Are you trying to sell a fire-damaged house? Unfortunately, fire damage affects many homeowners trying to sell their homes, and sellers often are at a loss for advice and guidance.
The National Fire Protection Association says, over one-quarter (27%) reported fires in 2014 through 2018 affected houses. Over these five years, there was an annual average of 11,030 civilian fire injuries, 2,620 civilian deaths, and $7.2 billion lost in property damage.
California’s recent record-setting wildfires have found their way to UT, resulting in hundreds of fire-damaged homes and insurance claims citing billions of dollars. Thus, selling a fire-damaged home can become a challenge.
Fortunately, real estate agents assure you that there are still ways you can sell your house, even if it’s completely burned to the ground. In this article, we’ll go through the tips for selling a fire-damaged house in Utah.
What to do When Selling a Fire Damaged House in Utah
This section will list and discuss some helpful tips regarding selling a fire-damaged house. Let’s get started.
Get Fire Damaged Repaired
There are two options to consider when selling a fire-damaged house in Utah: you can either sell the house as-is (without repairs) or attempt to salvage what remains and repair the home.
In most cases, homeowners prefer to sell their fire-damaged house as-is since there’s generally less work involved. Additionally, you won’t have to work through employing contractors, managing the process, or living through the process.
Many realtor agents in Utah conclude that selling as-is might have some potential drawbacks when considering the final selling price.
Adding repairs to a home, even if there’s fire damage, instantly makes it more valuable. Unless a buyer is looking specifically for a fixer-upper, the average homebuyer won’t want to put in the work to add repairs.
On top of that, prospective buyers aren’t expecting to buy a fire-damaged home for full price, there should be some sort of discount involved.
Repairing the home yourself can be very profitable to the sale of the property. Taking time to clean up, add some paint, and maintain curb appeal are relatively cheap tasks.
Most real estate agents will advise you to do just that. For the maximum return on investment, you should have the fire-damaged house repaired.
For someone to re-enter your home, you’ll need to receive permission from the fire department.
Depending on how much damage has been done, you’ll need to document all the repairs. This task might require hiring various inspectors—such as plumbing, structural, electrical, and mechanical (HVAC) inspections—so you can accurately assess the wreckage.
You should also contact a restoration contractor to check your HVAC ductwork or ventilation for smoke residue. Restoration contractors talk to your insurance companies to help fix your roof, decking, windows, siding, and anything else that might be damaged.
Since not all restoration contractors possess a GC (general contractor) license, they might not be qualified to recommend anything beyond carpenters or electricians.
Restoration contractors that have a GC license are generally more useful since they can directly take charge of all the damage.
As you go through the damage, make sure to keep every physical document regarding the damage. When a buyer purchases a fire-damaged home, they’ll be looking at the property through a microscope.
That’s why we recommended hiring multiple inspectors. A potential buyer will want to know every little detail before going into a purchase, including paid invoices and photos.
Disclose Previous Fire Damage to Potential Buyers
It’s crucial to disclose all fire damage to people that are interested in buying your home. This protects not only them but also you leading up to the sale. Prospective buyers must be informed of every detail regarding your fire-damaged house.
However, each state has different disclosure laws. Selling a fire-damaged house in Utah means assessing two things about your property:
- The structure of the home. Is it safe? What repairs are necessary? How much will it cost?
- The construction of the home. How much of the fire has affected the overall construction? Does it necessitate the reconstruction of the entire property?
If you plan on selling your home as-is, you’ll need to receive a report on the exact condition of your property. This helps you and the real estate agents know how much your home is worth.
Price Your Fire Damaged House Correctly
Pricing your house correctly will attract investors and other buyers even more. Just be aware of overpricing your property, which will push away potential buyers.
Getting help from a real estate agent and receiving estimates can ensure you accurately set a price for your fire-damaged home.
Redecorate Your House
After the dirty work is done, try to complete little touch-ups here and there to add some life back into what remains of your home. This doesn’t mean going all out on the decorations, but at least make it somewhat presentable.
Consider Other Selling Options
If your house is fire damaged, you’ll want to look into selling it as soon as you can. Get in touch with a real estate agent and work together on setting an accurate price.
If you’re looking to sell your house by yourself, you can consider selling to companies like Cash Quick Buyers that will buy your house off you quickly. We buy houses in Salt Lake City in any condition.
Selling to a Property Investor
If you don’t receive any offers from prospective buyers, it might be time to look into selling to a property investor. Many real estate investors are well-versed in buying damaged residential homes.
They might attempt to make the repairs themselves, but in most cases, they’ll hire a team of trained experts to do the job for them.
For a professional real estate investor, this option is cheaper since it allows them to restore the house for less money compared to the amount an average home buyer would have to pay.
Real estate investors will often search specifically for fire-damaged houses, which allows them to use their construction knowledge and resources to their maximum advantage, thus turning them into profits.
If you plan to sell your house as-is, you don’t have to worry about making any fixes or repairs. Even if the house is impaired, an investor will still be willing to buy it. And since investors pay with a cash offer, you can rest assured there won’t be any delays.
Selling to a Cash Home Buyer As Is
Most investors will purchase a fire-damaged house in cash. This option prevents delays and allows for an on-time closing. Even if there are delays in approving the loan, an investor may proceed with their purchase using cash.
Selling a fire-damaged house as-is depends on the situation. If the owner has little to no equity in the fire-damaged house, selling it as-is might be the best option since the cost of repairs would cause them to lose money.
Likewise, if the owner obtained fire insurance before the fire occurred, selling as-is would give them a considerable payout. Couple this with a willing investor, and selling your property as-is might be the right option for you.
In some cases, combining the check from the insurance company and the check from the sale would be the equivalent to the amount of money an owner would obtain from selling the house with no fire damage at full price.
If you’re exasperated and thinking “I just want someone to buy my house in Layton,” this may be the best option for you.
Why You Might Want to Sell Your House As Is
Just as we mentioned earlier, there are some benefits to selling your fire-damaged house as-is.
For starters, there are no repair bills to worry about. Repairing a house with fire damage is both costly and time-consuming. Selling your home as-is gets rid of the need to make any renovations.
The investor or whoever purchases the property will be responsible for making any fixes, lifting the burden from your shoulders.
Additionally, in the case of a fire-damage home, you can leave any unwanted items behind. When selling your house as-is, cleaning up isn’t necessary.
Selling as-is also results in a quick and speedy sale process. An investor won’t want to waste any time buying a fire-damaged house.
This option is ideal for owners who don’t want their house on the market for a prolonged period. Even if your home is virtually burned to the ground, there are still bound to be plenty of interested buyers.
Selling as-is will also allow you to quickly and efficiently cash your funds.
If you’re trying to sell a fire-damaged home in Utah, we’re sure your mind is swirling with questions.
Remember that every situation is unique, and your decision on how to sell your fire-damaged house will depend on your circumstances. That’s why we recommend contacting a real estate agent so that you can be properly guided through the process.
Your family’s needs, the demands of your job, even your health will ultimately determine your decision.
If you’ve decided to repair your home, talking things over with an insurance agent will give you a better idea of how and when to complete repairs. If you’ve decided to sell as-is, it’s time to prepare yourself for a quick sale, click here for more information: Sell My House Fast in Utah!