Attention Real Estate professionals. The insider information that I am about to disclose could help you sell more homes this year.
Do you have that client where nothing seems to go right? Believe me, I feel your pain. At one time in my life, I sold houses. Granted, I was not a realtor or even a real estate agent. I was a seller rep for a new home builder. During my time as a new home salesperson, there was one thing helped the sale of new homes.
What was that thing you ask? We all know that insurance on new homes is cheap. Yes, I said the infamous "Cheap" word. Typically, we don't like to use that word because the words cheap and insurance don't ring well together. Really? Not only am I an insurance agent, but I am also a realist. Why is new home insurance so cheap? Here are 4 issues to look for when you and your client are shopping for insurance, addressing these issues will save your client money for many years to come:
- Plumbing: In Texas, water coverage that is built into insurance policies is not always a guaranty. Because insurance companies make distinctions like "sudden and accidental" occurrences, and "slow and continuous leakage or seapage", your client should be care about shopping with the wrong company. Imagine this, a client of your purchases a new home and the hot water heater breaks a month after they move into their new home. A catastrophe like that would require thousands of dollars and unwanted time away from work. Not to mention, your client may call you and fuss and yell because you should have caught that. Homes owners that replace their plumbing faucets, fixtures, and even the hot water heater, get more favorable treatment from insurers because routine maintenance lessens the likelihood of future water claims.
- Air Conditioning Systems: Have you ever been in a home with a leaky A/C unit in the ceiling. Well, you know exactly what I'm talking about then. I spent most of my life around the family real estate investors. I've seen countless A/C units damage hallway ceilings because of leak. I've also seen A/C and furnace units catch fire and burn homes completely down. Insurance companies pay for these losses. I've even seen older homes rejected because of A/C units combined with wall heaters. A recent client had a wall furnace with piece of cardboard within 12 inches. Can you image what would have happened had that cardboard fell into that furnace? Insurance companies imagine these types of occurrences every day.
- Electrical System: When insuring older homes, I have to ask every client whether the home has copper wiring or aluminum wiring and circuit breakers or fuse panel. Homes with the older fuse boxes combined with older wiring is a recipe for the greatest fireworks spectacular that you never want to see. In Texas, countless older homes burn because of electrical shorts and faulty wiring. Even though this is not a "discount", it is a rating factor that affects your clients' rates.
- Roof: In Texas, the roof is probably the most important rating factor when looking at your client's home insurance rates. The number of hail storms and wind storms in North Texas along causes insurers to go bonkers. In fact their are entire counties of Texas where having a wind and hail deductible below 2% is as nearly as impossible as flying a Cessna over the White House. In fact, many Texas insurers will not insure a home with a roof older than 10 years old. The facts are simple, granule loss=water and wind loss.
So the next time you and your clients are looking a home, check MLS for disclosures regarding the roofing, plumbing, electrical, and A/C. Not only can these four things save your clients hundreds of dollars per year, but your client could also avoid future claims that could affect their rates and insurability. Having a seller update these items or pay allowances for these items could put your customer into an extremely good situation. Combine this with the fact that you were the realtor estate professional that gave them this advice, and you can certainly look forward to referrals and returned business in the future.
If you ever have insurance questions related to Texas home insurance, feel free to call my office at 214-717-4326 x 101. To talk to email an agent, get a quote estimate, or to look for other insurance information, you can visit our site online at www.txinsurancepro.com.