Hurricane Harvey, Half A Year Later: Should You Sell Right Now?

Nearly six months have passed since Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, but homeowners continue to struggle with the reality they’re left with in its aftermath.

The storm sent shock waves throughout the real estate industry leaving buyers and sellers and brokers with a lot of tough decisions about their investments.

Houston property owners are still wondering what the right play is when it comes to selling their homes. Some worry that buyers won’t be interested in their properties, whether they suffered the worst from Harvey or remained intact with little or no damage. Others are unable to afford the tremendous costs of repairs, are hopelessly in debt and don’t see a way out of their situation.

Is selling a Houston home the right solution right now?

Buyers Are Still Buying

Hurricane Harvey’s path was not discerning. A now inhabitable property may very well be on the same block as a perfectly untouched one. The good news is, home buyers don’t seem to be discriminating against certain neighborhoods as they shop for Houston homes. Shortly after the floods receded, there was a surge in demand due to the shortage of lower to mid-priced houses. Ready-to-sell, good condition homes stand just as good a chance at being sold as they did before the storm.

Houston is a desirable place to live. Buyers know that. And there are many out there looking for their next place to call home. Regardless of last year’s hurricane, owning real estate in a vibrant, still-growing metropolitan area continues to hold appeal for house hunters in Texas as well as other parts of the country.

A “hurricane-damaged home” may set off an alarm in the minds of many, but it’s music to the ears of investors looking for big savings. A fixer-upper or renovation project might be just what they’re looking for. Or,  it’s the land they’re after and couldn’t care less about the structure that comes with it.

Granted, when an event like Harvey happens, house buyers tend to step back and scrutinize the market. They want to be extra sure about their decision to invest in a specific area.  Once they are confident, they will start looking for houses like yours and eventually, yours will sell.

The Decision To Sell

After determining the extent of the damage, you’ll have a clearer idea of whether or not selling is the best move right now.

By now, most homeowners have contacted (or considered contacting) their insurance company, bank, mortgage lender, FEMA and other forbearance programs and other entities to understand their financial standing before deciding to sell. Home inspectors, contractors, real estate agents and brokers are helpful when it comes to choosing whether to fix and stay in the home, fix and sell it, or sell without fixing. Their expertise is also invaluable for determining a fair market value price for the home.

Even if you make repairs, conventional home buyers always assume the worst. Like any home sale, you must be prepared to disclose information about past damage, problems and how you solved them. Buyers will be paying close attention to your answers to their questions about mold, rot, corrosion and other hurricane-damaged home issues.

Maybe your home was completely unaffected by the hurricane. Conventional buyers may still be wary.  Keep in mind that they are considering a significant purchase that comes with risks, even if your home is in mint condition. And, regardless of the fact that the house withstood Harvey without a scratch, it can be challenging to break through broader assumptions to prove the home’s value.

As-Is Homes Are Selling

What if you don’t have insurance or funds for repairs? Selling a home in as-is condition is not uncommon. Done right, it may be a good strategy if you decide to list and sell to traditional buyers. Typically, as-is home sales are carried out with an experienced agent.   If you can’t swing the 6 to 10% of the final home sale to pay their commission, not to mention closing costs, taxes and other fees, you may want to consider other alternatives for selling a damaged home.

Investors Are Still Investing

For Sale Buy Owners sales (FSBO) may save you some money but they are unlikely to save you time. Especially if you don’t make repairs and preparations for listing and showing a home that will attract buyers, selling FSBO will be a long, uphill battle. Houston home sellers have the option to sell to cash investors. They are always investing! Professional cash buyers help homeowners find solutions to their property problems. It doesn’t matter if it is uninhabitable or uninspected. You don’t even have to price the house according to market analysis. Cash buyers can make you an offer on your hurricane-damaged home within a week or a matter of day so that you can spend time on what’s essential: moving on and starting over right now.

Empowering Home Deals helps Houston homeowners who need to sell hurricane damaged homes. No matter how your home was affected by Hurricane Harvey, we can make you a cash offer! Let’s discuss your options. Call us for a free, no obligation quote right now!

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