When you have a fire-damaged house, that can create a nightmare scenario for homeowners. If you want to live in your house, you have to assess all of the damage, get insurance involved, consider the costs of repairs, and figure out how to replace all your lost items. It might be enough to make you just want to sell your fire-damaged house instead.
However, if you’re going to sell a fire-damaged house in Florida, there are plenty of things you need to know. Since your house was burned in a fire and there is damage present, that is going to affect the way that market buyers will perceive your property. And there are plenty of costs you need to consider in order to get your house market-ready. Or you can always opt to sell your fire-damaged house in Florida for cash to a real estate investor.
Before you proceed with the best option for yourself and your family, let’s take a closer look at what you need to know when selling a fire-damaged house in Florida.
Selling Fire Damaged Houses in Florida
When it comes to selling fire-damaged houses in Florida, there’s a simple question that you need to ask yourself before you begin the process. How do I want to sell my house? Do I want to sell it on the housing market or do I want to sell it as-is?
When you sell a fire-damaged house on the open market, you’re committing to selling a house to market buyers. Market buyers have certain expectations for the houses they buy. They are often looking for great deals, the latest features, and homes that are in the best condition possible. You’re also competing with all of the other houses for sale on your Florida block, so you have to be able to show why a family should want to make an offer on your house and not another one.
A market sale usually means that you’re going to hire a real estate agent and it’s important to know that agents take a commission fee for their work. That commission comes off the final sale price of the house. So, let’s say you sell your fire-damaged house for $200,000. Your real estate agent is going to take a commission fee that is usually in the five or six percent range. So that’s $10,000 – $12,000 off the top that you’ll be paying. That fee is then split between your agent and the buyer’s agent. That’s a lot of money to be paying, so be prepared to know that you’ll have to do that.
If you decide that the fire damage in your house is too intense or costly to fix, you can sell your house as-is to a cash buyer like Sell Your Gainesville Home Today. When you sell your Florida house as-is, that means you are selling it in its current condition. You don’t need to fix the fire damage and you don’t even need to clean up. Even if the house was recently damaged in a fire, a cash buyer will make you an offer because they’re looking at the potential of the property. You also don’t need to pay any commission fees when you sell your house to a cash buyer. There are no fees at all. You decide when you get to sell your house and then you get cash for it. After that, you can walk away without having to worry about making repairs, renovations, cleanings, or anything else after the fire.
How to Sell a Fire Damaged House in Florida
When it comes to selling a fire-damaged house in Florida, the process actually begins long before you list the house on the market.
First, make sure you tell your insurance company what’s happened. Also, you’ll need to understand the full extent of your fire damage coverage, what is covered, and what isn’t covered. The good news if you have fire insurance is that you’re likely to receive reimbursements for damage before you sell, making it easier to pay for repairs. If you don’t, that could make it tougher to recoup costs and return the house to its original condition.
If your local Florida fire department was called to put out the fire, you’ll need their permission to go back inside your house. Once you can go inside, try to be as rational as possible when it comes to cataloging everything that is lost or damaged. While you’re likely to want to focus on things with emotional value, that’s not the priority when it comes to selling your house. First, look for important legal documents like insurance benefits and financial records. There will be time to find everything else.
Assuming you want to sell your Florida house on the market, you’ll also want to begin the clean-up process quickly before more damage occurs. The fire department may have pumped a lot of water into the house to put out the fire, so now that water needs to be removed as well. You’re also likely looking at broken windows, broken doors, weather damage, and other side effects from the rescue efforts. Consider putting up temporary fencing around the house or property in order to keep trespassers and bystanders away.
Make Minor Repairs
When you’re trying to sell a fire-damaged house on the housing market, you’re going to want to do what you can to get the property back in its best condition. While there are going to be some obvious major repair opportunities that stand out, your best bet is to start with the minor repairs that will help get you some momentum. These are the smaller repair issues that are not only easier to do but also don’t cost you a lot of money. This includes things like a fresh coat of paint on walls, new fixtures, sorting out a leaky faucet, or fixing a small hole in the wall. If money is an issue, better to put it towards lots of little repairs done well than a major repair that you can’t do 100%. Market buyers will also appreciate that you at least did some renovating work after the fire, and you can haggle with them over the costs of major repairs when it comes to negotiations and the sale price.
Consider Major Repairs
If you have the means and the money, you should make a list of the major repair needs that you have in your fire-damaged Florida house. These could be repairs like a hole in the roof, a ruined room, damaged floors, or flooded basements. These are major issues that are going to send market buyers running, even as cash buyers are happy to buy houses with these issues. So if you are able to, you’ll want to maximize the potential market sale price of your house by making as many of these repairs as you can. Of course, you can’t often guarantee that the money you put into a major repair will be recouped, so you’ll want to consider if the cost involved is worth it.
Repaint Your House
One great way to give your fire-damaged house a new life is by repainting the entire house. Even if you can’t make all the repairs you want, giving the house a fresh coat of paint in vibrant color signals to market buyers that it’s a house with potential. It’s also a great way to up the curb appeal of your house to those driving past it. If they see a For Sale sign and then a splash of color that draws the eye, that’s going to make them want to take a closer look. It’s not cheap to re-paint your entire house, but if you’re set on selling to market buyers, it’s an investment to consider.
Market Your House Truthfully
When selling a house with fire-damage, even if you’ve fixed and repaired all the damage, it’s important to be upfront and honest with buyers. At worst, you don’t want people to feel like they’ve been duped or wondering why you never mentioned it. That’s the kind of thing that comes back on you in negotiations or even in legal ways.
Be open about what happened. Explain to buyers what you did when the fire happened, how it was dealt with, and what changes were made to the house to make sure the cause has been fixed. You can’t promise that the house won’t experience fire damage in the future, but at least you can come off as an honest individual by letting them know what happened.
Highlight Property Strengths & Weaknesses
Along with being honest about what happened, you also want to be clear about the strengths and weaknesses of the house. No use trying to hide any problem areas because an inspection is going to uncover them anyway. Instead, highlight all of the great things the house has to offer (new repairs or renovations, close proximity to schools, etc.) and be honest about any glaring weaknesses (damage present from fire, water damage, etc.).
Sell Your Fire Damaged House to a Cash Home Buyer
So many of the above tips are for if you decide to sell your fire-damaged house on the housing market. And so many of them come with high costs and require a lot of time and effort. You can avoid all of that by selling your Florida house as-is to a cash home buyer like Sell Your Gainesville Home Today. We buy houses in Gainesville and all of Florida in any condition, even with fire damage, and we don’t charge any fees. We’ll make you a fair cash offer on your Florida home and we can close on your schedule.
As you can see, selling a fire-damaged house in Florida can be a tricky and costly endeavor on the housing market. You can avoid a lot of those hassles and financial costs by selling your house to a cash buyer. But regardless of which direction you go when selling your house, we hope this guide was helpful and that you’re able to move forward from the damage you’ve had to deal with.