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Disasters and Real Estate

In the wake of last week’s hurricane Irene, I wanted to chat a bit about some of the occasional disasters (natural and otherwise) that can befall a real estate transaction. After the hurricane, many transactions were put on hold, awaiting inspections by buyers, appraisers, engineers and even insurance companies. The assessing of any damage has left many transactions in danger.

Does a buyer want to risk some structural damage or even mold problems? How long will it take a seller’s insurance company to respond, pay and complete repairs? Some homes were even damaged beyond repair. No one really could have prevented these issues, but some other “disasters” could have been…

  • Title Issues – chain of title, past mortgages, judgments, foreclosures, old tax bills, certificates of occupancy, and other thorns in the side of closings often can be dealt with much earlier in the process. The attorneys, agents and lenders who are proactive in attacking title challenges are not the norm. Making sure you have them on your team can save you a lot of headaches.
  • Appraisal Issues – sellers who engage real estate agents often neglect one of the most important roles an agent can play…the sales person to the appraiser. Agents can have some influence on the value that appraisers establish, by providing the best possible comps, thereby saving the appraiser time and energy. A well prepared agent is huge. An agent who can help make a home look more appealing through staging is invaluable in exciting buyers and appraisers.
  • Credit Issues, Asset Issues, Employment Issues – home buyer’s loan applications are under more scrutiny than ever. Buyers who work with a loan officer who is a coach (properly structuring loans, optimizing credit scores, explaining deposit and job abnormalities) are buyers who can avoid some of the biggest disasters.

Bottom line, some problems are unavoidable…but many pitfalls can be avoided if you have the right people around you. Whether you are buying or selling…YOU NEED THE BEST! Seek them out and hold onto them because they are rare. And don’t forget to refer them to those you care about. Excellence should not be a secret!


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