Damp is a troublesome issue in any home, but it is especially problematic when trying to sell your property. No buyer wants to purchase a home that has damp, and it can be very off-putting for potential buyers.
In fact, a study by YouGov showed that 87% of homebuyers would be put off by damp, and would be less likely to make an offer on a property that had this issue. You see, selling a house is all about presentation. You want buyers to fall in love with your home at first sight and envision themselves living there.
Damp creates an instant visual deterrent, which can be hard to overcome. This unpleasant issue will also lower the value of your home. Besides, mortgage lenders are often very wary of damp, as it can cause serious structural damage to property. This creates another obstacle when you want to sell a house with damp, as many buyers will be unable to secure a mortgage.
So, when selling your house, damp issues are the last thing you need on your already stacked list of things to do. If you were wondering how damp affects the sale of your home and what you can do about it, keep reading. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to successfully sell your home, in spite of damp. If you’re looking for something specific, such as how bad is damp, or how to sell a house with damp quickly, use the menu below to navigate quickly.
What is Damp?
Damp is the presence of moisture in the air, walls or floor of your home. It is caused by a number of things, including:
- Poor ventilation
- Rising damp
- Leaking pipes or roofs
- Blocked gutters
- Porous bricks
- Leaking dishwasher or washing machine
These visual and structural problems are off-putting for buyers and can seriously lower the value of your home. In fact, according to the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), the presence of damp can devalue your home by up to 20%.
How to Spot Damp
Damp is often most noticeable in the winter, as the cooler temperatures lead to more condensation. However, this does not mean that damp is not present in homes during the summer. In fact, rising damp is more common in the summer as the warmer temperatures cause the ground to expand, which can lead to cracks in your walls. There are a few tell-tale signs of damp that you should look out for, including:
- Mould or mildew outbreak
- A damp and musty smell
- Peeling paint or wallpaper
- Tidemarks and stains on walls
- Plaster flakes away, or white powder crystals (efflorescence) appears
- Wet or damp patches on your walls and ceiling
- Rotting skirting boards and floorboards
- Mortar frets and falls away from the brickwork
- Excessive condensation on windows, not just during the winter
How Bad Is Damp In A House
Damp can be a horrible problem in a house. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also lead to all sorts of health problems, such as asthma and respiratory problems. It can wreck your clothes, furniture, decor and carpets. It can also cause electrical problems and make your home very uncomfortable to live in. In severe cases, damp can even cause serious structural damage to a house, such as wall and plaster failure and wood rot.
Unfortunately, the cost of repairing damp can be very expensive. In fact, according to the RICS, the cost of repairing internal damp can be anywhere from £200 to £15000 depending on the severity of the problem. This is a steep price to pay that makes it even more difficult to sell your house with damp. The best way to avoid such a hefty repair bill is to fix the damp problem before you put your house on the market. But this is not always an option, and the cost of repairs can often be prohibitive.
Can I Sell A House With Damp
In the UK, selling a house with damp is perfectly legal. However, you are required by law to disclose any issues with the property to potential buyers. This means that if you are selling a house with damp, you must declare it to potential buyers. The best way to do this is to get a damp report from a professional surveyor. This will give you an objective assessment of the problem and its severity.
Once you have the damp report, you should include it in your property information pack. This document must be given to any potential buyer before they make an offer on your home.
Painting or papering over damp patches is not enough, and potential buyers will be able to spot this a mile away. Hiding the problem will only make it worse and you could be liable for legal action if they discover the damp after they have bought the property.
How to sell a house with damp
The first step is to get a professional damp report. This will help you to understand the severity of the damp and what needs to be done to fix it. Once you have the report, you can start to look into ways to treat the damp.
- There are a number of ways to treat damp, depending on the severity. These include:
- Using a dehumidifier
- Vents and extractor fans
- Draught proofing your home
- Using a moisture barrier
- Fixing any leaks
- Insulating your property
- Chemical DPC (damp proof course) injections to stop damp rising through the walls.
Unfortunately, while some of these solutions can remedy the problem, they will not add value to your home. In fact, some of them may even devalue your property. Not only that, older buildings we have worked on are often impossible to completely damp-proof. The only way to guarantee a sale is by lowering the asking price to take into account the damp issue.
Of course, you could always try and sell your home privately. But be warned – most buyers will insist on a professional damp report before they make an offer. So, you’ll still need to get one done eventually.
How Much Does Damp Devalue Your House
Well, it really depends on the severity of the damp. If it’s just a little bit of condensation, then it’s not likely to have much of an effect on the value of your home. However, if the problem is more serious, such as rising or penetrating damp, it can devalue your property by up to 10%.
In severe cases, the value of your home could be halved by up to 53%. And even if you choose to treat the damp, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recoup the costs, and you may still end up with a loss of around 3% of its value. It’s really not worth the risk, is it?
How Do I Sell A House With Damp?
To be honest, it depends. If you’re considering selling your home, it’s important to be honest about any problems with the property. This includes damp. But it’s not an insuperable problem.
If you’re not in a hurry to sell, then you may want to wait until the problem has been fixed. This will give you time to find the right buyer who is willing to pay the full value of your home. Check out our guide on how long it takes to sell a home in the UK. However, if you need to sell quickly, then you may want to consider selling your home as-is. This means that you will need to find a cash buyer who is willing to take on the property in its current condition.
You could also try and negotiate with the buyer to see if they are willing to pay a reduced price for your home. This will depend on how badly they want the property and how much they are willing to spend on repairs.
What Are the Risks of Selling a House With Damp?
There are a number of risks associated with selling a property that has damp problems. The most obvious one is that you could end up selling your home for less than it’s worth. This is why getting a professional damp report is important before you put your property on the market.
Another risk is that you could be liable for legal action if the buyer discovers the damp after they have bought the property. This is why it’s crucial to be upfront about any problems with the property. If you’re not honest, the buyer could take you to court and you could end up having to pay damages.
Finally, there is the risk that the buyer could back out of the sale if they discover the damp, extending the time it takes to get your property off the market.
Sell Your House With Damp Quickly
If you need to sell your house quickly and it has damp problems, then you may want to consider selling it asis. This means getting a cash buyer who is willing to take on the property in its current condition.
That’s where we can help. At SmoothSale, we buy any house in any condition. We can make you a free, no obligation cash offer for your property within 24 hours so you can get on with your life without the hassles of dealing with a damp house. With a 12 days average on sales, 120+ properties bought for cash and over £9457 saved in costs per sale, we’ve got the experience and expertise to help you get a great deal on your home.
The SmoothSale team has its pulse on the UK’s property market, making us one of the leading home buying companies. Get in touch with us today at 0800 368 8952 to better understand what your home is worth and sell your damp house quickly, easily, and stress-free. We are always happy to help!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I sell a house with damp issues?
Yes, you can sell a house with damp problems, but it’s essential to address and disclose the issues to potential buyers.
Do I need to lower the selling price due to damp problems?
While you may need to set a competitive price, it’s crucial not to undervalue your property. Properly addressing the issue can help maintain its value.
How can I find a professional to assess the damp issue?
Look for qualified surveyors or damp specialists in your area. They can evaluate the problem and recommend necessary repairs.
Is it necessary to disclose the damp issue to potential buyers?
Yes, it’s crucial to be honest about any damp problems and provide documentation of the repairs made.
Should I invest in home staging?
Professional home staging can significantly enhance your property’s appeal and divert attention from previous damp issues.
Can damp problems be completely resolved?
Damp problems can be effectively resolved with professional assessment and remedial actions.