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Selling a Flooded House

Recent flooding in the United States has caused a substantial amount of damage to homes. In Houston alone, they estimate that there may be upwards of 180,000 homes that have received flooding and water damage. If you are one of those who were affected, and you were thinking about selling your property, you may be concerned over whether you can truly sell the home or not.

Repairs to the Property

If you want to sell the home, it is going to be difficult to sell it as is with the flood damage. It is possible, but it will lower the amount that you can get for the house significantly. Therefore, the first thing that most people will want to do is make repairs to the home. You need to remove anything that has been damaged because of the flood.

Often, this starts by removing the flooring material and the subflooring. You also need to remove any parts of the drywall that has been touched by the water, as it is not something you can salvage. Before anything can be repaired, you need to make sure the property is entirely dry. Rather than waiting for this to happen naturally, you can buy or rent large industrial sized fans to help. Adding dehumidifiers can help to draw out the moisture, as well.

At that point, you will need to assess the damage. In most cases, this will require bringing in a builder or contractor who can let you know everything that will need to be replaced, along with an estimate of how much it will cost for the repairs. With flood damage, there is a good chance that you will be looking at more than just structural repair. There could be issues with the electrical wiring in the home, HVAC, and other utility systems. All of these items will need to have proper repair. In addition, you need to be sure you have the proper permits to get started and to take care of these damages.

When you are making the repairs to the home, you may find that it is a good idea to go “above and beyond” the repairs needed to make it salable. For example, you can add certain elements to the home that could prevent it from future flood damage, such as backflow valves if you do not already have them. These valves will ensure that sewage does not back up into the home if there is another flood. Make the home as good as new, or better than new if you can.

Keep in mind that while repairs are certainly possible, at least with most homes, you need to consider the costs, the amount insurance will cover, if any, and determine whether you can break even or make a profit on the sale of your home. Even after you have taken care of the repairs, there are still risks when it comes to selling a home that has been damaged by a flood.


One of the biggest risks when it comes to selling a home that has been damaged by a flood is the stigma it carries along with it. When people buy a piece of property, they want it to be in as perfect of a condition as possible, naturally. However, even when you have made all of the repairs needed to bring your house into perfect condition, people are not as keen to buy.

They worry that there still might be something wrong that you are not telling them and that the inspector did not find. Depending on the type of flooding damage, whether it was from a storm, hurricane, or burst pipes, they will want to know whether they are on the floodplain and if there is a danger of another flood in the future.

Decreased Value

Due to the stigma, it means that the value of your home might be diminished. People are not willing to pay as much for a piece of property that has been damaged in a flood, and if they are willing to buy, they will try to get the lowest price possible. This drives the value of your home down, and you have no real idea of what it is going to sell for.

Since you might not be sure of how much you can get for the house, and because you might not get your ideal price, it can make finding a new home more difficult, especially if you are relying on the sale of the home to provide you with money for your new property.

What Can You Do?

If you want to sell your home that has been damaged by a flood, you need to first make sure that you have done everything possible to get the home into tiptop condition inside and out. This goes beyond just making repairs. You need to consider all of the other home selling tips you’ve probably been told in the past, such as improving your curb appeal, making sure there is no clutter around the property, and making the home look appealing when you are showing it.

Additionally, you need to be honest with the people who are considering buying your home. Let them know about the flood damage, and all of the steps that you have taken to repair those problems and make sure it is safe and ready to sell. You never want to try to hide these facts from buyers.

In addition, it is a good idea to work with a quality real estate agent who can help you with the sales process, and who can give you a better idea of what you can reasonably expect for the flood damaged property you are trying to sell.

Even though it might be more difficult to sell these properties, that does not mean it is impossible. When you get the property in order and price it right, there will be people who want to buy your home, even though it was once in a flood.

Need to Sell Your House?

Give us a call.

(713) 481-1869

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