Selling a house with damp

Selling a House With Damp: How to Do It the Right Way

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Is it possible to sell a house with rising damp? Damp can give house occupants a hard time, alright. It is especially problematic when one is looking to sell a house. For many would-be buyers, it is a turn-off. Damp can lower the value of a property. Of course, the extent of the decrease in value depends on the level of moisture.

Are you looking to sell a house with damp? From penetrating damp to rising damp and condensation, we are super experienced property buyers and will gladly appraise your house with the hope of making you a contractual offer.


What is damp?

Damp is generally used to refer to unpleasant or undesirable moisture in a house. No one wants to occupy a damp house. It is very much unhealthy. Damp can have various causes inside or outside the house.

Damp encourages mould activity on furniture and walls and causes rotting in wooden frames. Damp also damages the paint and or wallpaper and leaving behind nasty stains on the ceiling or walls.


Do you have to declare damp when selling a house?

Section 5.2 of the UK’s Building Regulations document C, approved in 2010, requires all building structures to be resistant to condensation, penetrating, and rising damp. Specifically, walls should not allow water from the ground or rain into the building.

Walls are also required to discourage surface condensation and that their thermal performance shouldn’t be adversely impacted by interstitial condensation.

This requirement also means that you have to inform buyers on damp issues in your property. Some people try to hide damp issues from surveyors and buyers by painting over it, but the smell and look of damp are not hard to detect, plus it’s illegal.

How much does damp devalue a house?

Most buyers buy houses using mortgages. Therefore, if you are contemplating to sell a house, it’s safe to assume the lending company will send a surveyor to inspect your house for damp. In most cases, when the company surveyor identifies damp problems, the mortgage company will require an additional look by a specialist surveyor.

The mortgage lender will consider the work’s cost detailed in the surveyor’s report when deciding whether or not to lend to the buyer. If the company limits the amount the buyer can borrow, they may reduce the offer.

In some cases, damp problems are quite severe that the mortgage company denies the loan. In these situations, the seller has the option of selling to a cash buyer or fix the issue themselves. Generally, selling to a cash buyer brings in 10-20% less than the market value and an additional discount for the renovation costs.

How do surveyors check for damp?

When a damp surveyor comes in, they will use a moisture meter to check the moisture level on the walls. When they come in, they will ask where the problem is or give the entire house a quick visual inspection. Finally, they’ll use a non-invasive moisture meter to gauge the amount of moisture.

Now, just about anyone can use a moisture meter. They are not hard to operate; you place the thing on the wall or probe into it, and it will give you a reading of the amount of moisture on the wall. But just because the moisture meter indicates a wall is very wet doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a penetrating damp problem.

An experienced damp surveyor will tell you exactly what type of damp you are facing. There are various types of damp issues, some cheap to fix, others needing big-time renovation projects.

For example, condensation is one type of damp that is easy to treat. When warm and moist air meets colder furniture or walls, it loses the heat and condenses into tiny visible water droplets on the surface. When water vapour condenses on walls and or furniture, it results in obvious damages, including unpleasant spots of mould.

Another type of damp is rising damp. This is the type of damp most people know. It is caused by capillarity penetration when fluid from the ground is absorbed into the concrete or masonry and the house’s frames, leading to warped floors or eroded wall coverings.

Rain penetration causes dampness too. This is called penetrating damp. Rain can get into the house via cracks on the roof. It can also get in through the windows if the frames weren’t correctly fitted. Another way water can enter a house is if the ground underneath it unexpectedly starts to sink. This is referred to as subsidence and can be due to human activities or shift in the water table underneath the house naturally.

A damp survey can take three to five hours, depending on many different factors. If you are looking to sell a house with damping problem, it’s good to talk to a professional to assess the extent of damp and inform you on costs and options.


How to sell a house with damp issues?

It is not simple to sell a property with damp issues. A damp problem might negatively impact the value of your house. Prospective buyers can take advantage, make the issue bigger than it is, and give you a hard time reaching a fair price. Here are the options for selling a house with damp:


An Upfront Sale

If the damp issue is not a monster and can be fixed with professional repair work, you can invest in repairs and get the problem fixed before putting the house on the market.

Damp can be addressed in many different ways. A licensed expert can help you treat damp in your property. The treatment’s cost and time depend on the extent of the issue, but even large-scale unwanted moisture problems can be dealt with. In most cases, undesirable moisture proofing treatment involves injecting chemicals to keep off moisture or installation of protective barriers.

Just make sure to preserve all paperwork connected to the repair. These should include guarantees for the work and receipts. They serve to convince prospective buyers that the issue has been addressed and shouldn’t be a turn-off. And that just in case the problem comes back, the repair expert has guaranteed free fixes.

Informing prospective buyers of the unresolved damp problem

If the damp issue is too big, requiring a big-time renovation project that you cannot afford, you can leave it for the buyer to fix. This could turn away most buyers, lowering the number of offers on the house.

In case it’s a cash buyer, you can expect the house to fetch 10-20% less, plus an extra discount for the renovation costs.


Selling at auction

This is a more radical approach if you can’t find buyers one-on-one. If you decide to put your house up for auction, you’ll have to share all information connected to its history. Every person bidding will be knowledgeable of its damp issue. Depending on its history, you could receive large bids surpassing your original asking price.


Selling to an investor.

Selling a house with damp to an investor is always the best option because investors don’t buy properties to live in but rather to refurbish and rent out. They will take care of the renovation and renovation needs on their own, unlike individual buyers who may give you a hard time about fixing the damp issue.

Investors are individuals or entities that purchase properties for profit. Selling a house to an investor is characterised by as-is purchase, stress-free negotiations, and flexible purchase arrangements.


If you want to avoid the stress of dealing with mortgage house buyers when selling a house with damp issue, sell to an investor.

Advantages of selling a house with a damp issue to an investor include:

  • Investors buy your house just as it is. You don’t have to worry about fixing it good for showing. Investors buy to refurbish and rent out or sell.
  • Investors guarantee a quick sale because they use their own cash, unlike buyers who rely on the mortgage, which most probably won’t be approved because the house has got damp.
  • There is no risk of completion; investors pay cash, not in instalments, as buyers who depend on mortgages that the lender may stop if their credit statuses change.


No one wants to occupy a damp house. It especially impacts the sale of the house. From buyers who want to take advantage and strangle you on the offer to fewer bids in the auction market, selling a house with damp issues is not easy. In most cases, you will get offers significantly less than your original asking price.

Avoid the hassles and sell to an investor instead. Indeed, we have experience buying properties with damp issues. We offer a simple process for making a contractual offer on your property, irrespective of the damp issue’s extent. We are transparent in our dealings. Contact us today for a risk-free quote. We will gladly assess your property with the aim of making you a fair offer.


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