Selling Your OKC House with Fire Damage

Content Provided By: Blue Rybo-LoPresti

The sound of blaring sirens coming in your direction often creates negative emotions. This becomes an even worse feeling as you are following a fire truck all the way down the street to your burning house. Pulling up to your home and seeing it covered in flames can be one of the most traumatic events in a person’s life. What do you do next? If the damage isn’t covered by insurance, you do have the option of selling your house without repairing anything. Here are some reliable tips and important questions to ask yourself when selling your fire damaged house.

Figure Out What is Salvageable

Before you start rummaging around in your burnt out house, you should speak with your local fire department on how to safely remove any salvageable belongings in and around the house. This is important, because it may be unsafe to enter the house or even stand close to it. Then it is time to make a plan of action. If you thought that it would be impossible to sell your OKC fire damaged house, think again. Once the fire is extinguished, your local firefighters may be able to give you a rough idea of how bad the damage is to the building. Try working with them by asking these detailed questions:

  • Which materials are going to be salvageable?
  • Are there any parts of the property that need to be rebuilt?
  • Will I need to knock down part of the fire damaged home?
  • Would you recommend a complete demolition?

These may be very difficult questions to ask in the moment of crisis, especially if your home is a special place where you and your family hold numerous fond memories. However, they are extremely important. It is worth noting that consulting with your local municipality to determine what is legally salvageable might be necessary. Once you get an idea of what materials can and cannot be saved, speak with a reputable local home buyer in your area who has extensive experience with fire damaged properties. FixedProperties is OKC’s number one cash home buying company. They buy homes in any condition, and always give you a fair cash offer.

Decide If You’ll Make Repairs Before Selling

When selling a fire damaged home, you realistically have only two choices to go with: Selling the house as-is with the fire damage, or attempting to fix the fire damage, and sell your house afterwards.

The easiest option in most cases is selling the home as-is with the existing fire damage. This means that you will not have to deal with hiring any contractors or overseeing the construction process. The ease of not fixing the damage will come at a significantly lower selling price for your home, but if you need to sell your home fast, it’s the way to go. Keep in mind that market buyers are still going to want a huge discount if they are buying a fire damaged home (even after repairs).

Disclosing Fire Damage

The real estate disclosure rules vary state by state, and are getting increasingly more strict. Since the recession of 2009, consumer protection in general is becoming a more important area of public policy than ever before.

Since 1995 Oklahoma law requires sellers of residential dwelling units to complete the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement (RPCDS). This form asks the seller “Are you aware of any major fire, tornado, hail, earthquake or wind damage?”. The seller would have to answer the question truthfully or be liable to legal repercussions. 

The seller must complete, sign and date this disclosure form and deliver it to the buyer as soon as practicable, before an offer is accepted by the seller. If the seller becomes aware of a defect after delivery of the disclosure statement, but before the seller accepts an offer to purchase, the seller must deliver an amended disclosure statement disclosing the newly discovered defect to the buyer. If the disclosure form or amendment is delivered to a buyer after an offer purchase has been made by the buyer, the offer to purchase shall be accepted by the seller only after a buyer has acknowledged receipt of this statement and confirmed the offer to purchase in writing.

Simply put, failing to tell a buyer about something as serious as a fire could create serious  liability to you. It would be advisable to consult with an attorney if going with this option. Not disclosing past fire damage is not recommended at all.

Sell Your House As-is for Cash

House with fire damage to the roof. Burned rafters from Kitchen fire in Oklahoma City.
Pictured above is a property damaged by a kitchen fire that was able to be sold without repairs to the fire damage. FixedProperties purchased the property for cash and bought it as-is.

If you do not have the time, money or resources to fix your fire damaged OKC house, selling it as-is to a home buying company can be a great option.

When selling your house as-is after fire damage, you do not have to go through the mentally draining and expensive process of restoring the house to its pre-fire condition. In fact, you can even sell your home if it’s condemned, to a home buying company without doing any repairs or clean-up. Whether it’s your primary residence, or an unwanted house you inherited, a home buyer is ready to give you cash for the fire damaged home.

A home buying company will pay cash, and can usually give you a flexible and timely closing date. When working with a regular buyer who has a lender, you will not know for sure if the buyer will receive the funds from the bank until late in the process. This can cause people to waste a lot of time in the home selling process.

Home buyers are professionals, so they can close quickly, in some cases as little as a couple of weeks! Since they regularly buy homes in your area, they will not be relying on any third-party appraisers or inspectors. Furthermore, they never have to wait for a lender to process the release of funds since they have the money to pay you right at closing. Going down this path is pretty much the best way to sell your OKC fire damaged house fast.

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