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Tips for Fixing Up & Selling a Fire-Damaged House

Tips for Fixing Up & Selling a Fire-Damaged House

The best way to increase the likelihood of getting top dollar for your fire-damaged house is to fix it up.

For the big stuff hire a contractor. For the smaller repairs you do not have to be a trained plumber or carpenter to make your home more attractive to buyers.

With just a few tools and some hard work you can give your property a well-maintained appearance.

It’s a good idea to go through the house and make minor repairs before showing it, or putting it on the market.

A home inspection will likely be done before the final deal, so if you take the time up front to make the minor repairs, you’ll be able to avoid some of the potential buyer’s bargaining chips in negotiating a deal.

Repairs to make yourself (or hire a contractor to do)

Fix the leaky bathroom faucet and fix broken windows.

Take care of your property’s curb appeal. Maintain the landscaping by trimming the lawn and shrubs, and planting some flowers.

The outside of the home is what will draw in prospective buyers, or keep them driving.

Ask your neighbors to clean up their yards; offer to take their trash and junk away for them, ask them to move kids’ toys, or offer to mow the lawns next to your property.

You could even consider giving a small cash incentive after the successful sale of the fire-damaged house.

Make sure the home is clean and well-ordered

Your home should be super clean before you show it. It’s usually too expensive to replace all the carpeting in a home, but getting it cleaned is affordable.

Place your furniture in ways that mask worn spots. Put down new welcome mats and replace worn area rugs. Wash all the windows until they sparkle.

Repair worn conduit, and replace air filters on air-conditioning and heating for a fresh look. Give the walls a fresh coat of paint.

Be sure the work looks professionally done, so that people can see the quality of your property. A well-maintained home usually garners a higher sales price than a home that has been neglected.

Should you sell your fire-damaged house yourself?

Once the home is repaired and cleaned, you need to decide whether to sell the house yourself or use a real estate agent.

Selling your home yourself, also called FSBO or For Sale by Owner, is a realistic option thanks to the Internet.

People sell their own property without an agent because they avoid costly real estate agent commissions. This commission is typically about 6% of the property sale price.

Agents work hard for their commissions, and provide valuable insight into the market and sales process. They usually have valuable experience selling other properties in the area.

If you do decide to sell your fire-damaged house yourself, you stand to save thousands of dollars, but you are taking on all the work that the real estate agent does. Is selling your property FSBO right for you? Think about these points when making this decision:

Pricing it right the first time.

To price your property correctly, you need to know the market. A poor pricing decision can cost you – under pricing will result in lost potential earnings, and over pricing will cause the home to sit on the market while you are paying expensive carrying costs. Home prices vary depending on the square footage, lot size, age, and other factors. Use neighborhood comparables to judge the most appropriate list price.

Get the word out.

If you sell FSBO, you won’t have access to the largest, most valuable marketing tool, the MLS.  But thanks to the internet, the MLS isn’t the only way to market your home. Put out signs, list it on websites, and place ads in the newspaper to let buyers know about your house.

Be a fast learner.

You’ll need to do what an agent does.  Learn about the sales process, legal issues, contracts, closing process, insurance, and many other aspects of the selling real estate.

Patience is important.

Selling FSBO is a lot of work and small details, and you are in charge of managing them in order to get the job done.

Can you negotiate successfully?

Some people are born with this skill, and others have to work at it. If you are not a seasoned real estate negotiator, research the subject and learn enough about it to avoid losing money.

Here are some tips for negotiating a win-win deal

When negotiating, arm yourself with information and knowledge and you will be well equipped to broker a fair deal.

Find out as much as you can about real estate law, the current market, and the other person’s situation.

When you are engaged with the other party in negotiating a contract, you’re trying to come to a mutual agreement on the price of the property and terms.

Consider the area comps, true condition of the property from the inspection report, and buyer’s situation. Before signing any written offers or contracts, seek legal counsel.

More selling tips

Research your local market, and the prices at which comparables sell. You’ll need to have your finger on the pulse of the market during the entire sales process, which can take months.

This is important because you may be in negotiations over a long period of time, and knowing the up-to-the-minute standing of your property will help you make educated negotiation decisions.

Advertising is needed to pull together a large group of interested buyers. By having many parties that want to purchase your property you may be able to create a bidding war which will drive up the sale price. How should you advertise?

Use all of your advertising resources, like the newspaper, word-of-mouth, flyers, targeted mailings, special trade booklets, and the internet.

The Internet is one of the most effective ways to market. There are many real estate investment websites that allow you to post your property with pictures. A comprehensive marketing campaign includes these online marketing tools. Find a site with good traffic and include flattering photos of the interior and exterior of your property. You can consider adding a virtual tour.

Prefer to avoid the hassle of repairing and selling a fire-damaged house?

We Buy Fire Damaged Houses buys burned properties in as-is condition. We also pay all cash. Fill out the form below to see if your house qualifies for a free quote.


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