Many homeowners today are finding themselves in the unfortunate position of needing to know whether they must disclose fire damage when selling a house.
The truth is the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that there were 357,000 house fires in 2017 and that those fires caused over $7.7 billion in damage.
Clearly, this is a common problem that many people have to face today.
So what is the answer? Do you have to disclose fire damage when selling a house?
In most states, the simple answer is “yes”. Even in those states that are “buyer beware states” or “caveat emptor states,” the answer is still that you are better off disclosing a fire than trying to keep it a secret.
Most Prospective Buyers Find Out About a House Fire One Way or Another
If they find out on their own, they may wonder what else you are hiding from them and decide not to buy your house.
Most experts agree – it is better to be fully transparent with buyers. Tell them there was a fire and then explain exactly what you did to repair the damage.
Also, keep in mind that in most states you are required by law to tell buyers about a fire. Trying to keep a fire secret could lead to penalties down the road.
The Key to Selling a Fire Damaged House
You may have heard that trying to sell a fire damaged house is difficult. Most buyers won’t even consider buying a house that has been damaged by fire.
This, in turn, can cause many homeowners to consider not telling prospective buyers about the fire. But experts say there is a better way.
They say you need to get the condition of a fire damaged house back to the state it was before the fire… or make it even better.
This way you can say there was a fire, but then you can follow that up with all the specific things that have been done to repair the damage and make the house better.
Being able to do this can alleviate buyer fears and increase the chances of your fire damaged house selling fast and for a good price.
Keep in Mind Repairing Fire Damage Can Be Expensive
There are many “horror stories” where owners of fire damaged houses splurged for expensive repairs and then were not able to get their money back in the home’s sale price due to poor demand.
For this reason, you must be very judicial in the repairs you make. You want to keep costs down while still restoring the house to a condition that alleviates buyer fears and makes it an attractive – and safe – place to live. This can be a very difficult balancing act.
Some tips include:
- Talking to multiple contractors and getting multiple bids
- Find out exactly what your insurance policy covers and what it does not
- Focus on repairs that are essential for safety but don’t neglect surface repairs that improve the looks of the home
- Get informed about smoke and soot damage – this type of damage can be difficult – and expensive – to repair. Your best defense is to educate yourself and then proceed cautiously and hire a repair provider you trust
Provide Full Disclosure to Prospective Buyers
As we mentioned previously, it is much better for you to disclose fire damage when selling a house. You should also be fully prepared to answer any questions the buyer has about the fire, its cause, the damage that was sustained and your repairs.
In many cases, it will be up to you through your answers to their questions to eliminate the buyer’s fears and convince them that the fire damaged house is safe and desirable to live in.
Be Patient During the Sales Process
As we mentioned, selling a fire damaged house is not easy. You must understand this going in and be willing to be patient. You may have to wait longer for your house to sell and you most likely are going to have to accept a lower price than what you would receive if the house had not been damaged in a fire at all.
A Better Way to Avoid the Hassle of Selling a Fire Damaged House
Many owners of fire damaged houses decide to bypass all the stress and frustration that comes with repairing and selling a house that has been damaged in a fire. They do this by selling their house directly to an investor. There are many benefits associated with this strategy, including they can sell the fire damaged house “as is.”
Selling a house “as is” means you don’t have to worry about the cost of repairs or how long repairs are going to take. You also don’t have to interview contractors or deal with contractors going over budget or failing to meet deadlines.
Instead you can sell your house directly to a company like We Buy Fire Damaged Houses without doing anything at all about the damage it sustained in the fire.
You’ll receive a fast cash payment that you can then use along with your insurance settlement to buy a nicer house in a great area.
More About We Buy Fire Damaged Houses
We Buy Fire Damaged Houses can quickly and easily free you from the burdens, the hassles, the headaches and the sleepless nights that accompany owning a fire-damaged house.
Our real estate experts handle all of the paperwork, make all the arrangements, and can even close within a few days when necessary!
So, no matter which situation you are currently in – don’t let the stress of an unwanted house take its toll on you and your family.
With We Buy Fire Damaged Houses there are:
- No repairs
- No seller commissions
- No hassles
- No wait
Our professionals are specifically trained to help homeowners with difficult or rapid real estate transactions. In fact, our experienced professionals have helped thousands of homeowners free themselves from financial difficulties – and now we are ready to help you as well!
To learn even more about We Buy Fire Damaged Houses and receive a free, no obligation quote on your fire damaged house, fill out the short form below.