How To Successfully Sell A Home That Has Fire Damage

A house fire is a traumatic experience, one that can leave you with significant financial loss and emotional damage. Even if you have home insurance to help cover some of the costs, the process will be long and will likely be costly. For some, going back to that house isn't an option, perhaps because of the memory or just the desire to move. Each year, 346,800 homes, on average, suffer structural damage from fires, as noted by the National Fire Protection Association. When this happens to you, and you just do not want or cannot go back home, you may be considering selling the property.

Selling a house with fire damage is difficult for several reasons. Though state laws differ, it is common for a residential property disclosure form (or a similar form) to be required, which means you must tell the prospective buyers about the fire, according to Nolo. Being honest and upfront is a must, but how can you sell it in this situation?

Make the necessary repairs and then sell it

One of the options for selling a home with fire damage is to make the repairs to get the property back into good livable condition. The ability to do this depends on various factors, including the extent of the damage and whether or not you can afford to make the repairs. If you have home insurance coverage for the fire, that could help you to cover these costs, allowing you to get the house repaired without as much out-of-pocket cost to you.

If you do not have insurance coverage, the expense of restoring the home could be high. As shared by NCRI, the average cost you can expect to pay for fire damage restoration ranges from $2,500 to $5,000 for a small incident. If it's the kitchen, that cost can balloon to $50,000. In the case of large structural fires, the home may need to be rebuilt, which will drive these costs even higher and may involve paying for the demolition, the materials, labor, and other expenses to rebuild.

Sell the home as is

You may not want to wait a year or longer for repairs and just want to sell. In this situation, one of the options you have is to list the home as is. That means you'll need to find a buyer that is willing to offer you money for the damaged structure, and you'll turn the property over to them. They will then make repairs, in most cases. There are some people who will buy projects like these to fix and flip them.

Fire Cash Buyers states that you can sell the property to an investor specializing in fire-damaged homes. Other options exist as well, including selling it to a private home buyer (who wants it for investment purposes or plans to live in it), letting the house go to auction (with no comebacks whatsoever), or even selling the home on the real estate market and hoping the right buyer comes across it. You can expect to get less for the house than if it wasn't damaged, and it is important to consider if paying off your mortgage is going to be possible in these situations.