Flooding is nothing new to those of us who live on the Gulf Coast. We have had our share of hurricanes which inevitably causes torrential rains and flooding. But over the last 48 hours we have experienced a new variety like never before. The flooding has been more geographically widespread than at any other time in our history. It has been heartbreaking in many ways and lives have been lost.
As real estate agents we will be the calming force for our buyers and sellers who are under contract, and our sellers who have an active listing. First of all, our responsibility is to encourage patience. This is an emergency situation and things never happen fast enough for clients in times like this. We are to be calming and reassuring to our clients. But let us not be quick to promise anything. We will do the very best we can, but there are so many things that are not in our control.
Lenders will not allow closings to go through without a re-certification from appraisers to make sure that the home did not flood. Insurance companies will not issue insurance certificates without proof that it did not flood or that full repairs have been made. All of those folks are going to be backlogged due to the severity of the damage around our city. Closings will likely be delayed, so clients and agents need to prepare and work with the lenders, title, and insurance companies.
This is very frustrating for all of us. However, this is what happens when we have these conditions. We have had them before and we will have them again. We must encourage each other and help those in need to the best of our ability to do so. We will all get through this together.
If you are a buyer involved in a transaction, please do not drive in this weather to go check on homes - safety first. When the rain and flooding clears, then we can check on the house. If the house is flooded, the seller will need to take pictures of every room and submit to their insurance companies. If the seller does not have flood insurance it may not be covered. The seller's disclosures must be updated immediately. And the seller may wish to withdraw the home from the market while repairs are made.
As in times past, we will come together as a community. Neighbor will help neighbor. The best will be seen among our citizens. And what has been lost will be restored.