How To Sell A Disaster-Damaged Home

If your home has been damaged by a natural disaster like a hurricane, flood, or fire, you may be wondering if you can sell it and how to go about doing so.

Selling a damaged home can be challenging but is possible.

Plus, you always have the option to sell to a cash buyer company Sell Your Property Fast.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of selling a house that has been damaged by a natural disaster.

Can You Sell A Damaged Home?

Yes, you can sell a disaster damaged home.

While it may seem unsellable to most people, there are still options for selling it. 

Insurance companies will often pay out claims for repairs, which can help make the home sellable again once it’s fixed up.


And there are buyers who specialize in damaged homes, either to fix up and resell or to renovate for themselves.

Also Read: How Natural Disasters Cause Distressed Properties

How To Sell A Damaged House

If you want to sell your damaged home yourself, rather than selling at an auction or to a cash home buyer, here’s how to do it:

#1 Talk To Your Insurance Company

Get in touch with your insurance company and let them know what happened.

This way, they can send an adjuster out to take a good look at all the damage and figure out how much money they'll give you to cover the costs of fixing it all up.

The adjuster will go through your house carefully, take pictures, write down notes, and give you an estimate of what your insurance policy will pay for.

This will help you determine the full scope of repairs and budget the money.

Don't start any repairs until the insurance company confirms it.

#2 Decide What Repairs You Will Do

Next you've got to decide which repairs you want to do before trying to sell the house.

Some buyers might be okay with doing small fix-up jobs themselves, but if there's major damage, a lot of people won't even consider buying your place.

So focus on fixes that will make the home safe and livable again, like restoring the roof, walls, floors, electricity and plumbing.

Cosmetic repairs can come later.

But if the cost of fixing big structural problems is HUGE, you might be better off just selling the house as is to a cash buyer or at an auction.

#3 Hire A Contractor For The Repairs

If you do decide to get some repairs done before selling, you'll want to hire a proper contractor with experience to do the job right.

Start by getting quotes from different contractors in your area.

Your insurance company may have recommendations for reliable, reputable contractors too.

Now when you are hiring someone, don't just go with the cheapest one - because that could mean they're cutting corners or don't have much experience.

Also Read: contractor wants 50 up front

Check out their qualifications, licenses, reviews from other customers, and examples of work they've done before.

Make sure they have the right insurance and bonds too.

#4 Get A Real Estate Agent

Next, it's time to team up with a real estate agent who knows what they're doing.

But find someone who has dealt with selling damaged properties before.

They'll understand all the unique challenges that come with it and can give you tips on the best ways to market your house to buyers who might be interested.


The agent will also help you set the right price.

If you can find one before starting the repairs, they could advise you on that too.

#5 Disclose Everything

This is rather a tip - but when you are marketing, it's absolutely essential that you're completely upfront and honest about what kind of shape it's in.

Trying to hide or downplay any damage is a huge no-no. 

It could land you in some serious legal hot water if the new owners find out after they've bought the place.

So make sure you're disclosing every single bit of damage and every repair that's been done, following all the local laws and regulations to a tee.

Your agent will help you with this.

You'll also want to be totally open about any repairs that are still going on or work that still needs to be done.

Or Sell The Damaged Home To A Cash Buyer

While getting your home repaired and listed on the traditional real estate market is one way to go, the other option is selling your damaged house to a cash buyer.

The big advantage of going this route is that these cash buyers are generally willing to purchase your home exactly as-is, no repairs needed on your end.

They'll take a look at the damage, crunch some numbers, and make you an offer for the house in its current condition.

You don't have to lift a finger or spend a dime getting it fixed up first.

However, selling to cash buyers usually means you won't get the full market value for your home that you might have gotten if you'd repaired and listed it the traditional way.

These companies are looking to make a profit, so their offers will likely be on the lower side.

But, for some homeowners, that trade-off is worth it.

But think about it – you’ll avoid all the hassles and expenses that come with renovations and repairs. No contractors to deal with, no permits to worry about, no living in a construction zone for months on end.

Also Read: Should I Short Sale My House?

You're also skipping the whole rigmarole of getting the house listed, hosting open houses, negotiating with buyers, and dealing with all the back-and-forth that comes with a traditional sale.

Instead, you get a straightforward cash offer, and if you accept it, you can have that money in your pocket and be completely done with the property in a matter of weeks, sometimes even days.


How Will A Natural Disaster Affect My Property Value?

Damage from disasters like floods, hurricanes and fires will significantly reduce a home’s value. The location in a recently devastated area will also deter buyers. 

An appraiser can give you an estimate of the home’s post-disaster worth.

That said, repairing and improving the home can help restore its value.