That drone is from the insurance company

Instead of using a ladder to inspect parts of a home, insurance claims adjusters are instead turning to drones.

They’re easy to use and safer for insurance employees. And drone inspections take less time than a physical inspection, potentially shortening the entire claims process, according to consumer finance website NerdWallet.

However, drone inspections may not reveal subtle damage apparent from a physical inspection. Also, drones can’t fly near airports and military bases, they must stay within the operator’s sight, and permission must be obtained for any area they fly above.

Allstate, USAA, Farmers Insurance, and Travelers have used drones for inspections, and a number of other insurance companies are evaluating the use of drones or are planning to expand their use.

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Posted in Business tips | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Tell Congress: Support tax reform that doesn’t hurt Texans

You’ve likely been hearing about proposals to reform the federal tax system.

But even though Congress is finally tackling long-overdue reforms, the current proposal will actually do much more harm than good for Texas homeowners because it would eliminate critical homeowner incentives, including state and local property tax deductions.

TAR’s analysis of the proposal’s impact on Texas found that …

  • 95% of Texas homeowners would see a tax increase. The proposed plan would only provide relief to 5% of Texas households.
  • Eliminating state and local property tax deductions would require Texas homeowners to pay taxes on an additional $13.7 billion.

The National Association of REALTORS® has issued a REALTOR® call for action on the federal tax reform framework, and you can participate right now by sending a message to your Congress members at texasrealestate.com/action.

Take action now, and tell Congress to support tax reform and protect middle-class homeowners.

Posted in Governmental Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

TREC, TAR reach consensus on proposed rule changes

The Texas Real Estate Commission in August proposed rule changes about which the Texas Association of REALTORS® expressed concerns.

Recently, representatives from TREC and TAR discussed these concerns and agreed on many issues, notably the use of business titles in advertisements, linking to the Information About Brokerage Services form on business websites, and the ability of TAR to continue to provide forms to its members.

The Texas Real Estate Commission will discuss these rule changes and other proposals at its next meeting, November 13. Staff and volunteer leadership of the Texas Association of REALTORS®, who will attend the meeting, appreciate the opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process.

Posted in Legal, TREC | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Sellers expect more than just a sale

The 2016 Profile of Texas Homebuyers and Sellers says that what sellers want most from real estate agents is help pricing their home competitively, selling in a certain timeframe, and marketing the home to potential buyers. Inman says there are a few more things sellers should see from their listing agent, including incentives for buyers and accountability.

What have you found sellers expect from you? Share your experience in the comments.

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Must a seller disclose a murder at the property?

According to the Texas Property Code, sellers aren’t required to disclose deaths on the property that resulted from natural causes, suicide, or an accident unrelated to the property’s condition.

However, murder does not fall into these categories. The Deceptive Trade Practices Act may require the disclosure of murders unrelated to a condition of the property as material facts a buyer would want to know before entering into a transaction.

TAR’s Seller’s Disclosure Notice includes a question about deaths other than those caused by natural causes, suicide, or an accident unrelated to the property’s condition.

Posted in Legal | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Help clients navigate the digital signing process in zipForm

Attend a free webinar about how to easily and securely share documents with clients and other REALTORS®. The webinar, hosted by zipLogix, is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, at 10 a.m. CDT.

Register now!

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TREC rules changed, but Article 12 still applies

The Texas Real Estate Commission changed its rules regarding terms you must use in your advertisements, but don’t forget about the requirements in the Code of Ethics. Watch the video to learn how you can stay in compliance with Article 12.

Posted in Ethics, Legal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment