A Pro Guide to Selling a Flooded Home in New York

A house in New York gets flooded.

New York homeowners who suffered flood damage and are trying to sell their flooded homes will need to follow a few key principles. These include calling the flood insurance company, documenting everything done to handle the water damage, and cleaning up along with renovating the flood-damaged house.

When my house faced water damage, I followed the steps outlined below to sell my flooded home. You may want to work with a real estate agent experienced in selling high-risk houses and finding potential buyers for homes in a flood zone. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know when selling a flood-damaged house. Now, let’s get started!

Help, I Need To Sell My Flooded Home

There are multiple factors to consider if you are thinking about selling your flooded house. For example, depending on the extent of the damage, your property value may drop by 20 to 30 percent. When it comes to home selling, you have three main options, which include:

  • Complete repairs and a remodel before selling
  • Sell the inhabitable yet flooded house “as is” to a real estate investor
  • If the home is uninhabitable, sell the land it sits on

Your homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance policy should likely cover the costs of repairs. Further, you may be eligible for a grant from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), especially if the flood water is due to natural disasters.

If you want to sell your damaged home in its “as is” condition for a cash offer, you will still need to pursue mold remediation or clean up the water issues in 24 to 48 hours. After two days, mold is likely to set in. At that point, the home is considered uninhabitable. 

You can still sell the land and property to a cash buyer who is willing to demolish the uninhabitable home and rebuild the land.

Below, you will learn the steps to take when selling a flooded home. 

What To Do if You Need To Sell a Flooded Home

The first step when selling a flooded home is to contact a top realtor with experience selling houses with water damage. Such a realtor can help you determine the market value of your property and find prospective buyers for your water-damaged house. 

You also need to avoid a lawsuit from home buyers by providing full disclosure of water damage. Disclosure laws tend to vary from state to state. As such, you should check out the National Resources Defense Council’s flood risk disclosure laws map.

In the state of New York, the seller needs to disclose whether part of or the entirety of the property is located in a flood plain, along with any flooding issues in the past. The law in New York states that a seller who fails to give a disclosure statement has to pay a $500 penalty fee to the buyer at closing. 

Next, you need to carefully choose the things to fix before selling a house with water damage. For instance, it’s a good idea to replace carpeting and flooring, repair and repaint the walls, and eliminate any mold. 

When choosing a home value to attract buyers, you’ll need to stay realistic and reduce the price by as much as 20 or 30 percent. Further, you’ll need to keep track of all documentation. The type of paperwork to gather includes:

  • A list of the repairs done to fix the water damage
  • A record of the handymen or contractors hired to renovate the home
  • Invoices and costs of the repairs
  • Insurance claims paperwork
  • A mold remediation certificate
  • The flood insurance policy
  • A FEMA elevation certification outlining the flood zone and home’s lowest point of elevation 

Next, you should decide whether to transfer your flood insurance policy to the buyer. That can further incentivize the buyer to purchase your home. Another option for you is to consider selling a water-damaged house to a real estate investor or cash buyer.

Getting a Flooded Home Repaired

Repairing a flooded home is a complex, arduous process. You will need to remove the water and dry out the house. For instance, you will need to disinfect any regions that the flood water touched. 

It’s also essential to check for mold and remove any that forms. Toxic mold or black mold is the most dangerous to people’s health. To prevent mold growth, dry out the home as best you can and use a strong cleaner with bleach to clean up the areas with the most damage.

You may want to hire a clean-up company to pump out water and get rid of all debris. Once you’ve removed the water, you will have to call your insurance company and get the funds necessary for repairs.

Next, you’ll need to hire a contractor with experience restoring flood-damaged homes. Perform background checks and look through references. You may also need to hire an electrician and an HVAC specialist.

You will need your contractor to replace the flooring, including tiling, hardwood, carpeting, and laminate flooring. Next, have the contractor open up your walls and dry out the studs to prevent mold growth.

Further, the contractor needs to remove at least one foot of drywall from the water line to ensure mold and mildew don’t grow. All insulation needs to go due to its inability to dry out well. Your contractor will need to replace the insulation once the cavity wall dries out completely. 

It can take a few weeks before the wall cavity dries out. Your contractor should use a moisture meter to check when the area is fully dry.

Also, if the damage is extensive, you may want to tear out the entire basement and rebuild it with mold-resistance drywall. Lastly, you’ll need to perform an air test to make sure the air quality in your home is safe for habitation. 

A homeowners plans to sell a flooded house in New York.

Making Your Home Flood Proof in the Future

To floodproof your home for the future, you will need to follow several key processes. First, you should assess your risk of floods. Via the NFIP website, you can check flood risks based on flood zones, floodplain boundaries, and base flood elevations.

Next, if your home is at risk of flooding, you will need to purchase flood insurance. That’s a requirement for houses located in flood zones. 

Another step is to renovate intelligently, including elevating certain systems in the home. For instance, you’ll want to elevate the boilers, air conditioners, and HVAC systems to prevent water damage to these units.

Has your home had flooding in the basement after heavy rain? If so, you should consider installing backflow prevention valves and gadgets that will keep water from overworked sewer mains backing up into basements. You’ll need to hire a plumber to install these devices.

You can also add specific landscaping features to floodproof your home. That entails adding depressions to move stormwater away from the house, changing driveways to brick or gravel, and putting absorbent mulch in the front and back yards. 

Floodplain Map in New York

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developed the Floodplain Mapping Program. Further, the National Flood Insurance Program allows homeowners to buy flooding insurance to protect their property. 

When checking the risk of your home for flooding, you will surely need to look at FEMA Flood Maps. In particular, you will need to check the floodplain map in the state of New York. Check your flood zone designation based on the town and county your house is located in. 

Flood zones use letters to show the risk of flooding in a particular area. Evacuation zones, however, use numbers to show residents when they need to evacuate during a natural disaster. FEMA Flood Maps showcase the flood zone where your home is located.

How To Sell a Flooded Home in New York

Selling a flooded home in New York is somewhat similar to selling a New York house without any water damage. The differences, however, delve right into the flooding damage. First, you’ll need to assess the destruction from the flooding. 

Also, you will need to have an insurance agent, home appraiser, or insurance adjuster determine the amount of damage. Next, you’ll need to complete home repairs and fix the flooding issues. That likely includes drying out the property and possibly installing new flooring. 

You will also need to price the home competitively when putting the property for sale on the real estate market.

Conclusion

When I was looking to sell my flooded home, I was able to find the right house buyers by following the steps in this guide. If you have trouble getting the funds needed for home renovations or don’t have time to make all the required repairs, you can sell your water-damaged house in its “as is” condition to cash home buyers in New York.

The cash offer process on a house in NY takes only a few weeks since cash buyers don’t need to wait on a mortgage loan approval. Therefore, when you want to sell a house fast in Brooklyn, contact real estate investors or local cash buyers. Luckily, we buy houses New York City residents love, so call us today!