According to the latest available statistics from the NFPA, there were around 346,800 residential fires per year in the USA between 2015 and 2019. These traumatic events cause billions of dollars worth of damage annually.
If you’ve been unfortunate enough to experience a structural fire in your home recently, there’s a good chance you’d rather sell it than engage in these costly repairs. It’s never easy getting rid of damaged goods, never mind an entire house, but there is hope for homeowners in this unpleasant situation. Keep reading to find out what’s involved in selling a house with fire damage.
Consider Your Options Carefully
Once you’ve recovered from the shock of seeing all or some of your treasured possessions go up in flames, the first step is taking stock of the damage.
How Bad is the Damage?
When the smoke’s cleared, it’s important to assess the damages to your home as accurately and safely as possible. If your home’s suffered serious structural damage, it’s best to avoid going inside unless you have the all-clear from a competent authority.
Depending on the extent of the fire, your home might have sustained anything from soot and water damage to utter destruction. Try to get an idea of how much is salvageable, so you can make informed decisions from the start.
Apart from fire damage, you might feel uncomfortable or anxious living in a place where you’ve experienced a terrifying fire. This initial assessment will help you decide whether it’s worth salvaging what’s left of your home, or if you should get rid of it as soon as possible.
Call Your Insurance Company
While there’s no way to replace priceless family heirlooms, photographs, and treasured trinkets, your insurance company could help ease the blow of a house fire a little. Get in touch with them as soon as possible. Depending on the terms of your contract, they may assist you with finding a temporary abode and assist with food and clothing while you ponder your next move.
They’ll certainly pay for some damages caused by the fire. This will help alleviate the costs associated with fire damage restoration and can help you sell your house sooner.
The Pros and Cons of Repairing Fire Damaged Homes
It’s vital to move fast if you’re going to repair fire-related damages to your home. Soot and water can cause deeper issues if you don’t deal with them swiftly. If most of the damage is cosmetic, i.e. soot-caked walls and water-drenched floors, you could benefit from repairing your home before you try to sell it.
This may help you find a buyer faster. Yet, there’s never a huge demand for fire-damaged homes for sale nowadays, and you could end up losing out financially on the deal. In some cases, all you’ll need to do is apply a fresh coat of paint, clean up, and replace your curtains. Perhaps you need to hire contractors to perform major repairs.
In all cases, you must make sure you’ve eliminated the cause of the fire by getting your home inspected and taking steps to prevent it from happening again. You’ll need proof that you’ve gone to these lengths to put potential buyers at ease.
Selling Property After a Fire
As you can imagine, it’s never easy finding a buyer for a fire-damaged property. Your best bet is to advertise your home as a fixer-upper and attract buyers that way. When advertising your home for sale, you must disclose that the property has suffered fire damage.
If you’ve done the necessary repairs, keep a folder of all relevant documents. These include:
- Insurance claims
- Police reports
- Repair estimates
- Receipts for any repairs done
Potential buyers are likely to want proof of the following, depending on the source of the fire:
- Roof inspection
- Chimney inspection
- HVAC inspection
- Electrical inspection
- Structural inspection to ensure the home is safe for occupation
You can expect to spend a long time haggling over pricing when you sell your fire-damaged home via the traditional real estate market. Regardless of how much you’ve spent on repairs, inspections, and the like, you can expect to receive offers from people who are only willing to offer a low price on a fire-damaged house. This is true even if you’ve restored your home to its former glory. According to this source, it needn’t be that way. You can sell your fire-damaged house to a cash buyer in just three simple steps.
Selling a House With Fire Damage to a Cash Investor
Due to the extensive work and expense involved in rehabilitating a fire-damaged home, many homeowners opt to sell their home as-is to a cash home buyer. These home investors are well-equipped to deal with all the red tape and have the necessary industry relationships to get your home back in form at the best price. They’ll offer you a fair price, based on the home’s current condition, and save you from the hassles associated with repairs and price negotiations.
We buy houses for cash companies don’t offer top dollar for properties, but they can give you an easy way out when you’d rather not spend time and money on repairs.
It’s important to make sure you’re working with a reputable company when you go this route. There are scammers out there ready to take advantage of distressed homeowners.
When you’ve just been through the harrowing experience of a home fire, you want to move on with your life as fast as possible. Unless you’ve got a second home to go to while selling a house with fire damage, or you have the resources to wait while your home undergoes repairs, it’s often best to take the easy way out.
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