If you or a loved one has experienced a house fire, you know what a terrible experience it is. Not only are your personal belongings affected and repairs can cost thousands of dollars. This can make it very difficult to sell the home. Whether a fire occurs in your home or business, the damage they cause can be physically and emotionally overwhelming. With the help of your insurance company and hired restoration contractor, getting back to normal after a fire damage can be a lot easier. In this blog, we will walk you through the steps toward recovery.
According to the NFPA, During this five-year period, US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 354,400 home structure fires per year. These fires caused an annual average of 2,620 civilian deaths; 11,220 civilian fire injuries; and $6.9 billion in direct property damage. Thankfully, some of that cost is covered by insurance. Even with the insurance money, homeowners are still left with a home that will need a lot of costly repairs. There are two options for homeowners, do the repairs and fix the home up, or talk about selling a house with fire damage.
What To Do After A House Fire
1. Contact Your Insurance Agent
If your home has been in a house fire, the first thing you need to do is contact your insurance company who handles your homeowner’s policy. Let them know what happened, and they will begin the process of looking into the fire.
2. Ask For A Restoration Company
Immediately after a fire, you need to start cleaning up any soot or water damage. If water damage is not addressed immediately, within 24 hours you may have mold start to form. This can be another problem that you don’t want to deal with. Make sure you contact a reputable restoration company. You can ask your insurance company for some recommendations.
3. Separate Damaged Items From Non-Damaged Items
The insurance company will want to take a detailed inventory list of all of the items that were damaged in the fire. Once you’ve separated the items, it will be easier to put together a detailed list. This list will include the make, model, serial number, date you purchased the item, how much you paid, and a brief description of the item.
4. Put Non-Damaged Items Somewhere Safe
After a house fire, your home will more than likely be exposed to the elements. This will allow your items that were not effected by the fire to be exposed. Make sure you move them to a safe location, such as a storage unit, to make sure they are not damaged.
5. Work With Your Insurance Company
Fire damage claims are given a top priority within insurance companies, and an adjuster is usually out to inspect the property within a few days. In order to make sure your claim is processed quickly, make sure to return all phone calls, be available for meetings, and provide documents in a timely manner.
6. Find Somewhere To Stay If Your Home Is Not Livable
If your home is not livable due to fire damage, you need to make arrangements to find somewhere to stay. Most insurance policies will cover food, clothing, and housing that your family might need.
Should You Repair Your House With Fire Damage?
In many cases, this is up to you if you should repair your home or sell their house with fire damage. There are benefits and drawbacks to making the repairs.
Benefits Of Repairing A House With Fire Damage
1. The Home Is Easier To Sell
A home with fire damage can seem overwhelming to a potential buyer, but if you do the repairs before selling the home, it will sell faster. Most potential buyers don’t want to deal with hiring contractors, paying for materials, and dealing with managing the project of repairing their fire damaged home.
2. Some Repairs Can Be Cheap
If your house fire was relatively small and no structural damage was done, you may only need to replace a few small things. These repairs can include paint, carpet, and and other small repairs that need to be done. The best part is that this can be completed for a few thousand dollars, as opposed to tens of thousands of dollars.
3. You’ll Receive A Higher Sales Price
If you decide to repair your fire damaged home, you may sell the home for a higher sales price because most buyers want a move-in ready home.
Drawbacks Of Repairing A House With Fire Damage
1. It’s Expensive
The cost to repair a home depends on a few things, like did the home have a sprinkler system, how complex the fire was, and how the fire was extinguished. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the average cost of fire damage recovery in a house without fire sprinklers is $45,110 and $2,170 with sprinklers, with factors like type of the fire, size, duration of the fire, and value of home being even. This can put homeowners in a serious financial hole if their insurance is not willing to cover the damages.
2. It Takes Time To Repair
If you’re like most homeowners, you may not have the months it takes to hire contractors, meet with them, and wait for the repairs to be completed. Depending on how severe the fire damage was done to the home, repairs could take up to a year. You may not have the time to wait for the home to be completed.
3. It Can Be A Hand Full To Rehab
Rehab project is a very time-consuming and frustrating experience. You have to make sure the contractor isn’t overcharging you and a lot of contractors can be unreliable. Ultimately, if you repair a home with fire damage, it will be up to you. The other option to repairing your fire damaged home, is to sell your home “as-is”.
Selling A House With Fire Damage
When selling a house with fire damage, there are two options: you can list the home with a realtor or sell your home quickly to a cash home buying company, like Garden State Cash Homes.
When listing the home with a realtor, you will more than likely receive a cash offer from a cash home buying company anyway but in this case since you listed with a realtor you will have to pay 5% – 6% for realtor fees on the purchase price. Selling directly to a company that buys cash you will avoid realtor fees.
Cash home buying companies, or investors, can pay cash and close quickly. They will usually buy your home in “as-is” condition and you can walk away from your fire damaged house in a few weeks. Investors will pay a little less than the average buyer, and that’s because they are assuming all of the risk. When an investor buys your home, they will be responsible for managing rehab.
AT The End Of The Day
Selling a house with fire damage is a stressful time, but you will get through it. Make sure you do your due diligence and stay in touch with the insurance company. We hope you found this post helpful and if you have any questions feel free to call us 732-372-0940. Best of Luck!