Monday, June 2, 2008

Severe Weather and Real Estate—Understanding Risk of Loss


Spring storms and a busier real estate market are making life very interesting for MN buyers, sellers and Realtors! Just over a week ago, 400-500 homes sustained damage as a severe storm that spawned two tornados and devastated the Twin Cities north metro. Yesterday another storm blew through Minnesota. This time homes in the south and west metro were affected by hail and damaging straight-line winds. 2008 is setting up to be a very active storm season in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as more severe weather is already in the forecast for later this week. Will this affect real estate transactions? You betcha!

Even in this changed, buyer-driven market, spring is a busy time for Minnesota real estate. Current statistics showed the deadlock between buyers and sellers loosened earlier this year with many homes going into pending sale status in April.

My curiosity as a Realtor got the best of me. I looked at the devastated Hugo neighborhood with a real estate eye. So many homes damaged and destroyed—Roofs gone. Windows shattered. Vinyl siding looking like Swiss cheese. Trees toppled onto homes. It is an entirely different neighborhood than it was a couple of weeks ago. In this hard hit neighborhood alone, there were 6 active homes on the market and 4 homes in pending at the time of the storm. With all of the damage and in some cases, total devastation, no doubt the risk of loss clause will come into play in some, if not all, of these real estate transactions.

What is the “Risk of Loss” clause? What does it mean to the average home buyer and seller?

Risk of Loss is a “boiler plate” clause on page four of the Minnesota purchase agreement. Line 147 clearly states that the risk of loss due to any reason whether an act of God or the acts of vandals will be the responsibility of the seller from the time the purchase agreement is signed until the date of closing.

I wrote a post last August,
Contract Cancelled—Understanding Risk of Loss, that explains the risk of loss clause in detail and what it means to anyone with a signed purchase agreement on a home that sustains damage. After the past few stormy weekends, this topic deserves to be revisited as a reminder to all home Minnesota buyers and sellers as we persevere through this turbulent summer.

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

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