Gullible's Travels: Declined Claims

Sometimes a roof can naturally reach its end of  life. Texas heat can also work to prematurely age a roof when a home’s attic area lacks sufficient ventilation. Intensely high temperatures can literally “cook” a roof from the inside out, and will often show up in the form of a “blister” or granulated shingles, which is often mistaken by many homeowners (and even some home inspectors) as hail damage.Last week, we received the following letter as part of a Seller’s Disclosure package. The letter noted that the homeowner filed a claim for roof replacement in October of 2014, which was subsequently declined. Whatever damage existed was simply not covered under the homeowner’s insurance policy.

 While the Seller’s action to include this letter as part of the disclosure package was honorable, her listing Broker’s actions didn’t quite measure up. Upon receipt, we pointedly asked if a new roof was needed. The response that followed… “See report from State Farm. It’s not stating that it needs a new roof.”While that actual statement may have been true, the representation behind that statement belongs in the Hall of Shame. The listing agent appeared to be attempting to pass off a declined insurance claim as a clear roof report! (If nothing was wrong with the roof, why did the Seller file a claim to begin with?)Buyers and Buyer’s Agents must guard themselves carefully against misinformation and deceptive trade practices, whether committed intentionally or unintentionally by Sellers or their Agents.One protection step Buyers can take is to ask a Seller to provide a CLUE report. CLUE is an acronym for “Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange” — the name for the database where insurance claims are housed. A CLUE report must be either ordered or authorized by the homeowner. It will show all claims made against the property for the past 5 years.The only thing that is WORSE than a listing agent attempting to misrepresent property condition as “passing” is a Seller who has in the past successfully filed a claim and then pocketed the insurance money without completing the repair for which the money was awarded. This can be a deal killer, as a Buyer will be very unlikely to obtain financing approval based on property condition (it will almost certainly be uninsurable) if the Seller is unable to care for the offending condition prior to closing.Buyers must be smart! Hiring the right representation to assist you in navigating the buying process will help you avoid unnessary expenditures and wasted time from engaging in a transaction that has little to no chance of closing.  If you are buying or selling real estate in the DFW Metroplex or surrounding areas and want the benefit of quality representation, give us a call at 469.645.6363. Or, visit us online at www.providencegrouprealty.com. We would love to assist you with your real estate goals and protect your best interests in the process.

Amanda Thomas, BrokerRealtor®, SRES®, BPOR, MCNE , Providence Group Realty   
Phone: 469.645.6363Mobile: 469.298.9706Email: amanda@amandathomas.comWebsite: www.providencegrouprealty.comAddress: 3308 Preston Rd #350-124, Plano, TX 75093

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