3 Steps to Selling a Fire Damaged Property: Recover Your Home Equity without Repairs

Selling a fire damaged property? Many homeowners find themselves burned up by the costs of repairing their fire damaged home, let alone selling it the traditional way. In 2019 alone, fires cost more than $14.8B in property damage across the US, including more than $3B for house-related fires. Worse yet, these same homeowners are often shocked when they find that the national average for a full repair on a fire-damaged home exceeds $15K

Who among us can afford to pay out of pocket for badly needed repairs when parts of our home have literally gone up in smoke?

selling a fire damaged property

That’s why we asked ourselves: can our customers succeed in selling a fire damaged property without making repairs?

The question may seem simple at first: is it possible to sell a home with fire damage? What about selling a home with smoke damage? More importantly, can homeowners in the United States sell their fire damaged homes without making repairs and upgrades, without sacrificing too much of their hard-earned equity?

When fire or smoke damage eats away at your home, we at Full Price Offers realize that it’s not just a property or room that’s been lost. We also never want to prey on home sellers who have just suffered a major hit to their home equity and personal life, which is why we’ve adopted a proven method that helps us buy fire damaged homes as-is. That way, we can help homeowners keep as much of their cash as possible as they navigate the aftermath of experiencing a house fire. 

“I’ve been thinking of listing with an agent and cutting my losses to get the money I need right away.”

There are a ton of factors to consider when it comes to selling a fire damaged home, and even more so when you sell the traditional way (i.e. through a real-estate agent). What we know for sure is that the costs associated with the average home sale in the United States are sky-rocketing thanks to commissions, fees, and other associated costs. Translation: if you go with a real estate agent, it is likely you’ll have to make extensive repairs on your home before you sell. 

“Repairing the home definitely makes it more marketable,” says Ron Lennox, owner of Lennox Home Buyers in Houston. “The average consumer is overwhelmed by the thought of rehabbing. Some investors steer clear of fire-damaged homes also, so the buyer pool is very small.”

Additionally, buyers are going to expect a discount if they’re buying a fire damaged property. On the other hand, making the repairs yourself, however, may get you a 100% or greater return on investment, according to Sunil Varghese, a broker associate with Keller Williams in Greenville, SC.

“Normally things like painting, cleanup, and curb appeal can be done relatively cheaply,” Varghese says. “My rule of thumb is that 1% to 2% of the value of the home, spent correctly, will net at least that much more upon sale, not to mention it will help sell the property faster and save you holding costs.”

Lesslie Giacobbi, a realtor with Seven Gables Real Estate in Anaheim Hills, CA, agrees. “For the best return on the property, you should have the fire-damaged house repaired,” Giacobbi says. “Because of so many distress sales and foreclosures, there are many damaged properties on the market, and they are heavily discounted in order to get them sold.”

Are you ready to make repairs when you start selling a fire damaged property?

selling a fire damaged property

If you’re looking to pursue a fire-damaged property sale, you basically have two options: You can sell it as is or repair the home. Selling as is, of course, is the easier solution in many cases. You don’t have to deal with hiring contractors, managing the process, and (if it’s your primary residence) living through the process. However, most real estate agents agree that the convenience of not doing the work will cost you when it comes to the selling price.

Now, while fire damage may directly cause the majority of the damage in your home, house repair experts also say that one of the biggest problems resulting from a house fire of any size is smoke damage. Smoke can radiate from the fire site throughout an entire house. It can get into ductwork, sheetrock, and just about everything else as well.

The end result? While fire and water damage can be seen and taken care of, getting rid of the smoke smell in a fire-damaged house often requires gutting the home. For this reason, home owners who want to make repairs to a fire-damaged house must consider smoke damage as they budget for the project.

It’s easy to just go by what you see (the fire and water damage) and overlook smoke damage. This mistake causes many home owners to wildly overestimate the value of a fire-damaged house, and to underestimate the total cost (and length) of the repairs that are needed.

“Can I sell my house while I have an active insurance claim on my fire damaged home?”

Right: dealing with the insurance company. This is one of the major pain points of trying to get a settlement for your fire-damaged home. Often times many need that money to make home repairs as well, or to buy a new property while they await the sale of their first. The pressure of timelines after having suffered a fire to a home would eat away at any budget, and often makes clients desperate to get rid of their home at any asking price. 

Our best advice as you navigate this aspect of your home sale is to study your policy carefully and be sure to keep track of all developments throughout the typically long fire settlement process. Those high costs that we discussed, along with the frustration that often comes with utilizing insurance companies, are why most owners of fire damaged houses opt to sell their house “as is” soon after a fire.

selling a fire damaged property

So, how can you save as much money as possible selling a fire damaged property? Here’s what we think, plain and simple: 

  1. Forget the repairs, and commit to selling your home as-is. (Remember: any reduced value due to smoke or fire damage will be put back in your pocket in the form of savings when you sell to Full Price Offers).
  2. Get an offer to buy your home.
  3. Begin receiving your home equity ASAP in the form of monthly payments until FPO resells your home.

Basically, our method will help you receive the full value of even a fire-damaged home since we don’t charge our clients commission costs, nor do we require those pesky upgrades. We’ll buy as-is homes, no questions asked so that you can move forward into this new chapter in your homeownership journey. 

Full Price Offers Can Buy Your Fire-Damaged Property 

selling a fire damaged property

If you’re not able to make repairs because of finances, lackluster insurance benefits, or time constraints, that doesn’t mean you can’t still sell your house. We’ve experienced it as homeowners ourselves: finding the right buyer for a home with fire damage can be tricky. The traditional real estate market isn’t often kind to less-than-perfect homes; chances are the property will sit on the market for quite some time before you get any serious interest from potential buyers.

Cash home buying companies, however, are in a unique position to rehabilitate damaged properties; they are also likely the most promising avenue for selling a fire damaged property. Just make sure you do your research and trust buying companies who are fully transparent with their methodology, and with how they save you money. Look for positive, detailed online reviews, and check in with the Better Business Bureau to verify that potential partners are on the up and up.

Selling a home is almost always an emotional experience, even more so when you’ve just gone through something as horrific as a fire. When you sell a fire-damaged house, the real benefit is not the money—it’s the peace of mind that comes from putting the fire behind you, moving on, and getting a fresh start. That’s why we don’t hesitate when someone comes to us to sell their fire damaged property

How much will FPO pay for my fire damaged property?

If you’re ready to subtract the hassle it takes to do repairs from your home sale journey, then perhaps Full Price Offers is for you! For years we’ve been helping homeowners with fire-damaged property sales, and while we pay market-fair prices based on the damage inflicted, we also save you on repairs and commissions costs as you sell. 

Want to know for sure how much we’ll pay for a fire-damaged property? 


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Full Price Offers, is a direct real estate buyer on its own behalf or its affiliates, not an agent or listing service.  Consult your real estate, tax and legal advisors where appropriate. All content is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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