Due to Hurricane Florence, housing transactions may be impacted in your area. Please be aware that several storm-related side effects are beginning right now throughout different parts of the Commonwealth. Be sure to protect your business and your clients during this state-of-emergency event. There are measures you can take now to start combating some of the storm’s aftermath.

One large result is that many insurance companies have stopped issuing homeowner’s policies in Virginia with the pending hurricane. Settlements are being impacted because buyers are not able to get insurance. If your client has a settlement scheduled this week or next week, here are a few steps they (and you) should take along with the rest of their storm prep:

  • Buyers should contact their insurance company to find out the status of their insurance policy.
  • Sellers should not cancel their existing insurance policies until AFTER both sides have signed (and potentially until after the deed is recorded).
  • Buyers and sellers should have contingency plans for where they will be staying if/when settlement is postponed.
  • Agents should work with clients and settlement agents on potential new settlement dates.
  • Agents should work with clients to get a contract addendum extending the settlement date immediately–before power outages may make it difficult for people to agree or electronically sign documents.
  • Clients should talk to the settlement agent about any potential delays in recording the deed if the court is closed due to storm damage and what this could mean for them–like delayed move-in dates.

For more information, please contact the Legal Hotline.