What to Know when Selling a Home with Fire Damage
A home with fire damage does not have to remain unsold. If you are looking to sell a house that has been damaged by fire, keep these handy tips in mind before you put your house on the market.
Obviously, prospective home buyers need to see the property in its best form and this means the house needs to be thoroughly cleaned. You will have to disclose the fire damage but you do not have to actually advertise it. Replace anything that is burnt or singed and make sure there is no visible smoke or fire damage to the structural elements of the house or any items inside it. Clean all rooms to a professional standard and don't forget to eradicate the smell of smoke as well as any traces of whatever may have been used to extinguish the fire.
Your insurance company could help offset some costs of cleaning and repairing the house so get in touch with them immediately. They will usually request that the repair work is carried out professionally. Even if you have the ability to carry out the work yourself, you will most likely have to get somebody in who is certified to complete the job. On the positive side, this can enhance your chances of a profitable sale in the long-run.
Fire damage can easily disrupt electrical systems, pipework, insulation and foundations. Anyone considering a viewing will ask you about all of these aspects so have them professionally checked before putting the house on the market. Make any improvements to these systems wherever you can as houses with less work to be done on them will always move quicker than those that need lots of repairs. Compile checklists on all of these key areas to ensure that all necessary work is carried out.
As well as carrying out your own inspection, hire an engineer to look over the fire damage to see if the fire has compromised the foundation. This can be especially helpful if your house has a concrete foundation as this can be damaged at a relatively low temperature compared to that of steel. If hiring an engineer to carry out the survey doesn't fit into your budget, an alternative is to ask the local fire chief to come by and have a look at the house.
If your house is on a valuable piece of land, you might be able to command a great price for the whole property even if the fire damage is extensive. If the land the house is on is desirable, the possibility of knocking the house down and building one from scratch could be attractive to potential buyers.
You will need to have the house checked for mold as this is a common result relating to household damage from when the fire was extinguished. If you haven't checked this out and a potential buyer finds mold during their viewing, this could kill the deal completely. Likewise, if the mold is toxic and you leave it untreated, the integrity of your house could be lost on a permanent basis.