Author Archives: Debra Jennings

Frequently Asked Questions about Home Warranties [National Home Warranty Day]

In honor of National Home Warranty Day on February 10, we’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions about home warranties. Use this primer to learn about the pros and cons of home warranties.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a service agreement that protects home owners from having to pay out of pocket for costly repairs or replacement of specific home systems and appliances. It may also be referred to as a home protection plan, or in the case of new homes, a builder’s warranty.

What does a home warranty cover?

It varies by plan, but items typically available for coverage including major systems such as heating and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing and sewage, electrical systems and the roof, as well as household appliances including kitchen appliances and washers and dryers. Continue reading

7 Facts You Don’t Know About Homebuyers and Sellers

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Did you know that the third Thursday of each quarter is designated as national “Get to Know Your Customers Day”? While customers should always be top of mind for any business, in the hustle and bustle of “getting work done” we may sometimes forget that they are the reason we’re doing all this in the first place.

Real estate professionals – especially agents, brokers and home inspectors – don’t usually fall into this trap. Not only do they have direct contact with every customer (a luxury many businesses don’t have), but they are also in a unique position to hear about each customer’s desires, needs and even fears.

Still, as they say, “the more you know…,” and there is always more that pros can learn about customers and prospects to help them provide better service. Below are seven things you might not have known about home buyers and sellers in general. Continue reading

Consumer Real Estate: 5 Reasons to Be Thankful

It’s almost Thanksgiving and the end of the year. At Housefax, we’re looking back on a wonderful year of making the home buying and selling process more transparent with our comprehensive property history reports. We’re also thankful that we’ve been able to join forces with some of the best in the industry including CoreLogic, Keller Williams and HouseMaster.

Plus it’s been a great year for the consumer real estate industry! Continuing the upward trend of the past couple years, homes continue to hold their value and many people are getting the opportunity to experience homeownership. As we look back on 2016, here are five real estate trends that make us thankful. Continue reading

Scary Houses: It’s Not What You Think

haunted-houseIt’s Halloween time and that means the haunted house industry is in full swing. People will stand in line for hours to get a good scare. It’s a fun thrill when you know it’s fake, but nobody really wants to live in a scary house. Even if you don’t believe in monsters and ghosts, there are plenty of things that can be frightening as a homeowner.

Age and Maintenance History

Older houses have a lot of charm and features you won’t find in a new build. But they can also require a lot of upkeep due to normal deterioration. In addition, there are some things you should be aware of if a house was built during a certain period. Homes built:

  • Before 1978 may contain lead-based paint
  • Before 1980 may contain asbestos
  • Between 1978 and 1995 and may contain unsafe polybutylene-based piping

Get the ‘Fax: Just for fun, we ran a Housefax Report on the home featured in “The Exorcist” movie. See for yourself how scary it is…

Continue reading

5 Safety Tips for Real Estate Agents

September is Realtor® Safety Month. It’s a good time to review your procedures and make sure that you aren’t taking unnecessary chances when showing a house, working late, or even marketing yourself online. When it comes to protecting yourself and your team, there’s a lot to keep in mind. We’ve gathered some of our favorite safety tips below. Feel free to share your tips or stories in the comments.

Note: Housefax isn’t affiliated with any of the products or websites mentioned below.

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Don’t share personal information in ads or on social media

Remove your personal information from anything available to the public. Use a Google Voice number in lieu of personal cell phone numbers. Use general email addresses like “info@yourdomain.com” or even generate an email address for a home – 1234MainStreet@gmail.com – that you could use for marketing materials and give to clients. (Nobu Hata, NAR Director of Member Engagement) Continue reading

Does Fracking Affect Home Water Quality?

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A few residents of a small Wyoming town recently received some bad news. A study with volunteer participants showed higher than normal levels – as much as 10 times the national average – of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in participants’ bodies. VOCs have been linked to a number of health issues including problems breathing, rashes, headaches, nosebleeds, and even more serious ailments including cancer and reproductive disorders.

VOCs can come from a variety of sources. However, researchers behind this particular study are concerned about the possibility of VOC-contaminated air and drinking water from nearby natural gas operations. In March, a study by Stanford University researchers found evidence that the fracking operations near the town “have had clear impact to underground sources of drinking water.”

Fracking” – short for hydraulic fracturing, a process of injecting pressurized water and sand into shale deposits to create fractures that make it easier to extract oil, natural gas, or even water – has been used since the late 1940s. In recent years, the process has come under increased scrutiny by environmental groups that claim fracking produces far-ranging negative consequences, both to the environment and to people who live in the areas where fracking occurs. Continue reading

Housefax Offers Co-branded Reports to Keller Williams Agents

The deal also includes special pricing and access to a unique version of Housefax Pro

Key Takeaways

  • Housefax is now offering a customized subscription program for Keller Williams agents.
  • The deal includes a special pricing arrangement and the opportunity to send clients co-branded property history reports.
  • Keller Williams also announced partnerships with Zillow and Dronebase at the company’s Family Reunion event this year.

Keller Williams agents came away with more than one steal at their 2016 Family Reunion. At this year’s event, the company announced partnerships with big industry players Zillow and Dronebase, and to round out the exclusive opportunities in home data management, Housefax (which provides in-depth property information services) also joined forces with the real estate giant in offering a customized program for KW team members. Continue reading