First Time Seller With Water Damage

Spenny

Inspired Forum Member
Registered
Jan 19, 2012
33
0
6
#1
Hi there, I have never owned or sold a house so I have some questions. My Mother is going to be selling the house that she bought new 50 years ago. If anyone has any ideas it would be greatly appreciated. The questions that I am most interested in are those that I have are underlined.

2 Part Question:

1) General Tips for Selling a 50 year old house:
-Should she invest in any renovations before selling it?
-For example someone suggested redo the bathrooms because they are old with some tiles loose on the walls of the shower?
-Or perhaps it is best to just sell it as is to avoid the stress of renos and whatever $ you put in you aren't going to get a great return on with the sale price?
-Should she hire an appraiser now to advise her on what she could do to improve the value of her property? Or just contact an agent?
-I say appraiser because I assume an agent would be biased toward doing renos to increase their commission but I could be wrong.

2) Possible Water Damage Evidence
-I have attached pics of some cracks on the flooring in the basement that i noticed. It is also slightly raised in these areas.
-Does anyone have any thoughts on what this looks like and any likely causes?
-It also smelled a bit musty down there so I am concerned about mold growth.
-Behind her house there is a parking lot for an apartment complex and the snowplow piles all the snow directly behind her house.
-The parking lot is slightly elevated compared to her backyard so it may be flowing into her property
-What type of professional should I call to assess and potentially fix this problem?
-If the snowbank is the cause of the problem are there any legal grounds in Ontario for compensation from the apartment complex owner?



Thank you for your help. I can provide more information upon request.
 

Attachments

Matt Crowley

Senior Forum Member
Registered
Dec 14, 2013
885
397
63
Calgary
#2
This is more of a market question. Take a look at every single property in the area that has sold in the last 2 years. Look at every single property on the market: price point and reno quality. Find out the cost to cure. ROI? That is the answer.

Will a Realtor help? I seriously doubt it. Appraisers at the residential level are usually just there to make sure the banks don't lose money. (They typically don't produce appraisals for any other purpose than for bankers in contrast to commercial appraisals). There just isn't the $$ in these deals to get very good help with the market analysis so the burden falls solely on you.

Find a professional contractor and have them identify the problem. After meeting with 2 pros + online research you should know what the problem is, this stuff isn't that hard. Go to the best contractors to get an idea, HomeStars is a good starting point. Start with a restoration specialist and they can help navigate you to the right guys.
 
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Michel Lafleur

Frequent Forum Member
REIN Member
Apr 30, 2015
136
138
43
#3
To help answer your first question, I would suggest talking with a good local investor focused Realtor (better yet, talk to a few of them). Get a CMA done for the property as is; they can compare to what's available and whats actually selling in the area.
It could also be valuable to talk with a busy & reputable local Realtor who doesnt deal with investors per-se, and is focused on the traditional buy/sell of regular family homes, as their perspective will probably be quite different than an investor focused agent.
Pending the local market conditions, and who's buying in the area, your Realtor may suggest some renovations to make the house more sale-able/appealing to the most likely buyers.

If the property needs a ton of work, an investor focused agent may suggest leaving it as is, so that a buyer can purchase the property and make their own renovation project of it (sell it as a fixer upper.) Sometimes selling 'as-is with no warranties or representations' is just much simpler for you & your mother, and that lets the buyer decide what they want to do with the place so you dont waste time & $$ on renovations that a buyer doesnt care about.
The investor focused Realtor should also be able to tell you if the property is worth saving, or if the property might be better used for infill/redevelopment.
The family friendly (non-investor focused) Realtor should be able to suggest what reno's are suggested to appeal to that market in your city.
How much $$ you invest into the renovations before a sale will absolutely depend on whom your target audience of buyers is.
If the ROI for your time & $$ isn't there, then just let it go as is.

Assuming that the house is worth saving/renovating, another option I often suggest is to have a qualified home inspector do a pre-listing inspection. If there are items that must be done (for safety, minimum housing requirements etc), you can address them and leave a copy of the contractor invoice along with the inspection report for prospective buyers to see. The inspector shouldn't give much for advice on optional upgrades such as best paint colors or the current trends for flooring or kitchen reno's etc. The inspector can use their tools to detect potential moisture or air leaks in the basement to give you a better idea of whats going on down there.

In today's market, there is value to offering safe & affordable housing with the option for the buyer to customize/add their personal touch to the property. If you over renovate up front, it skews the prices upwards (less affordable), and there is a chance that prospective buyers may not like your choice of colors/materials/renovations.

Looking at your photos, that looks to me like a typical retro basement for here in AB. Not likely an issue that would make the house hard to sell, but that depends on your target buyers. If you see efflorescence on the walls/floors, not likely an issue. If you see true mold and evidence of water damage, then there's a probable issue.

With that you've described with the snow piles and elevated parking lot for the apartment nearby, I'd suggest contacting a landscaping and construction company to come evaluate the grading & drainage on and around your property. Pending the situation, might be worth having a discussion with that apartment building about where they pile the snow. Either way, its the home owners responsibility to maintain proper grading & drainage on their property.
 

ThomasBeyer

Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
#4
A good realtor should be able to help you here.

As is a good option but sometimes spending $10,000 might lift house value by $30,000. It’s all very local market and price dependent.

The value is in the land and some folks want to bulldoze the house anyway. Again, that highly depends on neighborhood and local characteristics.

That’s why realtor get the big bucks so talk to 2-3 of them then decide.


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Devin Roberts

Devin Roberts - Brent Roberts Realty
REIN Member
Nov 17, 2015
94
39
18
#6
Hi there, I have never owned or sold a house so I have some questions. My Mother is going to be selling the house that she bought new 50 years ago. If anyone has any ideas it would be greatly appreciated. The questions that I am most interested in are those that I have are underlined.

2 Part Question:

1) General Tips for Selling a 50 year old house:
-Should she invest in any renovations before selling it?
-For example someone suggested redo the bathrooms because they are old with some tiles loose on the walls of the shower?
-Or perhaps it is best to just sell it as is to avoid the stress of renos and whatever $ you put in you aren't going to get a great return on with the sale price?
-Should she hire an appraiser now to advise her on what she could do to improve the value of her property? Or just contact an agent?
-I say appraiser because I assume an agent would be biased toward doing renos to increase their commission but I could be wrong.

2) Possible Water Damage Evidence
-I have attached pics of some cracks on the flooring in the basement that i noticed. It is also slightly raised in these areas.
-Does anyone have any thoughts on what this looks like and any likely causes?
-It also smelled a bit musty down there so I am concerned about mold growth.
-Behind her house there is a parking lot for an apartment complex and the snowplow piles all the snow directly behind her house.
-The parking lot is slightly elevated compared to her backyard so it may be flowing into her property
-What type of professional should I call to assess and potentially fix this problem?
-If the snowbank is the cause of the problem are there any legal grounds in Ontario for compensation from the apartment complex owner?



Thank you for your help. I can provide more information upon request.
It really depends on the kind of market you are in. For example, if there is low product and high demand, people are more willing to do work themselves. It may be smart to get an appraiser or restoration company in to give an opinion. Again, the market is a big deciding factor here.


Devin Roberts — Brent Roberts Realty
Vancouver REIN Member
Cell: 604-354-7160
Email: Devin@DevinRoberts.ca
 
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