Should You Repair a Fire-Damaged Home Before Attempting to Sell It?
Selling a home with fire damage is a situation that more and more American homeowners are facing.
That’s because there are over 350,000 house fires each year. In fact, during the period from 2013 to 2017, the National Fire Protection Association reports there was an average of 354,400 home structure fires per year.
The NFPA goes on to say that those fires caused an annual average of “2,620 civilian deaths; 11,220 civilian fire injuries; and $6.9 billion in direct property damage.”
If you are reading this article you may have joined the ranks of homeowners having to deal with the aftermath of a house fire.
If so, you have our sympathy – it is never an easy situation to see your home or part of your home go up in flames.
Options for Owners of Fire-Damaged Homes
If you are the owner of a fire-damaged home you have basically two options:
1) Sell the Fire-Damaged Home “as is”
If you are looking for the easier of the two solutions, selling the home is always the better option.
Selling the home means you won’t have to deal with contractors or with overseeing the whole repair process. As you may have heard, contractors can sometimes be difficult to work with.
Some are slow to do the required work and may try to juggle multiple projects, which can lead to confusion and delays.
They may also run “over budget” and end up wanting more money for the work. That’s why, if you do decide to repair the fire damage, you should carefully interview multiple contractors and be thorough when checking references.
Another problem you could encounter when deciding to repair a fire damaged home is if it is still your primary residence that also means you will have to live through the repairs, which can sometimes be loud and messy and come with inconvenient early morning start times.
2) Repair the Fire-Damaged Home
The second option is to repair the fire damage. The benefit of repairing the fire damage is that it could help you recoup more of the money you have invested in the home.
In other words, you will need to weigh the convenience of selling and not going through the repair process with the possibility of receiving a higher sales price if the repairs are made.
Of course, it’s often not this black and white of a decision; there are many other factors that can come into play.
Hard to Sell Fire-Damaged Homes
For example, houses that have been damaged by fire are notoriously hard to sell and even if you repair all of the fire damage in most states you are still going to have to inform potential buyers that the house caught fire.
In other words, you could spend a lot of money on repairs … make the house look like new … and then still have trouble selling it.
Hard to Determine Amount of Damage in a Fire-Damaged Home
Another issue to consider when weighing whether to repair a fire-damaged home or sell it “as is” is the amount of damage present.
Unfortunately, not all fire damage is readily visible. In addition to the fire damage that you see, the house could also have smoke damage and there could be damage in not easily visible areas like behind walls and in air ducts.
The best way to get a better understanding of the amount of damage a house has sustained in a fire is to have an inspector come in and examine it.
The Benefits of Hiring an Inspector
A professional, experienced inspector will know where to look for possible damage and can then provide you with a more complete picture as well as an accurate estimate of what you can expect to pay to repair everything.
The inspector will examine the structural integrity of the home, including the roof, beams, load-bearing walls and more. He may also be able to provide insight about potential repair trouble spots. Another bonus is that he may also know which contractors are particularly good at repairing fire damage and reliable.
In addition to having an inspector come in and analyze the house you may also want to have a certified industrial hygienist test the quality of the air in the home after a fire.
That’s because smoke damage can be very bad for human and pet health. It contains many dangerous particles that can damage lungs and also lead to skin and vision problems.
That’s why it is always important to assess smoke damage and other unseen damage like soot in the air ducts in a house that has been damaged by fire – especially if you or anyone else plans to live there.
What to Do Next …
The homeowner’s decision about whether to sell the home or repair the damage will determine the next step.
If you want to repair the home, you will need to have the property inspected and can then begin interviewing contractors.
On the other hand, if you want to avoid the stress that comes with managing home repairs, you can sell the house “as is” to We Buy Fire Damaged Houses.
Why Sell to Us?
With We Buy Fire Damaged Houses, there are:
- No seller commissions
- No stressful wait
- No hassles
- No expensive repairs
We are experienced in helping homeowners with difficult or rapid real estate transactions … and we can help you avoid the uncertainties that accompany trying to sell a home yourself or through an estate agent, such as not knowing “when” or “if” your house will sell or for “how much.”
Fill Out the Form
Simply fill out the form below to see if you qualify for an immediate, free, no-obligation cash offer on your home.
Selling to We Buy Fire Damaged Houses delivers many benefits. For example, insurance companies are willing to payout settlements based on construction costs, the contents of the fire damaged home, and for general inconvenience.
Homeowners are often able to combine their insurance settlements with our cash offers to finance even better homes in better markets!
Fill out the form below to learn more.