How Do I Sell My Chattanooga House With Water Damage?

For more information about what to do when you want to sell your home with water damage, see our guide below.

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Sell Your Chattanooga House With Flood Or Water Damage

We Buy Water Damaged Homes For Cash

Selling your home under normal circumstances is already stressful, but trying to sell with known water damage can make it much more complicated. Here are several questions to consider when deciding how to sell your home that has some kind of flooding or water damage.

Should you spend the money to make repairs prior to selling your house? Can you sell your house with existing water damage on the open market through a real estate agent? Should you sell your house to an “as-is” cash house buyer? Keep reading for more information on each of these options and the advantages and disadvantages of each.


Causes of Water Damage

Water damage can occur for many different reasons especially in aging homes: roof or plumbing issues, malfunctioning appliances (e.g. water heaters, HVAC, heating systems, washing machines, etc.), weather related catastrophes or flooding.

Repair costs from water damage can become quite expensive. According to a recent study published by Insurance Business America, in 2017, the average claim cost was about $10,000.

One of the reasons water can be so damaging to a house is that even a minor leak, if left unresolved, can create much more than cosmetic issues. Water also can cause extensive structural damage and issues with the electrical wiring, gas lines, plumbing, and appliances, not to mention major health and safety implications. Moisture attracts termites and carpenter ants, which can wreak havoc on the structural bones of your house. Mold growth occurs within 48 hours and rapidly spreads, causing more damage and can also cause serious health effects. It is important to immediately address any water leaks/damage as soon as they are detected.

Once the source of the water has been temporarily stopped to prevent additional damage, the area needs to be dried to prevent mold growth. You also need to immediately notify your insurance company. Check to make sure your homeowners insurance will cover water damage. If your house is in a flood area, flood insurance will be required for coverage of flooding incidents.


Should I Repair Water Damage Prior To Selling My House In Tennessee?

Water Damage Repair

Before attempting to repair any water damage, especially DIY, it is important to understand different types of water damage, the impacts to health and safety, required remediation and restoration, and associated costs.

Water damage is categorized and classified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), which is the certifying body for the cleaning and restoration industry. Because of health and safety implications (and legal implications if selling your home on the market rather than an “as-is” cash house buyer), it is highly recommended that a licensed professional assess water damage for proper cleanup and remediation.

In accordance with the IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, three “categories” define the source and cleanliness of water damage:

Category 1: Clean water (water pipes, leaking faucets, rain, melted snow)Repairs can be minimized if cleaned quickly. This category poses no health risks. However, if not immediately addressed, this damage can quickly downgrade to Category 2 or 3 within 48 hours or less.
Category 2: Grey water (water containing detergents, soaps, cleaning agents, urine from toilet overflow, or aquariums)Higher cleaning and repair costs depending on damage severity (“Class” defined below). This category poses some health risks. However, if not immediately addressed, this damage can quickly become a Category 3 with serious health risks due to bacteria and mold growth.
Category 3: Black water (flooding from lakes, rivers, streams or contaminated groundwater, sewage backups)Most costly cleaning and restoration, and often replacement of porous and absorbent building materials, carpeting, and household items. Homeowners can clean minor incidents such as a backed-up toilet, but more extensive incidents should always be done by certified mold and chemical remediation professionals. This category contains toxic contaminants that will cause serious health issues and possibly death.

Water damage severity is defined by the following classifications:

Class 1: The least amount of water, absorption and evaporation. Surface water is limited to a small area and has not absorbed into building building materials with little to no absorption in carpeting and padding.

Class 2: Large amount of water, absorption and evaporation. Water affects entire room or more, and has saturated carpeting, padding, and building materials. Wicking of water in walls is less than 24 inches.

Class 3: The greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation: Water affects entire room or more, and has saturated carpeting, padding, and building materials, including walls and ceiling. The source of water is usually from overhead (e.g. floor above, roof, piping in ceiling)

Class 4: Specialty drying situations where water has permeated into low permeance materials such as concrete, masonry, plaster, or hardwood. Saturation into these materials requires longer drying times or specialized drying methods


It’s not recommended that homeowners tackle water damage remediation and repair beyond Category 1, Class 2 unless it was detected and cleaned immediately and mold is not present. We recommend consulting with a certified professional water damage remediation/restoration company.

Can I Sell My House With Water Damage Through A Realtor?

Depending on the extent of the water damage, it is still possible to sell your house through a realtor. However, all damage and known problems must be disclosed to potential buyers. This will decrease your buyer pool significantly to people who are willing to take on those projects.

Another thing to be aware of is that if there are significant repairs needed, the home may not qualify for most traditional home buyer loans, making it even more difficult for buyers to purchase your home.

All of these factors together often cause a home to sit on the market for much longer and sell for a significantly lower price.

With New Horizon, you can sell your house fast without having to make any repairs, fix any structural issues, or deal with wary buyers you may encounter selling on the open market. Ultimately, you may be able to get more money for your house going through the process outlined above. It’s just going to take a lot of time and money up front to get it done. The benefit to selling to New Horizon is that it’s Fast & Easy. We take care of all the difficult issues so you don’t have to.

We Buy Houses With Water Damage in Chattanooga, Tennessee

New Horizon Home Buyers is a local home buying company in Chattanooga, TN. We buy houses 100% As-Is in Cash. We can buy your Tennessee house (even with water damage) and handle all the hard work so you don’t have to. If you want to sell your house in Chattanooga, get your No Obligation All Cash Offer today.

Our selling process is 100% free. Even if you are unsure of what you want to do, I encourage you to reach out for a free offer on your house. You have nothing to lose

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“Erik and Jessie were really easy to work with. They were fair and honest negotiating the deal and made the whole process simple! Highly recommend New Horizon!”

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