By: Christel Silver Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Hurricane season in Florida is from June 1 until Nov. 30. There is no reason not to market your home during these times. But you have to prepare your home as most hurricanes bring heavy winds and heavy flooding, and not only if you are located at the coast.
Before you list your home for sale, make sure your roof is in pristine condition. Grab a pair of binoculars and take a good look or if you have an attic go up. If you see any sunlight, you better fix the roof. Any loose tiles should be secured as they can do a lot of damage with high winds.
If you do not like to step on the ladder to clean your gutters, hire a company to clean them. You want the heavy rain to drain properly.
If your home is located within a community, most likely they have done the tree trimming well before the hurricane season starts. If you are taking care of your landscaping yourself, have a tree trimmer come out and secure your roof. No branches should be touching the roof. These items would be great to do anytime whether or not you are selling your home, but if you selling during the hurricane season, it is a must!
If your home does not have storm shutters, I highly recommend adding storm shutters to your windows. Although they do come with a hefty price tag, it is a safety issue, even if you do not sell your home. You should know that it does take time to install the shutters and storm-proof windows, so it’s not something that should be done at the last minute. It does add value to your home and makes the buyer more comfortable moving during the hurricane season.
What can happen if you have a ratified contract and prior to closing there is a storm? The home inspection is done – no issues, the appraisal is done – no issues.
First you have to be aware that if a storm is approaching and has been named in “the Box,” no insurance company will bind the insurance coverage until the storm is out of the box. This could delay your closing. So the buyers need to be proactive and process early. They can bind the insurance early with a future effective date to avoid this issue.
Any sales contract should address potential closing delays under force majeure or unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.
The buyer or seller should be permitted to terminate the contract within a certain time period, and the buyer’s deposit will be refunded.
Whether the house had damages or not from the storm, most mortgage companies mandate that the house will be inspected. If there is damage, all repairs have to be made to restore the property to its original state. If FEMA has declared your area of natural disaster, any home that was appraised or inspected prior to the storm will have to be re-inspected and most likely re appraised.
It is important to stay in touch with all parties (seller, buyer, agents, lender, title company) involved to guarantee a smooth transaction.
About Christel Silver
Christel Silver is a full time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. Silver is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), and a certified speaker teaching CIPS classes. She served the Florida Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Chapter as President, as Regional Vice President helping Chapters to grow, and as a member of the Board of Directors for two years. She is the Global Ambassador for Austria and Germany in 2019. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.