Real Estate and Flooding

disclosures when buying a homeDisclosures for Homes Damaged by Flooding in Minnesota

Recent record-setting rains have caused historic flooding in parts of Minnesota. And if you’re planning to buy or sell a home – you want to make sure you know about the dangers you might face from Mother Nature.

That’s where the disclosure comes in. When you’re selling a home there are certain things you need to disclose to potential buyers. A REALTOR® can help you make sure you’re disclosing what you need to and can ask the right questions about a property for you when you’re looking to buy a home. Seller disclosures vary from state to state, but generally require documentation of material problems with the home, such as leaks in the roof, past or present flooding issues, pest problems, presence of structural issues, lead paint, mold problems, electrical problems and water or sewer issues.

Living in a Flood Plain

In some states – including Minnesota – the seller must disclose if the home is in a flood plain area. This disclosure is meant to warn buyers of the risk from this natural danger. Flood insurance is generally required and certainly recommended for homeowners living in flood-prone areas. This insurance is issued by the federal government and provides as much as $250,000 in coverage for a single-family home plus $100,000 for contents. Local REALTORS® in Minnesota can explain which locations require such coverage.

Water damage or mold

If the home has had a leaky roof, a flooded basement or dampness and mold in certain areas, these water issues must be disclosed. This can cover everything from flooding to roof leaks to plumbing leaks to even venting issues in kitchens and bathrooms. Sellers must also need to disclose if there’s been damage to the flooring or floor covering and if there’s been work done on the structure of the home itself.

Get a Home Inspection

Working with a good home inspector is a good way to make sure you aren’t surprised by something that wasn’t disclosed. A good home inspector can often spot the signs of water damage, even if they have been painted or plastered over.  If you’re looking for a home inspector in Minnesota, ask your REALTOR®. He or she can likely recommend a great person to check your home.

Getting Issues Fixed Before Closing

Understanding what’s being disclosed and getting a home inspected can help you get problems taken care of before you close on a property. Talk to neighbors and see what they know about the home – have they seen plumbers at the home a lot? Did they have flooding that they had to deal with themselves? Asking some simple questions can sometimes help you gain a lot of knowledge to help you in the long run when you’re buying a home.

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 19,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry in Minnesota.


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