So last week was quite an event for our region as far as Ida is concerned. In Greater Philadelphia, we saw several tornadoes that caused extremely rare destruction for the area. A not-so-rare (and increasingly frequent) event was the flooding. Ida’s remains resulted in massive property damage and subsequent calls to emergency services and insurance companies. People continue to dig after they have lost their homes completely, air out their basements, or in some cases try to find their blown up car.
Today I’m going to talk about how realtors can come in handy in times like these.
When I move into a property with my buyers, I almost always tell them this: “Congratulations! Just to let you know, this is not the end of the road for us. If you have any questions, concerns, need contractors, etc. I want to be your first call. ‘ The purpose of this statement is to make sure that my clients do not feel alone after the home buying process and that I am always available to help them directly or through my network of contacts. This is true even during the worst natural disasters.
Agents in these times can help physically, financially and emotionally. I always tell my team that this is all about relationships and these situations are no exception. There is trauma that occurs when someone’s home is damaged and / or destroyed. People need support… plain and simple.
Here are some ways we can help you:
Leverage our relationships: this is the most obvious. Whether they are contractors or professional service providers, the rule is the same. In times of distress, you almost always need someone’s help. Calling someone out of the blue from Google means you could roll the dice. Keep in mind that everyone will call them because this is how many homeowners find people in the first place. This could result in slower response time and performance.
An added bonus is that your agent will have their finger on the pulse of what is going on until the task at hand is completed. Realtors can also provide context for this person so they know better how to help you as quickly as possible. My team laughs at me because I always say ‘I have to man’ and guess what? I usually do. If I don’t, I have 100% someone in my network who knows someone who can help you.
New Finishes / Restoration: If you suffer complete loss or severe damage, chances are you are replacing what was there. Insurance policies make this possible through their claims process, but keep in mind that the exact thing doesn’t have to go home. As tragic as it is, this scenario will allow you to bring things up to date and you should consult with your real estate agent to stay on top of market trends.
For example, I guess a lot of those who have suffered a loss will go for predominantly gray finishes. It might not be the best idea at this point. It’s blasphemy to some who have read that last sentence, but gray is starting to be called “pinball gray,” which implies mundane and maybe even cheap finishes. Another example is that many of my buyers claim that granite in homes will need to be “replaced from day one” because it has fallen out of favor in the market in so many ways. Consult with an agent for the latest and greatest ideas in design and finishes.
Just a helping hand: A small community in Fort Washington was devastated by a tornado where many homes are now boarded up. We know many residents there and my real estate team was on the ground within 24 hours to assess the damage and just be there to help with the logistics. Agents in these times can help physically, financially and emotionally. I always tell my team that this is all about relationships and these situations are no exception. There is trauma that occurs when someone’s home is damaged and / or destroyed. People need support… plain and simple.
Insurance Quotes: The best way to avoid an insurance problem is to put up your insurance policy and be absolutely sure that you are covered just in case. Insurance is very cheap for those one-off events like fire or flood (when you are not in a flood zone) so it is very important to go through all of these scenarios with a qualified agent who has seen it all. . Ask your real estate agent for someone they trust to at least shop around for the rate. Be careful, however, that all agents are not created equal.
Seth Lejeune has always been a real estate junkie. In addition, he enjoys helping people with their problems. While some problems are worse than others, every transaction is essentially a customer who needs a solution. A home sold, finding the perfect home, or something as simple as a contractor’s recommendation, it’s this process that gets Lejeune out of bed every morning. He is a partner / team leader at REMAX HOMEPOINT in Royersford and can be reached at [email protected] or 610-804-2104.