The National Fire Protection Association says that over 25 percent of the structures fire they respond to each year are in homes. Between 2013 and 2017, that added up to over 350,000 home fires every year.
The main causes of residential fires included cooking, heating, electrical, smoking and arson. Besides extensive damage, they caused at least 75 percent of the deaths and injuries among firemen. The amount of fire damage varies in each home, and there are pros and cons for selling or repairing.
What steps should I take after a fire?
It’s expensive to repair a fire-damaged home, and fire-associated stigma brings down the value and makes it harder to sell. One choice is to sell it to a company that buys fire-damaged homes, and another is to return it to like-new condition or resell it without making repairs.
Because the ordeal takes a big toll on emotions and pocketbooks, many people turn to a company that does remediation to get rid of mold and damage from smoke and fire.
With a checklist and an eye for safety, they guide the homeowner through the entire process and ask them to follow these tips:
1. Call the insurance company to file a claim.
2. Get permission from the fire department to re-enter.
3. Tell utility companies and asking them to shut off services
4. Open windows to air out odors
5. Document the damage with photos and notes
6. Hire a restoration company to survey the damage, make an estimate, and clean
7. Get a copy of the report from the fire department
8. Remove contents from the refrigerator and freezer
The American Red Cross has a guide, “Picking Up the Pieces After a Fire,” that covers everything from how to replace important documents to how to cope with the stress of losing personal possessions and a sense of safety. It also includes helpful information for taking care of pets after a fire, helping children cope with loss, and recovering financially after a disaster.
Should I sell my fire damaged house?
You can sell a damaged home with few repairs and little clean-up if you’re willing to exchange the hassle and time for a reduced sales price. Some companies buy homes with cash, and they can usually give you a competitive estimate within a few days.
If you can’t afford to make repairs or if you don’t have good insurance, a cash sale may be a good option, and you can get an estimate almost immediately. If you have good insurance or money on hand to handle the emergency, you can hire someone to renovate the home before placing it on the market and sell it for a higher price, however.
A fire remediation company can make sure the structure is stable, remove soot, get rid of debris and possessions too damaged to save, dry the house out, deodorize, and remove stains. The cost of remediation can range from around $3,000 for a small job to over $25,000 for a big one, but the average is between $12,000 and $13,000.
Look for these problems when doing repairs:
- stained wall and ceilings
- soot on cabinets and finishes
- telltale odors in crawl spaces, attic, roof, basement or ventilating system
If you do the job yourself instead of hiring professionals, you’ll need safety gear like safety masks, protective gloves, special shoes and disposable gloves.
If your insurance plan has replacement value, it will cover the cost of replacing the damaged items and structure. If your insurance plan has cash value, it will pay for the depreciated value, or their worth as used goods.
Some insurance plans don’t pay if the house has been empty for over 30 days, but they may pay for structures like sheds, fences, garages or landscaping. You may also get help with hotel and meal expenses while you’re waiting for your home to be restored.
When you restore a fire-damaged home, you may run into unexpected problems that make the work take longer than expected. Smoke smells from ductwork, insulation and drywall may need to be replaced to keep odors from coming back.
There are many factors, such as the price of labor and supplies, that affect the value of the home after restoration. If your home has unexpected features like an oceanfront or mountain view or if it is in a coveted neighborhood, it may be easier to sell your house for a premium price than if it has less competition.
How can I protect myself when I sell my fire damaged house?
If you want to sell your home, decide whether you will do the mitigation and sell it to an investor or renovate it for sale to someone who wants to live in it. You will need to get it into move-in-ready condition for a new owner, and that costs more than if you’re selling it to an investor for further repairs or rental property.
Save copies of photographs, receipts, work orders, estimates, fire department reports and any papers that document the damage, how you’ve repaired it, and how much it cost. Buyers feel safer when they think you’re being transparent and honest.
Disclose everything you have done to bring the home up to date. Finding out about repairs or mitigation later makes buyers wonder if you’ve told them everything.
Take your time getting the house ready to sell and putting in on the market. When you’re doing construction work, you’ll run into delays, and they are less frustrating if you aren’t in a hurry or if you don’t have buyers waiting.
Buyers always have questions, and they’ll have even more questions about a home that has fire damage. Think of everything before you show the home to buyers, and be prepared when the moment comes to answer sensitive questions.
Should I sell my house to an investor or a homeowner?
If you don’t have a lot of time and money to cover the expenses, it may be easier to sell your home to a company that pays cash for fire-damaged homes. If you like a challenge and have the resources to return the home to like-new condition, you may increase your profits by doing the extra preparation to get it ready for the traditional real estate market.
How can I sell my house fast?
The best way to sell your house quickly is to make sure you get rid of the smoke smell, make needed repairs, and use up-to-date decor and neutral colors. The more questions you anticipate and prepare for ahead of time, the more confidence your buyer will have in you as a seller and in the quality of the renovation.
Selling to an investor who pays cash is the fastest way to sell your home, especially if you’ve chosen to limit renovations to the basic necessities. Any other buyer will be pickier and more demanding about the process.
Who buys homes for cash?
Investors, who pay cash for homes and sell them for profit, fall into three main categories: house flippers, buy-and-hold, and iBuyers. House flippers mostly buy homes that need fixing up, spend a minimal amount of money making them look good, and sell them.
Buy-and-hold buyers purchase affordably priced homes and keep them for rental properties. You’ll usually get more money from a rental buyer than from a house flipper. The third kind of buyer is the iBuyer, an instant buyer, who used technology to purchase homes.
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO SELL YOUR HOUSE FOR CASH WITH CASH HOUSE BUYERS DFW: Get A Cash Offer Today!
What should I know about selling to cash buyers?
If you want to sell a home in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we know how to make the process fast and easy, no matter the condition or the reason for selling. Often, we can even stop your home from being foreclosed and save your credit.
Our experienced team will look at your home, make you an offer, and give you time to do your own research before accepting or turning us down. Because we buy homes all over the country, we have a large cash flow, and we get back to you within 24 hours with details and a price.
You pay no commission, no closing costs, no fees and no repairs. You choose the closing date, and we show up with the cash.
How does it work?
Our plan has four easy steps:
1. You tell us about your home.
2. We let you know if it meets our criteria.
3. We make a fair offer.
4. We do the closing at a title company, and you get your money within seven days.
If you live in the Dallas/Fort worth area, and you need immediate cash, you can fill out information online to get the ball rolling. It’s free, and there is no obligation.
Having a home damaged by fire is emotionally and financially exhausting. If you don’t want to spend months doing renovations, selling your home, and waiting for closing, selling to an investment company may be the way to go.
Contact us today to get more information.