Invariably, any sign of water intrusion runs a HUGE red flag up the pole for most house Buyers.
The mere thought of water getting INSIDE a house (where it’s not supposed to be) can be a HUGE turn-off for the prospective Buyer.
“Cute” – “Spacious” – “Renovated” – “Like New” . . . None of those help much . . .
When the Buyer sees a water stain or a buckled ceiling or a wavy baseboard, they wonder:
- Is that an ACTIVE leak?
- I wonder what ELSE is wrong that the Seller hasn’t disclosed?
- Did the whole house FLOOD?
- If the Seller fixed the leak, why didn’t they fix the damage?
- Is there MOLD or FUNGUS behind that wall?
- Has it attracted termites?
Then the Buyer makes one of 2 choices:
- Make a significantly LOWER OFFER because of all of this unknown potential damage
- RUN away from that house and find another one (That doesn’t have a leak) to buy
If you’re the Seller . .. Why would you take that risk?
FIRST – Fix the SOURCE of the leak.
Then – Repair any damage/evidence.
We see a lot of this in Nashville because we have a relatively wet climate (lots of rain), and most of us REALTORS are well versed by our Home Inspectors of the importance of having proper water drainage off the roof to clean gutters through downspouts with extensions “at least 10 feet out from the foundation draining away from the house.”
We also know when we see a ceiling stain to look at what’s above – Bathroom – Roof valley – Vent pipe etc . . . and we know to ASK the Seller what happened.
The only thing is . . . by that time, the Buyer has already discounted the house.
ALL houses develop leaks once in a while.
Just follow old Barry’s advice . . . After you’ve fixed the leak, don’t forget to clean up the evidence.