Thinking about Selling but you have Water in your Basement… What do you do?

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Austin Solomon | The Solomon Group – Coldwell Banker Action – (715) 212-4693

Hey everybody, it’s Austin Solomon with the Solomon Group with Coldwell Banker. Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Real, Wausau Real Estate Show.

Today we’re talking about thinking of selling, but you’ve got water in your basement. What do you do?

So, if you’ve been around Central Wisconsin in the spring of 2019, you know that water in basements was a common occurrence for a lot of people and a lot of those people have never had water in their basement before. But just a crazy spring lead to water in the basement.

So if you’re thinking about selling that is probably something that is in the back of your mind. Like, hey I did have water in my basement spring of 2019, what am I going to do? How do I address that issue? That’s what we’re talking about today.

Let’s back up just a little bit, when you sell a home, one of the processes and things you have to do is fill out a real estate condition report. And what this is is your best knowledge on the condition of the house and it’s about a 6-page report, and you fill it out to the best of your knowledge. And it basically covers all the classifications and categories of the house. So are you aware of any defects in the roof, yes or no, etc.

One of those boxes refers to – are you aware of any leaks in the basement, etc. Which if you had a leak, you would check yes, or you should, that would be the honest thing to do.

So, obviously when you put your house up for sale, when the buyer, when they make an offer on the home, they are going to see that condition report or even when they are viewing the home that’s something that is valuable to see. And if you check that box and disclose it, obviously that’s going to be a concern to a buyer. And that’s what you have to do, to be honest throughout the process. The question is, can you be proactive about that. Like if you’re thinking about selling your house in a year or two and you had water in the basement, what sort of steps should you take now to alleviate that problem or make it less of a problem.

So that’s what we’re talking about today. Because when I’m showing houses and that comes up on the condition report, it certainly does quite often, a lot of times the buyer says, well how bad was it? How much water was there? Will it happen again? Was it fixed? What caused it? Was there any mold?

Those are a lot of questions that a buyer would think and there’s a certain approach that I want to share today that is basically a way to eliminate the buyer concerns as much as you can.

So here’s the approach! If you’ve had water in your basement and you’re thinking about selling, the best thing to do is get a licensed professional in there right away to come and take a look at it. They are going to come out, look at the problem and probably have a decent idea about what’s going on.

So, this would be like a mason or foundation specialist. If you have a stone foundation or block, this might change slightly, but a lot of times they are going to come out and look at what’s going on and give you an assessment. Here’s what is going on and probably what’s causing water in the basement.

In the spring of 2019, and I’m not any sort of professional, but this has come up so many times, I’ve probably been to a dozen inspections like this. And in 2019, what happened was everything thawed out so fast and there was just standing water everywhere and if there wasn’t proper grading around the house and the grade was slanted toward the home, obviously the water is going to follow the slant and the grade, and follow the rules of gravity. And if it were ponding around the foundation of the house, or ponding around the window near the basement, eventually the water would find a way in. This spring was just a lot of melting while the ground was still frozen and got a lot of people’s basements.

Again, when you have that person come out, they are going to be able to tell you here is what we think the problem is and here’s how we fix it. So, maybe it’s a leak from a window, maybe it’s because of a lack of gutters, maybe it’s the grading, maybe it’s a downspout that is missing and just fell off, maybe it’s a sump pump issue. All those things could be the problem. The key is if you have a professional come out and document the things you should do to prevent that from happening, then obviously you have a good idea of what’s going on.

Now some of those issues you might be able to address on your own. Maybe if it’s something like grading, that’s something you could do on your own. Like bringing in fill, making sure everything slants away from the house or maybe having gutters installed.

The key is when you have a problem, you want to have a professional come out and say here are the steps we need to take to prevent this from happening. And if a buyer sees they had water come in their basement in 2019, they had a professional come out, the professional recommended these things, and they did the work. That is taking care of the concern in a much more or better way.

Also, the other thing is if you’re not selling your house for another year or two out and you’re able to have some time between when it occurred, that the issue didn’t come up because of the fixes that have been made and it hasn’t happened since. That is another thing that put a buyer at ease.

Knowing that it was fixed and it hasn’t happened since. And this approach can really be used for a lot of issues that come up. Whether you have a leak that happened from an ice dam, or around a chimney, or any issue that comes up in your house and again, if you’re thinking about selling it, probably the approach to use would be to document the problem and then get that fixed. And it’s nice to know from the buyer’s perspective, that they’ve had it addressed by a professional. Or the professional has addressed the problem and they took the necessary fixes to make it proper.

There you go, if you had water in your basement it’s not the end of the world. The key is you have to be honest and like I say, it’s a good idea to have someone come out, assess the situation, make recommendations and work to get those recommendations taken care of so that a buyer can feel comfortable with moving forward with those conditions.

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of The Real and we’ll catch you on the next one.

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Austin Solomon | The Solomon Group – Coldwell Banker Action – (715) 212-4693

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