- May 12, 2022
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Buying or selling a home can be both an exciting time and stressful time. You envision yourself in your new home and your new neighborhood. One of the last things you’re probably thinking about is whether the home you’re buying or selling has a wet basement.
In reality, it should be one of the first things you think about. That’s because a wet basement is a red flag that there may be a serious problem with water intrusion into the home. It can also be a sign that there may be issues with the house’s structural integrity.
We’ve been in the basement waterproofing business for more than 20 years. We know how a wet basement can decrease the value of a home, and how a professionally waterproofed basement can increase the value. Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to know before moving ahead with a real estate decision.
Selling a Home with a Wet Basement
Want to get top dollar when you sell your home? Then you need to deal with the wet basement. And even if you don’t plan on selling your home any time soon, professional basement waterproofing is a smart investment. You get to turn a damp and musty basement into a dry, healthy, livable environment for you and your family.
But let’s say you’re contemplating a move to a new neighborhood, or you’re looking to downsize. Either way, you want to present your home in the best light. If potential buyers are hit by a musty smell at the top of your basement stairs, and then explore the basement and see puddles of water or proof of repeated water damage, they may cross your home off the list of their possibilities.
Even in a seller’s market, a wet basement can make it harder to sell your home. At the very least, a potential buyer will offer less than what you are asking, depending on the size of the home and the amount of water damage. That’s because they have researched the cost of professional basement waterproofing.
However, if you invest in professional basement waterproofing, you are increasing the value of your home. A waterproofed basement is ready to be turned into additional living space. In addition, with Value Dry Waterproofing, you get a Lifetime Transferable Warranty that transfers to a new owner if you sell your home. It’s a tremendous selling point. As part of the features you are offering with the description of the home, you get to disclose the house has been completely waterproofed with a Lifetime Transferable Warranty. Now that is a great added feature.
If you’re thinking about DIY sealants and using a dehumidifier to try and dry out your basement, you need to know that you can’t hide it from prospective buyers. They, or the home inspector they hire, will either see or smell evidence of water intrusion and could create a lot of questions by the prospective homebuyers.
In Maryland, you are required to fill out a Residential Property Disclosure and Disclaimer Statement when listing your home for sale. There is a specific question related to leaks or evidence of moisture in the basement. If you answer Yes, you may need to provide additional details. If you have gotten professional basement waterproofing, you can include documentation of what was done and when along with the Lifetime Transferrable Warranty.
However if you check No, and it comes to light that you were aware of water intrusion problems, the buyer could take you to court. They might even be able to sue you for repair costs if they can prove misrepresentation or breach of contract. So, whatever you do, don’t lie. A good real estate agent can help you make the right decisions.
Buying a Home with a Wet Basement
When you’re browsing Realtor.com or Zillow looking for homes for sale, you may find yourself drooling over some of the listings. If you’re lucky, you’ll find what could be your dream home, and set up a viewing with your realtor.
But what happens if after exploring the fantastic kitchen, roomy bedrooms, and updated bathrooms, you find that the basement is damp and musty? Or maybe you see puddles coming in along the foundation walls. Do you cross the home off your list of possibilities? Not necessarily.
It all depends on your budget and your negotiating skills (or the skills of your real estate agent). If the home seller is on the up and up, the disclosure paperwork will mention water in the basement. See if they provide additional details, and go from there.
You can make an offer that is below the asking price, and specify the wet basement as your reason. It’s a good idea to have an estimate from a basement waterproofing company to back up your reasoning. Depending on how attractive your offer is (cash offer?) the seller may reduce the price. But they may also reject your offer outright. It’s a risk you take.
And if you do end up closing the sale, congratulations! Professional basement waterproofing in your new home will give you peace of mind, and allow you to turn a wet basement into a usable living space for you and your family.
Schedule Your FREE Basement Inspection
Whether you’re selling your home and need to waterproof the basement or you just bought a home with a wet basement, we can help. We would welcome the opportunity to help you reclaim your territory. We offer basement waterproofing solutions to homeowners throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Southern Delaware. Schedule a free basement inspection by filling out the form, or call us at (888) 768-2583.