Hurricanes and other natural disasters can have a devastating effect on your property. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what to do with your property when disaster strikes; it all depends on the damage, the cost of repairs, and your personal needs and preferences. But there are some critical decisions to make before you decide to sell after these types of events.
Be Aware Of The Type Of Damage You Are Dealing With
Your first step should be to assess the actual damage caused to your home before anything else. By doing this, you will be better able to develop a game plan on how to proceed. Although it may seem obvious, it is worth mentioning that different types of damages will require slightly different strategies depending on what happened. For instance, selling a fire damaged house will require a different set of steps to selling one affected by a hurricane and so on. Therefore, your first step should be assessing the damage and creating a plan to get the property ready for sale. In addition, you will need to determine the severity of the situation to see if it is worthwhile for you to spend time and effort repairing it.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have recovered from the initial shock of the event, you should contact your insurance company to assist you with the next steps. Often, people put off contacting their insurance company until the last minute. But it is essential to get in touch with them right away, whether you’re dealing with a natural disaster or something else. This way, you’ll be able to start working on your claims quickly and get back to living your life. After a natural disaster, contacting your insurance company is extremely important since you will have a broader range of options for funding any necessary repairs. If your house was damaged, the insurance company might cover the repair cost or provide you with what you need to get back on track. In either case, you should know about all the options before signing up for them.
Decide How Much You Will Repair
Now you must select how much of the house you would restore yourself to make it more appealing. At the absolute minimum, make sure that the home is secure. If you weren’t planning on moving, this might be the perfect opportunity to make those long-awaited improvements. It is generally recommended that you don’t spend too much money on renovations if you intend to sell. Many individuals who buy property in disaster zones know what to expect, and you may wind up undertaking repairs they dislike. Moreover, homes situated in disaster zones already have a low price built into them, so you may never be able to recover the total cost of the renovations and the house itself. If you decide the expense is not worth it, you will still need to get your home in a position where it is safe to enter, and customers can look around.
In Case You Want To Repair It, What Should You Do?
As alluded to in the first point, the type of damage will dictate your following steps. Nevertheless, there are a few things you need to do no matter how much damage your house has sustained.
Return With Caution And Assess The Damage
To begin, wait until the local authorities declare it safe to come home. This might be the next day in certain circumstances. It might take several weeks in extreme cases like Superstorm Sandy or Katrina. It may also differ depending on the neighborhood you reside in.
Do Your Best To Gather Your Belongings
If the damage is severe, you may have to collect as many of your belongings as possible and place them in storage. If a fire wipes through your home like what happened in California recently, then the chances are that there won’t be much left. In contrast, if the damage was superficial and it looked like you could live there still, you could probably keep everything in place.
Confirm Your Claim With Your Insurance Company
You should confirm with your insurance company that they will pay out and what the amount is before beginning any repairs. As a result, you will be able to budget effectively and ensure that you will not be out of pocket if they decline your claim or if the amount is lower than what you expected.
Find A Contractor Who Specializes In These Types Of Damages
Once you know the amount you will receive from your insurance, you can begin to look around for contractors. Select those with experience with disaster repair since they will be better positioned to advise you on what to do based on their previous experiences. Unfortunately, some people prey on the helpless in the aftermath of severe catastrophes. Take the following precautions to avoid choosing an untrained or ethically bankrupt contractor:
- Verify references before signing
- Check references before signing
- Make sure you know where they are located and when they are available
- Get an estimate before you start
- Get a clear overview of prices
- Read any contract they create carefully before signing
- Don’t pay in advance
Hire A Fantastic Realtor
The benefits of hiring a real estate agent to sell your home are numerous, especially when it comes to selling a damaged property. A great agent will make a listing look competitive and increase the likelihood of selling the home. Other benefits of hiring an agent include:
- Reducing the emotional impact.
- Reducing stress.
- Selling your home for more money than you might have expected.
In order to find a great agent, it is essential to compare their marketing materials with other agents in the area. Also, it’s necessary to see how they conduct themselves during their marketing campaign or how long their business has been around before choosing them for sale. Additionally, you might want to look for agents who have a track record of selling properties that have been damaged from natural disasters.
It is best to use a real estate agent familiar with the area and how the market has been affected if your home has been affected by a natural disaster. Nevertheless, you still need to take a few steps before getting there, including filing a claim with your home insurance company and ensuring that they will actually pay you what you are owed.