You’ve decided that now is the time to sell your home. And one of the first steps is getting an appraisal and determining the value of your home. However, if you’ve had the misfortune of living through a house fire, you’re probably wondering how the fire damage can affect the value of your home.
While it is, of course, true that a fire has the potential to cause extreme damage to a home, that does not necessarily mean the property will lose all of its value.
A significant first step is to get informed about this type of situation. So, we have decided to publish this article in the hopes of helping you do just that.
What damages do fires cause to a home, and how do they affect its value?
There are four basic types of fire damage. Each affects your home differently, but there are ways to eliminate and remove the damage. Here are some of the most common ones and how they can lower your home value.
Burned Down Structure and Possessions
The fire itself can (and most likely will) burn down everything in its path before it is put out. This can potentially cause damage or, in the worst-case scenario, collapse. It will also leave behind dense particles of ash. Fire is most likely to negatively affect your home’s value if repairs aren’t done correctly.
Soot in the Air
Soot created by the fire will pollute the air and coat your home and possessions with black oily dirt. The two biggest problems with this are the health risks of breathing in soot and the soot getting into electrical fixtures, causing them to short-circuit. Soot will mostly reduce your home’s value for cosmetic reasons if cleaning isn’t performed properly.
Smoke odors linger long after the day that the fire happened, especially in soft furnishings. It’s an awful smell that’s difficult to eliminate through regular cleaning. To avoid these odors negatively affecting your property’s value, you should get a professional cleaning crew to help.
The water from fire engine hoses or damaged pipes can cause water damage and flood your home. This can cause dampness, rot, and mold if not dried out quickly. If mold develops, it will significantly affect your home’s value. Mostly because your buyers know that they will have to pay for it to be removed.
To sum it all up, it’s safe to say that even a relatively small fire can turn your home into a very unpleasant place to live. But, if restoration and cleanup are done well and on time, the value of your home may even stay as it was.
How to do damage control on the value of your home?
You can do two main things to preserve your home’s value. The first is getting in contact with your insurance agency. And the second is hiring a professional restoration and cleaning crew to repair your home.
Get in Touch With Your Insurance Agent
The first on your list should be contacting the insurance agent who handles your homeowner’s policy. It would be best if you did this immediately after the fire has been put out. In most cases, a house fire will be covered by your insurance. This should help you be able to make repairs and rebuild.
Hire a Reputable Restoration Company
Now that you know how your insurance can help and how much of the repairs it will cover, you are likely wondering about the standard restoration cost. The average cost of renovation after a home was affected by fire damage is forty thousand USD and up. But of course, the price you will be paying will vary wildly depending on the extent of the damage and how much of it will be covered by your insurance.
A thorough cleanup performed by a cleaning crew will be at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of cost. However, structural damage that requires extensive rebuilding will increase the price.
You might be tempted to try and DIY your way out of paying for repairs regarding cosmetic damage and cleaning. However, this is definitely not a good idea. It is easy to underestimate how hard that task is going to be. You may even end up risking your health in the process.
Preparing to Sell a House After a Fire
Selling a fire-damaged house in Portland can seem like a difficult task, especially if you want to take care of all of the ways fire damage can affect the value of that property before you put it on the market. However, if you break the process into smaller steps, you’ll be able to do it!
There are also certain tips you can follow to make it easier. For instance, experts from Best Cross Country Movers suggest that people are way more likely to buy and move into a home with a history of fire damage if they meet the seller in person. This is likely because the main turn-off for potential buyers of such homes is safety, and meeting the seller in person gives them a feeling of reassurance.
Do a Major Cleanup
While you must disclose that the house has been through a fire, if it looks good, you’ll see that most buyers will not even be overly concerned about it. Take a good look around the house, and hire a professional inspector who can certify there is no remaining fire damage.
Work With Your Insurance Company
Depending on your policy, the insurance company may offset some of the costs of repairing the house. They may also hire professionals to help you. Just be sure to follow any instructions your agent may give you and comply with the company’s guidelines. This will ensure that they remain on your side.
Hire a Surveyor
Hiring a surveyor will ensure that your property is valued appropriately. The surveyor might also help you discover any problems that may reduce the overall value you missed. You should also be prepared if the insurance company decides to bring in their own surveyor.
Talk to a Structural Engineer
It’s an excellent idea to hire a structural engineer to take a look around. This person can inspect the foundation and other structural features to ensure the fire did not damage them.
List the House on the Market
While you can list the home yourself, we recommend hiring a real estate agent to do it for you. Make sure to hire an agent whom you can have good communication with. Explain the damages caused by the fire and how they have been fixed. If there are any repairs left that the buyers should do, make sure to mention those as well. Keep in mind, however, that selling a house that needs repairs can make the sale more difficult.
Sell the House
The final step is almost the same as with any other sale. Accept the offer closest to your asking price. After that, find a solicitor or conveyancer who will handle the sale and pay all the related fees.
Be Honest With Your Buyer
As a final tip, we want to express the importance of honesty and proper communication with buyers. Selling a home that has survived a fire can require some persuasion and charm. The first part of that is, of course, not to lie about anything.
But, another thing you could do to speed up the process is to offer some kind of compromise or benefit to a potential buyer who might be on the fence. A great example would be contributing to paying the fees for hiring a moving service. However, this is only a smart move if they come from a very close state, such as Washington. If that is the case, however, offering to help them leave the state with ease could be the thing that persuades them to buy your property.
Fire damage can affect the value of your home, but it doesn’t have to make it unsellable
Selling a home after it’s been in a fire can be a challenging task. If you want to attract more buyers, you should do your best to simplify the selling process for them and eliminate any confusion that might come from the differences in the market between Portland and where they are from. As you can see, fire damage can affect the value of your home negatively, but only if it isn’t taken care of properly.