance claims and future property sales. Obtaining multiple quotes from reputable contractors ensures fair pricing and quality work, and consulting with a professional can help in navigating these often complex repairs. Proper documentation will also aid in insurance claims and future sales of the property.

2. Selling a House With Water Damage as Is

Sometimes, the most practical approach to offloading a property with water damage is to sell my house as is.

This can be particularly relevant for rental properties where considerations like tax implications, tenant rights, and the timing of the sale come into play. 


  • Saves time and effort: Selling as is means you can skip extensive repairs, rushing the selling process.
  • Minimizes financial investment: Avoiding major repairs can save you money upfront, especially if the property is a rental with uncertain future returns. 
  • Attracts investors: Investors seeking fixer-upper opportunities might be drawn to the property, increasing the likelihood of a quicker sale. 


  • Reduced sale price: Selling a house for cash typically results in a lower sale price since buyers are expected to do the repairs. 
  • Limited buyer pool: Some buyers may be hesitant to invest in a property with existing water damage, narrowing the pool of potential purchasers. 
  • Potential legal implication: If not properly disclosed, selling a house with known water damage as is may lead to legal issues. Failure to inform potential buyers about the property’s condition can be considered a lack of transparency. 

Preventive Measures for Water Damage

Implementing preventive measures is crucial to protect your home from water damage. Start by regularly inspecting and maintaining your plumbing system, including pipes, faucets, and appliances, to catch leaks early. Ensure that your roof, gutters, and downspouts are in good condition to prevent water from seeping into your home. Installing a sump pump in your basement can also help manage excess water and prevent flooding.

Additionally, improving your home’s drainage system is essential. Make sure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation to avoid water accumulation. Consider installing backflow valves to prevent sewage backups. Regularly clean and maintain your gutters and downspouts to ensure they efficiently direct water away from your property. By taking these preventive steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of water damage and protect your home’s structural integrity.


How bad is water damage to a house?

Water damage can significantly compromise a home’s structural integrity and safety. Even minor leaks can lead to serious issues over time, such as weakened foundations, warped floors, and damaged walls. The presence of water encourages mold growth, which poses health risks to occupants. Additionally, untreated water damage can reduce a property’s value, making it less attractive to potential buyers. Prompt assessment and remediation are crucial to preventing long-term damage and preserving the home’s condition.

What happens if water gets under your house? 

If water gets under your house, it can cause considerable problems. Excess moisture can lead to the deterioration of the foundation, which might result in cracks and structural instability. Persistent dampness under the house creates a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can spread to other parts of the home and compromise indoor air quality. Furthermore, standing water can attract pests such as termites and rodents, leading to further damage. Ensuring proper drainage and addressing any water issues promptly can help mitigate these risks and protect your home’s foundation and overall integrity.

Can I Sell My Water Damaged House to You?

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Doug & Andrea Van Soest | SoCal Home Buyers

Absolutely! At SoCal Home Buyers, we specialize in purchasing properties in Southern California, even if they have water damage.

If you’re wondering, “How to sell my flooded house” then hit the button below and let us answer your questions, or read our sell my house fast California guide. We’re here to help. While you can sell via a real estate agent, we’ll always offer you a fair value for cash.

Contact us today for a hassle-free consultation and let’s discuss how we can make the selling process smooth and straightforward for you.

Additional reading: How to sell rental property without paying taxes

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