My thoughts and prayers are with those who were affected by the tornados that hit East Texas last week. In life, there are natural disasters that you have no control over. Heavy rainstorms, tornados, fires, hurricanes, blizzards are some examples. Since I have lived in Texas, I have seen the aftermath of a tornado multiple times. But what happens when you are selling your home, and you are under contract with a buyer, and one of these natural disasters happens and either damages or destroys your home?
For the state of Texas, according to the One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale) that was promulgated by The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), “the seller shall restore the property to its previous condition as soon as reasonably as possible, but in any event, by the closing date”.
If the seller does not do this, beyond the sellers' control, the buyer may do the following according to the One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale)
- “Terminate the contract, and the earnest money will be refunded to the buyer.
- Extend the time of performance up to 15 days and the closing date will be extended as necessary.
- Accept the property in its damaged condition with the assignment of insurance proceeds, if permitted by Seller’s insurance carrier, and receive credit from Seller at closing in the amount of the deductible under the insurance policy.”
If the buyer also requires financing, there will need to be a reinspection by the appraiser. This is just to make sure that the home is still standing. For more information on this, I would contact your local lender and also your insurance agent.
There are several companies that can help you with your restoration needs. I recommended starting by doing your research with Better Business Bureau Serving Central East Texas. Take a look at "Kelly Talk" for an article I wrote about some helpful tips on how to choose a professional to complete a job.
Take some time to do some research about what disasters and hazards could affect where you live. Check out this link to learn what to do before, during, and after each emergency. Check out this link to learn how to get emergency alerts.
Should you take your home off the market after a natural disaster? That is your call. You need to think about why you put your home on the market in the first place. Was it a job change or needing to upsize or downsize?
There are a lot of reasons why right now is the time to sell. As of 4/19/2019, the greater Tyler area inventory is still low low low. Stay in close contact with myself, your insurance agent, and ask as many questions as you can. Just be prepared to potentially have to reevaluate price and repairs. You also may need to devote some time to filing claims and working with contractors to get the work done in a timely manner. It won’t be a walk in the park, but it is possible. I believe in you, and I will be with you throughout your real estate journey.