This is a question I am being asked often.
The answer to this question is still evolving. It is not black or white — rather it is many shades of gray.
By destroying some homes for sale, the storm sank a number of deals in a flash.
As a result, lenders serving regions that were declared major disaster areas, such as swaths of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, have mandated that homes under contract be re-inspected for damage.
Bank appraisers now have to go back to homes in the affected areas to be sure they were not damaged, or if they were damaged to be sure they were repaired, and that the homes have power and heat.
If an inspection does find damage to a home, the seller almost always has to pay for necessary repairs in order for the deal to close. Otherwise, the buyer, lender and seller must negotiate a new deal.
Most often, the seller is responsible for ensuring that the property is in the same condition as when it went into contract.
In addition to fixing any structural damage, the owner of a damaged home under contract must also repair any damaged big-ticket items like gas and electric fixtures, large appliances and the home's heating system, which are all sometimes vulnerable to flooding.
But if your home was up for sale when a disaster struck, and you didn't have any offers on the table yet, then you might be in a bit of a bad situation. People are a little gun shy right now of buying homes in the heavily affected areas. You also might get a diminished value before the neighborhood is cleaned up.
And it goes without saying, that a seller whose home itself was damaged should mend the property before marketing it.
If you have a home that was affected by the storm and are not sure what to do to make it market ready — I can guide you. Let me know how I can help.
Pugatch Realty Corp