house wrapped in a scarf winter is coming republic title

Tips for Winterizing your Home

Winter is coming! See below for a list of top tips for winterizing your home.

CHECK THE EXTERIOR, DOORS AND WINDOWS

  • Inspect exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes, seal them.
  • Use weather stripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
  • Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood.

CHECK FOUNDATIONS

  • Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
  • Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
  • Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as thin as a dime.
  • Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.
  • Secure crawlspace entrances.

INSTALL SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

  • Some cities require a smoke detector in every room.
  • Buy extra batteries and change them when daylight savings ends.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and/or water heater.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher or replace your existing one if it is older than 10 years.

PREVENT PLUMBING FREEZES

  • Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
  • Drain all garden hoses.
  • Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
  • Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your Acceptable has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
  • If you do go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

PREPARE LANDSCAPING & OUTDOOR SURFACES

  • Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
  • Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury.
  • Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over such as dahlias in areas where the ground freezes.
  • Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks.
  • Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.

GET THE FIREPLACE READY

  • Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
  • If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
  • Buy firewood or chop wood. Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
  • Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
  • Check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.
insurance policy housing republic title

What Every Realtor® Should Know About Owner’s Title Insurance

Make sure all of your clients are protected

You’re a real estate agent, so you know that buying a home can be overwhelming for many of your clients. Homebuyers can easily feel confused and frustrated by the mounds of paperwork they have to sign. Plus, all the fees associated with closing can sometimes be a surprise even to an experienced buyer.

Owner’s title insurance is one of those items often misunderstood by homebuyers at closing, yet its value is tremendous.  As an important advisor to your clients, you are in the position to help them understand the value of owner’s title insurance and the dangers that can be incurred without it.

What is title insurance?

Owner’s title insurance is a policy that protects homebuyers’ property rights. For the same reasons that the bank requires a lender’s insurance policy, a homebuyer obtains owner’s title insurance to protect their legal claims to the property.

How it protects your clients

Say, for example, your client recently purchased a new home from a builder, but the builder failed to pay the roofer. Wanting to be paid, the roofer filed a lien against the property. Without owner’s title insurance, your client would be responsible for paying this existing debt—meaning they’d be paying the roofer out of pocket instead of purchasing something nice for their new home, like new living room furniture. This is just one example of how owner’s title insurance protects homebuyers’ from various significant risks. With owner’s title insurance, your client would be protected from certain legal or financial responsibilities.

Enduring value

The good news is that owner’s title insurance protects homebuyers financially, as long as they or their heirs* own the home. For a low, one-time fee, homebuyers can rest assured, knowing they are protected from inheriting existing debts or claims to their property.

 

*This advertising offers a brief description of insurance coverages, products and services and is meant for informational purposes only.

republic title open house

Open House Safety Is Important

In this day and age, safety is of utmost importance as a REALTOR®. Please read this post from MetroTex Association of REALTORS® with some tips on keeping you and your clients safe.

Holding an open house can be an act of faith.  Your seller cleans, declutters, and prepares their home to look its best, hoping at least one of the visitors will fall in love enough to make an offer.  At the same time, open houses are invitations to strangers to walk amoung your clients most prized possessions, often with only a single real estate agent present – and so there are very real security concerns, for agents and homeowners alike.

In North Texas there have been recent reports concerning thefts during and even after open houses.  When you go through the house to make sure all lights are off and the house is in good condition after an open house, remember unscrupulous people have been known to unlock a window with the thought of returning later. After the open house, don’t forget to walk through the house and check every window (even on the second floor), gate, and door to be certain that they’re all locked.

Here are a few other tips to help your clients when showing a home:

Say ‘No’ to drugs

There are so many tales of open house visitors rifling through medicine cabinets and taking a few pills, or even whole bottles. Have your clients remove or put in a locked drawer all prescription drugs from their medicine cabinet, even the ones they might think are harmless.

Control your remotes

Most people don’t think about the extra garage remote they leave dangling from a hook near the back door. It’s small and easy to slip into a pocket, so take it with you when you leave for the open house.

File this under ‘Lock & Key’

Identity theft is real and should be taken seriously.  Advise your clients to use a safe or lockable filing cabinet for important documents: birth and marriage certificates, financial statements, basically any legal, medical, or personal information they don’t want falling into someone else’s hands.

 

Source: http://www.mymetrotex.com/open-house-safety-important/