Did you know that if your home accidentally burns down, you can reach out to cash buyers or real estate professionals to start the process of selling your house? If you just experienced fire damage and you have homeowners insurance, then your situation is not as hopeless as it may seem.
Losing all your possessions to a house fire can be both traumatic and devastating. What should you do next after fire damage? Who should you call when your house burns down? Does your home lose all its value? When should you begin the process of selling your home?
In this article, you will learn the various alternatives that you can opt for during the process of selling your house or home after fire damage, the steps to take after your house burns down, and any challenges you may experience you try to sell your house.
Can You Sell A Fire Damaged House in Oklahoma?
Yes, you can. If your house or home has undergone fire damage, there are various ways that you can still sell your house to salvage its remaining value. One of the worst things that could happen to a person is having their house accidentally burn down. Although it’s not common to see houses burn down regularly, studies show that in 2020, about 356,500 homes suffered fire damage.
The National Fire Protection Association revealed that the total cost of property damages resulting from the fires amounted to $8.4 billion. While this may seem like a staggering loss, it is nothing compared to the 734,000 fire-damaged houses reported back in 1980.
With such numbers, it is easy to think that perhaps wildfires are the main cause of fire damage on properties. After all, over 7 million acres of land were ravaged by wildfires in 2021. However, after a thorough investigation, researchers found out that wildfires are responsible for only 3% of fire damage to houses. The main cause of fire damage on residential properties is cooking-related accidents, which are responsible for about 49% of home fires.
Thanks to homeowners insurance, homeowners can now receive compensation in the event their home burns down. The average cost of homeowners insurance claim as a result of fire damage in the United States is $80,000. The compensation received from homeowners insurance gives homeowners at least 2 options on what to do with their property.
If you are a homeowner with a house or home that has suffered structural damage and you don’t know whether to start the process of selling your damaged house, then you could consider any of the following options:
Restore and Repair Your Property
You can opt to carry out repairs and renovations to restore your house back to its good condition before putting it up for sale. The insurance money from the homeowners insurance claim should be sufficient to carry out the renovations and repairs on your house. Restoring your house after fire damage will be easy if the foundation has not suffered massive structural damage.
In case the foundation is completely destroyed after fire damage, then it means that your property’s structural integrity is compromised. Repairing such a property will be costlier than the value of the house in the real estate market, which means that you will not make any profit from selling your house.
Sell The Property As-Is in Oklahoma
Another way to benefit from the sale of your house or home after fire damage is to sell it as it is, with its structural damage. If you sell your house as-is, you’ll free yourself from incurring any cost of repairs and renovations. Simply hire a realtor with experience in fire-damaged real estate to put your house up for sale in the market.
You would be surprised by how many home buyers and cash buyers would be willing to buy your home with fire damage.
Challenges of Selling a House with Fire Damage In Oklahoma
If your house or home burns down, there are certain steps that you need to take to deal with the fire damage. Since you will likely be stressed, emotionally drained, and shocked by the events, you need to be able to make significant decisions about what to do next.
In order to make sober choices, you first need to get help in the form of temporary housing, medication, and even food. We recommend getting in touch with an organization like Red Cross if you and your family have nowhere to go immediately. Additionally, the organization can help you sort out documents that can aid you financially, as well as mental health support for the trauma caused by the fire damage.
Once you contact the disaster relief organization nearest you for help, we recommend taking the following steps first before planning the sale of your house:
- Make certain that you don’t enter your home before the fire department assures you that it’s safe to enter it.
- Get in touch with your utility providers to inform them about the fire. Ensure that you request for an emergency shutoff of your utilities e.g. water, gas, and electricity.
- Get in touch with your insurance company to file a claim for damages.
- Bring in a restoration contractor that specializes in fire damage to assess the structural damage and give you an estimate of the value of damages.
- Take detailed notes as well as photographs to document the fire damage to show the insurance company.
- Make sure to contact the fire investigator or marshal to obtain an official report about the fire damage, which you will use during the insurance claim.
- After the fire department gives you the go-ahead, you can open the windows of your house to let out the smoke.
- Check your freezer or refrigerator and take out all the food items
Now, you can choose how to go about selling your house after fire damage. You can decide to sell your home as it is with the fire damage, or restore your home then hire a realtor to sell it.
Does A House Lose Value After Fire Damage?
Although fire will cause extensive damage to your home, your property does not necessarily lose its entire value. This is because homeowners insurance covers fire damage, which means that you will be able to rebuild and restore your home to its prior state, thereby regaining most of its value.
Moreover, if you decide to go an extra mile with the renovations and add new features to your home, you can even negotiate a higher price for it during the process of selling the house. We recommend bringing in a skilled and experienced realtor if you want to sell your property for more value. However, the process of selling your house at a price higher than its original value will only be successful if the new house has more features compared to the previous one.
Additionally, the money you get from the insurance claim will not be enough to upgrade your house, which means you will have to pitch in from your pocket. Insurance companies will give you enough money to cover the extent of the fire damage alone.
If you want to maximize the profit from the sale of your house, you’ll need to dismiss the following myths about fire damage:
Smoke Damage Is Permanent
One of the most misleading ideas that can hurt the value of your house or home during the selling process is that smoke and fire damage is permanent. With the right repairs and restoration techniques, your home can be free from both fire and smoke damage.
Therefore, a house does not entirely lose its value after fire damage because you can benefit from selling your house.
Homes with Fire Damage Don’t Sell
Another lie that affects the selling process of houses or homes with fire damage is that no one would buy them. This is a misleading myth because not only is it possible to find clients that would buy a restored fire-damaged house, but you can also receive offers from cash buyers and real estate experts that would readily give you cash to purchase your burnt home as-is.
Although cash buyers may give you a lower price for your house or home during its selling process because of the fire damage, the money can definitely help you reorganize yourself and get a new home.
How to Sell a Burned Down House in Oklahoma?
If you are not in a hurry to sell your house immediately and would prefer to work with a professional realtor, then you’ll need to follow specific steps. Below are the steps you should take as you try and sell a house with fire damage.
Step 1: Hire Home Renovation Experts to Restore Your House
In order for your house to attract buyers, you need to make it presentable after the fire damage. Repairing the fire damage is the best way to make your house marketable before deciding to begin the selling process with new clients. However, keep in mind that renovating your home to its prior condition can be very costly.
HomeAdvisor reports indicate that repairing fire damage costs an average of between $2860 and $34700. The national average cost of total repair after fire damage in the United States is $18, 250. The repairing costs that you will incur will depend on the following factors:
- Smoke damage
- Water cleanup
- The level of fire damage
- Removal of soot
- Fire extinguisher cleanup
The good thing about homeowners insurance is that it can help you cover the costs associated with fire damage restoration. However, the insurance policy may have exceptions against arson and negligence. Moreover, insurance can cover your lodging costs as you repair your house or home as well as any additional fire damage your neighbors may have experienced.
Step 2: Practice Patience
Selling any property that has suffered fire damage can be very challenging. This is because your potential buyers may have thousands of questions regarding the fire as well as the amount of restoration you have done on the property. Therefore, you need to be very patient with a potential buyer because they may be very critical during the process of selling a house or home.
For instance, during the sale of a house that suffered structural damage due to fire, a client may request the following inspections:
- Roof inspection- this inspection will guarantee the client that the roof is still intact
- Chimney inspection- the client will want this inspection if the fireplace or the chimney was the original source of the fire.
- HVAC inspection- if the fire resulted from poor ventilation or a faulty heater, the client will want assurance that the HVAC system is completely restored.
- Electrical inspection- the client will request this inspection during the selling processes if the fire resulted from an electrical issue.
- Structural inspection- your client will most likely request this inspection to be certain that the house has proper structure after the fire damage.
Do You Have To Disclose Fire Damage When Selling A House in Oklahoma?
Yes. You definitely have to disclose the event of the fire to your potential buyers as you try and sell your house in Oklahoma. Once you fix your home, make sure that you are transparent about the fire during the selling of your home to buyers. The good thing about disclosing information about fire damage as you go about selling your property is that your house or home will not have any smell of soot or smoke. Therefore, this information will not scare away potential buyers.
Moreover, In Oklahoma, there are disclosure laws that require you to inform clients about fire damage during the sale of a house.
After disclosing details about the fire to your new buyer during the selling of your house, they will likely want to go over the restoration details to make sure all the structures of the house have been repaired. Therefore, it is important to have a copy of detailed records showing all the work that was done on your house during the selling process.
People just need evidence that shows that even though your house caught fire, you have taken proper measures to ensure that it does not happen again. Just have the proof during selling negotiations and the client will have no issue buying your house.
Additionally, you can use the invoices and receipts during the price negotiations of your house to prove to the buyer that they will indeed be getting the full value of their money after the sale of the house.
Another significant detail that you need to disclose to your client during the process of selling your house after fire damage is its mortgage details. If you are carrying out the sale of your property before you’ve completed paying its mortgage, make certain that you get in touch with your servicer to request a statement indicating your mortgage payoff amount at the time of the selling your house.
Once you receive your mortgage statements, you’ll be best placed to estimate the proceeds you will receive from the sale of your house. Failure to disclose this information may result in legal issues that may delay the selling of your property.
Get Started With Liberty House Buyer Today
Are you ready to start the process of selling your house or home after fire damage in Oklahoma? Liberty House Buyer has the solution you need. We are cash buyers that specialize in purchases, sales, remodels, foreclosures, rentals, loans, and loan modifications here in Oklahoma. We are the team to work with during this distressing situation because we buy fire damage houses fast and we pay in cash.
To start the process of selling your house or home, simply reach out to us today to book a consultation. You can schedule a free evaluation of your house. with Liberty House Buyer today. Call us now if you know it’s time to begin the process of selling your property.