Water Leaking in the Basement

Guest post and photo from Melinda Schnare

When I am visiting homes for sale with buyers, we often see plenty within the home that’s really nice and a good fit for all.

We then head down to the basement, or what is the recreation or family room. We go down the stairs and it gets quiet. We’re checking, does it smell musty or damp? We’re looking at the walls and floor for water markings to see if there is evidence of water intrusion.

Most often flooding occurs during big rains, with seepage through the walls or down low at the seams where walls meet the foundation floor.

But even if proper drainage is installed, walls and flooring restored or mold remediated professionally, there is a chance that your home’s eventual buyers may find themselves wary.  

Prior seepage or flooding inside a home needs to be disclosed—even after many water-free years.

Lack of disclosure can really hurt, if the buyer concludes the seller concealed previous water seepage. In some cases, legal remedies could go against the home seller.  

Minor to moderate seepage, or even some flooding, will not necessarily deter buyers, if they feel the seller’s action to mitigate has reduced the chance of future water penetration. Should the seller install a flood control system, new drain tile, sump pump or extend downspouts away from the house, the buyer is more likely to feel confident these upgrades can prevent future water damage.

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to disclosing prior water penetration. Stay dry out there.

Melinda Schnare is a real estate agent with RLAH Real Estate

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