In 2017, there were an estimated 371,000 home fires, causing almost eight billion dollars in total damage. Many of these fires were due to environmental factors. California is notorious for its raging fires that happen every year. Despite the highly-publicized California brush fires, most residential fires are the result of cooking accidents. The financial hit only adds to the huge emotional devastation that comes with a severe home fire. While there is nothing that you can do to guarantee an accident won’t happen, you can make sure that you’re prepared by making sure that your homeowner’s insurance also covers fires. Floods also may not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance, so make sure that you’ve got coverage for the natural disasters to which your area is prone. If you experience the misfortune of a home fire, this can put you in a difficult position. Moving can be complicated and expensive, but there may be little choice. When you’re trying to sell a fire damaged house in Las Vegas, you have to be careful to research and weigh all of your options.
First Things First
Again, make sure that your home has some type of insurance for fires if you’re living in a fire-prone area, and do this before you move into your home. Once you’ve experienced a fire, whether or not your fire is covered by your insurance, you won’t be able to make changes that you need to your policy. Equally important is contacting your homeowner’s insurance provider immediately after the fire. If you’re covered by your insurance, you’ll have a running start to get back on your feet, and figure out what you’d like to do next. If you’re not covered, you will still have options. The devastating emotional toll is difficult enough to navigate without having to figure out what to do with your home. If you decide to sell it, there is plenty to consider.
After the fire, ask the fire department that extinguished the fire for permission to enter the dwelling. Be prepared to be denied; the fire department won’t allow you to inspect the property for yourself unless it is safe for you to do so. Once you have permission, take plenty of pictures, and write down as many details as you can of what you’ve lost, and what’s been damaged, in a notebook. If you can find any, locate your home’s official documents. You’ll need all of this to send to your insurance company, so that process can start.
How Severe was the Fire?
Not all residential fires are completely devastating. Many only involve small parts of the home charring. Small accidents with minimal damage are the easiest to resolve, but a strong fire could be completely devastating. If you’re covered, you’ll find that the process for fire claims take and extended period of time. It’s not unusual for fire claims to take months to settle, which may affect the timeline of selling your home, if you decide to take that route. It is possible that the fire that damaged your home won’t consume it entirely, and you may be able to figure out what you’re going to do more quickly.
What to Do if You Want to Sell
If you’re looking to sell your fire-damaged house in Las Vegas, there are two options: fix your home, and then put it on the market, or sell your home as is. Whichever route you choose, it’s import to bring in real estate professionals to help you on your mission to sell your fire-damaged home. This means starting with a call to a local, certified home inspector. You may be able to find a home inspector that specializes in fire damage. This is someone that can help you understand the extent of the damages, as well give you a ballpark idea of what you may need to spend to make repairs. Be advised that in the case of severe fires, if you choose to repair your home, you will have to live in another place as the contractor of your choice completes the necessary work. There is no way to say exactly how much fire restoration will cost; it depends on the amount of damage, your insurance, and the costs in your area.
Better Safe than Sorry
For a fire that doesn’t consume your home, you may still have a huge problem on your hands. The fire’s soot and ash has most likely gotten into your HVAC, so make sure to take care of that immediately. If you or someone to whom you sell your home breathes the air coming out of a soot-filled HVAC, you could experience respiratory problems. Even if you’re considering selling your home as is, taking care of this detail could result in a higher asking price for your fire-damaged home.
Get Ready to Talk
You absolutely must disclose any fire damage to your property to potential buyers as long as your home is on the market. This is to protect the potential buyer, but this is also good protection from you. If someone buys your home without knowing the property’s history, you could wind up with a lawsuit that could cost you more than simply accepting a lower offer on the home. Letting potential buyers now about the fire damage is the right thing to do, too, ethically-speaking. Imagine being intentionally misled into believing that you were buying a safe, structurally-sound home to start a family, and finding that the home is deeply damaged. It would bring you loads of stress trying to figure out how you’re going to navigate both a lawsuit, and trying to search for a safe home to buy.
Selling Your Fire-Damaged Home As Is in Las Vegas
This could be a scary step, or a freeing step, based on what you think is the best move for you. As you’re working with a local real estate agent, they’ll show you how to talk about your home in a way that is honest and forthcoming, but as appealing as possible to anyone who may be interested in fixing the property, either to occupy it themselves, or to flip the property for a profit. Selling as is requires the same disclosures that you would offer to a potential buyer who’s only seen your home after restoration. For your own protection, as well as the protection of people who aren’t savvy in the home-buying process, you’ll need to disclose the fact that there was a fire, the extent of the damage, and any steps you’ve taken to mitigate the damage. With help from a local, experienced Las Vegas real estate agent, you’ll be on your way to selling your property, even with fire damage.