The remains of a kitchen house fire.

A house fire is one of the most traumatic things you could endure as a homeowner. Though you and your loved ones may escape safely, you may still suffer major losses in the wake of the blaze.

From the destruction of beloved heirlooms and memories to the very tangible damage done to your property, fire is a cruel element. Life after a house fire is never the same. And staying in your home after a fire might not be the right move for you.

If you’re looking to sell a fire-damaged house, you’ve got a lot of thinking to do first. Here are the key steps you should take.

What Now?

The first thing you should do after the fire is contained is contact your homeowner’s insurance company. Ask to speak with someone who can help you understand your benefits and assist you in figuring out all of your options for moving forward. Your agent can help set you up with temporary lodging and food assistance as well if needed.

You’ll also want to involve a restoration company. Cleaning up soot and ash is one thing, but the water used to put out the flames can do major damage to your home. Water damage needs to be addressed ASAP, so ask your insurance agent to help you find someone right away.

Mr. Fix-It

If you can afford to do it, it might be best for you to make repairs to your home before thinking about selling. Depending upon the extent of the damage, it could be something you can handle on your own or with the help of friends and family. If there is no structural damage, it might only cost a few thousand dollars to repair.

If the damage is more significant or structural, hopefully, your insurance will help cushion the blow and keep the out-of-pocket expenses on the lower end. Repairing the damage the fire caused will make your home easier to sell. It’s highly likely it will help you fetch a higher sale price as well.

Find a Buyer

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

Cash homebuying companies, however, are in a unique spot to rehabilitate damaged properties and are likely your most promising avenue. The industry is rife with scammers, though, so make sure to do your research and find a reputable buyer before engaging further. Look for positive, detailed online reviews, and check in with the Better Business Bureau to verify they’re on the up and up.

Selling a home is almost always an emotional experience, but it’s 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 making a fresh start. If you’re ready to sell your house after a fire, call the Meridian Trust team and get a cash offer today.

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