Selling a home in flood-prone areas can be such a daunting task. You have assessed the damages caused by water and realized that water remediation costs might outstrip your budget and the only viable option is to sell. But how can you sell a flooded house fast? With the recent flooding Texas, homeowners have had sleepless nights.
It does not matter how many warnings we heed and how prepared we are when water strikes, the result will make us look unprepared and leave behind devastating damages to home and property. If you have gone through a storm and you’re still trying to figure out where to start, our thoughts and prayers are with you. At Houston Capital Home Buyers our team is always available to help when you want to sell your house.
Here are some of the things that you can do to increase the value of your home
Minimize Water Damage
- Whatever you do in the first 48 hours after flooding will go a long way in reducing losses and reduce the repair costs afterward.
- After the water has receded, walk around your property and list all the property that has been affected by water. It is advisable to use the FEMA inventory list from their online repository
- Get in touch with your insurance company as soon as you finish with the inventory list. Take pictures of all the damages both inside and outside the home. Make sure that you have a picture of everything from every corner of the house that has been damaged or flooded.
- Get rid of all water absorbent materials such as upholstery, clothing, mattresses and beddings. Keep them in a safe place away from the water because the insurance company may want to see the extent of the damage.
- If you have wood floors, make sure you remove any stagnant water left behind and turn on the humidifier. The humidifier should be left running until the wood dries up to keep off mold and fungi. The warmth from the machine also protects your walls and ceilings by keeping moisture off them.
- Remove and cut sections of drywall that got flooded. This should be done as a matter of urgency because drywall take ages to dry is a fertile ground for mold and mildew.
- A plastered ceiling does not attract mold because of its inorganic material. Sheetrock or paper ceilings need to be replaced as soon as possible.
- When dealing with wood, be it furniture or other fittings in the house, take them out and leave them in the sun to dry out (usually takes up to six weeks to dry out) furniture made from particle board can only be replaced.
- When dealing with fabric from the upholstery, take them out for cleaning either at the cleaners or home. Be careful which material you choose to wash as some cannot be cleaned.
- The idea of keeping clothes in plastic bags could be a bad idea if you live in a flood-prone area. If you have some at home take them out and let them air and dry. This will keep mold away from your clothes. Some fading clothes may end up staining if you do not act with speed. When handling clothing material in a flood zone, make sure you use gloves to protect your hands from harmful elements.
- Fighting mold has to be viewed as the number one issue, after everyone and all pets have been secured. Mold will start showing after two days. You can use a fan and a dehumidifier to keep water from walls, ceilings, and floors. Also look for a good bleaching solution to be used as a disinfectant
*Caution* Ammonia and a bleaching agent should not be mixed together at any time
- Use a small sample of the liquids on a small area before cleaning to make sure no staining happens after cleaning. When doing this wear, protective clothing that covers your body and face to be safe from mold and accidental spillage from the chemicals.
- When handling vehicles after a flood, call your insurance company to get assistance such as towing, repairs and valuation, etc.
Repair Water Damaged Areas
Buyers do not need to see any signs of water damage even if you live in a flood-prone area. Any little sign of water damage will force the buyer to think the worst. When painting your house during repairs use neutral colors such as white to create a buyer’s appeal. This also gives them an opportunity to think of how they can use the space. Neutral colors will highlight the interiors by making them stand out.
Have an Inspector Report Ready
To gain the buyer’s confidence, it is a good idea to have the property inspected by a credible property inspector. An inspector helps in identifying all signs of water damage and potential problems that may arise. They help you figure out the exact problem. When you do not have to second guess makes the repair work easy and less costly.
The inspector will prepare a report on the cost estimate of all the repairs which you can confirm with a professional contractor. To get the best price you can contact three different contractors to evaluate their work, scope of work, and cost.
When the insurance company won’t cover you, and you have no funds for repairs, Houston Capital Home Buyers will buy your house as-is. When selling as-Is, our company will handle all of the things like cleaning, removing trash, mold remediation as well as processing and closing the deal fast. Using our company will take the pressure away from you and help maintain your focus on other issues.