Marble-sized hail pounded parts of El Paso’s Upper Valley and southern Dona Ana county Tuesday, following similar storms in far east El Paso county earlier this month. Not only does this wacky weather wreak havoc on homeowners, but homebuyers and sellers too.
Here’s what to do If you’re in the middle of buying a home where hail has hit!
1. Get a new inspection!
You may have already paid for an inspector to come out to the home, but now is the time to invest in a new inspection. While sellers are required to disclose any damage to the home during the closing process, often times signs of damages (leaks) may not show up right away. Sellers are only required to disclose if they KNOW about the damage. So spending that little extra cash on a new inspection may be well worth the investment.
2. If the inspector/roofer finds damage, know your options.
No one wants to move into a multi-thousand dollar roof repair, so take action now before you close!
Homebuyers have several options before closing. First, they can ask the seller to repair the roof before closing. You can ask for an extension to closing to allow the seller time to make the repairs. Secondly, you can ask the seller to file a claim with their home insurance company and ask for a price reduction to cover the full costs of the roof repair. This may be an option if you were expecting to close the same week as the hail storm. Lastly, you can back out of the deal completely if the seller is not willing to do either of the above.
3. If you find out about the damage after closing, but the storm occurred before you closed, you may be able to get some help.
Don’t count on your current insurance company: they weren’t covering the property when the storm came. It all depends on the former owner’s cooperation. You can ask them to file a claim with their old home insurance, but getting help with the deductible may be another story. Be prepared to at least pay for that.
If you are considering buying or selling a home, I would be honored to be your REALTOR®!