Reminder: It takes 30 days to get flood insurance

texas

Call for Action: Flood insurance ends

The national flood program ends Sept. 30 if Congress doesn’t act, so make your voice heard. Realtors: Text “REALTORS” to 30644 from a mobile device; consumers: Go to NAR’s Call-for-Action system here.

WASHINGTON – Aug. 30, 2017 – As massive floods from Tropical Storm Harvey sweep Texas, you might be wondering how fast you can buy flood insurance. Home insurance doesn’t pay to repair damage caused by flooding. You’ll need to buy separate flood insurance to cover tropical storms, torrential rain and overflowing rivers.

It’s smart to buy flood insurance before flooding becomes imminent, as there’s usually a waiting period between the time you buy your policy and the time it takes effect. However, there are a few situations in which coverage can kick in without a delay.

Waiting period for flood insurance

If you buy your policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), coverage will kick in 30 days from the purchase date.

The waiting period might be shorter – around 10 to 14 days – if you buy private flood insurance. But not all states and communities have private sellers, so ask your home insurer or agent about options in your area.

If flooding occurs during the blackout period, your policy won’t pay to fix damage to your home or belongings.

When the waiting period doesn’t apply

The following scenarios are exceptions to the NFIP waiting period, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

  • You already have flood insurance and increase your coverage at renewal time. The new limits will take effect once your old policy expires.
  • You buy flood insurance within 13 months after your home is added to a Special Flood Hazard Area. The waiting period is one day in these cases. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to find out if your home is in such a hazard zone.
  • Your home sits on burned federal land and post-wildfire conditions put your property at an increased risk of flooding. There may be no waiting period if you buy your policy within 60 days of the date the fire is contained.
  • You buy flood insurance in relation to getting, increasing, extending or renewing your mortgage. There’s no waiting period in these cases.

There might also be exceptions to the waiting periods for private policies, including if you’re switching from an NFIP policy to a private one. Ask your insurer for more details.

Last-minute coverage for your car

Flood insurance doesn’t extend to your vehicle. If your car suffers flood damage, comprehensive car insurance pays for repairs.

Car insurers generally won’t sell new coverage if your area is under a storm watch. If that hasn’t happened yet, ask your insurer about adding comprehensive coverage to your policy. Provided you’re able to buy a policy, there won’t be a waiting period.

© Copyright 2017 The Steuben Courier Advocate, Alex Glenn. All Rights Reserved. Alex Glenn is a staff writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance website.

How I LISTED and CLOSED a CASH deal in less than 30 days.

The Colony Park Story

From the day the sign went up, to the day the For Sale sign came down… it was less than 30 days.

While meeting the clients for the first time, we completed a walk thru, an assessment, and put together a strategy to sell quick.  They were ready to put in their 2 weeks notice and move on to their next adventure in life.  The sellers took the weekend to prepare their home, pack away personal items, deep clean, and handle any items that needed attention before a parade of buyers walked through.

The sellers were in the home less than 3 years and wanted to get the most amount of money in the shortest time frame.  They knew their purchase price and the cost of their additions such as a nice new deck for entertaining and dining and an oversized storage shed (the size of a 1 car garage).  They had the price in mind of what they wanted and needed to make in order for them to sell.  We pulled the comparable sales in the past  months and their magic number was right in line with the market.

After a weekend of cleanup and preparations, the for sale sign was up, we set an appointment for the photo session, and within 24 hours the home was officially for sale.

Along with the home going live in our local MLS, we advertise on Zillow, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Trulia, and over 500 websites worldwide.  Although those are good means of advertising. Facebook is the website that I know is the single most visited website and people spend the most time on every single day.  And they don’t log in once or twice, the average user checks in nearly 10 times per day.  I go where the people go, so I utilize a lot of Facebook marketing.

I took several calls and messages from Internet leads and other agents for more information and to schedule showings.  I had several inquiries and scheduled showings through Facebook.  By day 2 we had our first offer that left us a few thousand short of the sellers magic number.  By day 4 we had a 2nd offer that was closer, but still a bit short of what the seller felt comfortable with.  By day 6 we had our 3rd offer (from a Facebook post) that sealed the deal.

That week we had our escrow locked in, within 10 days our home and septic inspections complete, and we were on our way.  We closed in 28 days.  I represented both the buyer and seller and everyone was happy.

The new homeowner is a happy investor.  He will be renting the home on a long term lease and will be making a profit off his investment.

If you or anyone you know is thinking about buying or selling a home call or message me today 321-987-5400.  Feel free to find me on Facebook @SpaceCoastHomesforSale

I look forward to meeting you!

 

The 5 Biggest Mistakes That Sellers Make

Refusing to compromise can leave owners with a home they don’t want
  • The top mistake sellers make is overpricing their home and refusing to compromise with potential buyers.
  • Sellers can make the selling process harder by refusing to follow basic showing etiquette, such as staging the home and staying during buyer tours.
  • Lastly, only 10 percent of for-sale-by-owners actually sell.

Selling a home is tough.

But sellers can unknowingly make the process more painful than stepping on a pile of legos by committing these no-nos shared by agents in the Raise The Bar Facebook group. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Don’t take the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) route

Most sellers who choose the FSBO strategy do so in an attempt to avoid paying agent commission fees, and some actually feel they have the skills to sell a home on their own. But, as seen in one of widely popular posts, “10 reasons why for-sale-by-owners fail,” only 8 percent of all home sales are FSBOs. Ouch!

2. Improperly preparing their home for sale

Agents shared stories of sellers whose homes smelled like smoke or pets (sorry, Fido), and sellers who were hesitant to invest in professional cleaning services to remove those odors. “They swear they smoke outside, yet the home reeks of smoke,” Eric Larkin says.

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In addition to issues with hard-to-clean odors, some sellers have a hard time decluttering their home so it can always be ready for showings.

Sonya Mays suggests sellers remove photos and knick-knacks from the walls and throughly clean kitchens, bathrooms, etc. Furthermore, she tells sellers to get their home’s curb appeal up to par. “If the home lacks curb appeal, then it’s hard to get people inside if they don’t like the outside.”

On the other hand, Jay Thompson says sellers need to be careful not to go overboard with home improvements.

“Thinking a home improvement expense is going to add an equal dollar value to the home [is a mistake],” he says. “Thinking a home maintenance expense is going to add ANY dollar value to a home [is a mistake].”

3. A lack of showing etiquette 

Showings are the first opportunity potential buyers have to get a feel for the home and imagine themselves living there. Sellers can sour the showing by refusing to leave the home, or lurking in the background as buyers go through rooms.

Moreover, some sellers are hesitant to even hold a showing, which greatly diminishes the chances of the home actually ever being sold. Sonya Mays says it’s ridiculous to expect buyers to make an offer solely on photos.

4. Sharing too much on social media. 

Matthew Leprino says he’s noticing that sellers are increasingly taking to social media to vent about the home selling process. Another faux pas is when sellers share incorrect listing information on sites such as Facebook or Craigslist.

5. Overpricing the home

This is the top struggle agents face with buyers: “[Sellers] either believing that their house is worth more than the market suggests or that a low commission will save them money,” Andrew Wetzel says.

Furthermore, agents talked about the danger of constantly turning down offers. Barb Hassan says some sellers refuse initial offers because they believe “they’ll get more as time goes by” or because “it’s too new of a listing, and they want to wait for a better offer.”

Of course, it’s important to be smart about the offers that come to the table, but depending on the market, sellers can end up leaving themselves out to dry.

 

11 Reasons For Sale By Owner Is A Terrible Idea

Agents can save sellers time, money, liability and hassle
FSBOs are more costly than homeowners realize — including lower sales prices and hidden fees.

  • Selling a home is a complicated transaction — sellers and buyers alike can get burned with FSBOs.
  • Time costs money — a FSBO costs the seller valuable time, and it takes longer to sell.
Frank, a smart and tech-savvy Denver homeowner, thought he’d skip the agent commission and sell his house himself.

He researched his home’s property value, found a buyer and got the house under contract. It seemed like a done deal.

Until he realized in a panic that he had seriously undervalued the property — by more than $100,000. Frank had misunderstood the report he’d pulled and incorrectly valued the house.

The error cost him $30,000 to get out of the contract.

1. Scams happen

Judy (not her real name) in Raleigh, North Carolina, fell in love with a FSBO home. She agreed not to use an agent and paid the homeowner $3,000 in earnest money.

Then the homeowner changed his mind. With no contract signed and no receipt, Judy lost all her earnest money. She trusted the homeowner when she should have trusted an agent.

FSBO scams happen to both buyers and sellers with little recourse besides hiring an attorney.

Common scams include fraudulent papers (appraisals, loan documentation), foreign buyer deposits (scammer sends too much in a bad check and then requests a refund), purchases through a third-party (a fake attorney, etc.) and asking for personal information.

2. Liability is all on the seller

Everyone makes mistakes. A seller (or buyer) who doesn’t have the representation of a licensed agent pays for those mistakes. Attorneys can close a real estate transaction, but they don’t carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

So if homeowner Sandy lists “hardwood floors” as a feature and the buyer discovers it’s just a wood veneer, chances are Sandy is going to pay for that mistake.

An agent would have either caught the mistake or covered it with E&O insurance. Let’s face it: this is a litigious society, so what homeowner wants to be a target for lawsuits?

3. Paperwork is daunting

The 2015 National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that understanding paperwork was one of the most difficult tasks for FSBOs.

Depending on the state, there are a variety of legal forms that are needed, including but not limited to a sales contract, property disclosures, occupancy agreements and lead paint records.

Sure, ready-made contracts can be downloaded easily enough. But does an untrained seller understand what all that means? Would the seller know how to customize that one-size-fits-all contract?

4. Sellers can get stuck in a bad deal

Like Frank, FSBOs who sign on the dotted line and then realize an error are stuck. They have to pay the buyer (if they’re willing) to get out of or just take the deal.

Let potential clients know you can save them from that headache.

5. FSBOs sell for less

In 2015, FSBOs lost about 16 percent of the sales price with a median selling price of $210,000 (agent-assisted homes sold for $249,000).

Homeowners selling by themselves simply don’t have the time to devote to the process, don’t know the market value, don’t understand market reports and don’t properly market the property.

If the FSBO seller sold to someone he or she knew, the median dropped to $151,900 (because cousin Sue is doing them a favor and expects a deal).

6. FSBOs spend more time on the market

Unless the seller knows someone who wants to buy the home, FSBOs take longer to sell than homes listed with an agent. For the same reasons, they can’t get the right selling price.

No one is “behind the curtain” running the marketing show. On average, 18 percent of FSBOs were unable to sell within their chosen time frame last year.

7. FSBOs lack representation

There’s no one looking out for the homeowners who sell on their own. They have no one to call if they have a problem or a question.

Dave found this out when he sold his Morrison, Colorado, home himself. Studying for his real estate license, Dave felt confident he could handle the contracts. Then the unexpected happened.

When his house was under contract, a state patrol car pursuing a speeding motorist crashed into a downstairs bedroom. Repairs threatened to push back closing, and suddenly, the buyer was asking for a storage unit, the cost of temporary housing and more.

He was lucky enough to have an agent friend who could step in, but a homeowner with no representation could have been out thousands of dollars unnecessarily.

8. Inspections are problematic

Sellers who don’t know the rules can get stuck with unnecessary and costly repairs. When Sue sold her 10-year-old Highlands Ranch, Colorado, home, after the inspection, the inspector said she needed to change the stairs from the garage to the house because the code had changed.

He listed other code changes, and the buyer began to demand these be done. Surprisingly, the inspector didn’t know that because these items were to code when the house was built, the seller wasn’t responsible for these changes.

9. Marketing is limited

FSBOs have limited resources to market their home. The 2015 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed 42 percent rely on a yard sign, 32 percent rely on friends and family, and about 15 percent use social media.

Relying on the neighbors and Uncle Bob’s second cousin has its limitations. Even paying for the MLS listing won’t be enough because there’s no incentive for an agent to bring a buyer to a FSBO.

10. Hidden costs add up

The mindset for most FSBOs is saving money. Chances are, these sellers are being nickeled and dimed into a pretty big chunk of change.

They’re paying for a lot of extras: signage, flyers, photography, MLS listing, attorney (required in multiple states for FSBOs), home warranty (optional but hard to sell without one), home inspection, a wood destroying pest inspection, credit report for buyers (if applicable), contracts and the list goes on.

11. Time costs the seller money

The biggest cost to a homeowner is their time. You might hear the argument that it doesn’t take an agent that much time to sell a house. And honestly, given the technology at our disposal, that’s true — to an extent.

But it will take a homeowner a whole lot longer. They don’t have the expertise or the access to the resources agents have. What is their own time worth to them? How much time will the seller spend researching the market and contracts? Is the seller going to leave work to unlock the house each time there’s a showing?

 

Chris Rediger is the co-founder and president of Redefy Real Estate. Learn more about Chris and Redefy on Twitter or Facebook.

Winter Is Coming… 5 Reasons to Sell Now!

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People across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every fall; we ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year-round weather, or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities. Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait.

If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to sell now instead of in the dead of winter.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market (which is 4.5-months).

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market soon.

Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase, reaching historic levels in 2017. Last month’s new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream homes within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.57% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.