RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

SEP 2017

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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96 September 2017 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE {Ask the Experts} Buddy Stark Director of Operations HomeTeam Inspection Service www.hometeam.com Q: What can homeowners do to ensure their home is well prepared and more energy-efficient throughout the coming months? A: Fall officially begins this month and HomeTeam Inspection Service—the only national home inspection company to utilize a team of inspectors onsite—offers the following home maintenance tips. Roof Inspect the roof covering and flashing from the ground for indi- cators of wear, like missing, loose or cracked shingles or tiles. Water can seep into these areas and cause dam- age if left unattended. Contact a professional roofer for repair or a replacement evaluation if water intrusion is oc- curring or suspected. Gutters and Down- spouts Gutters and downspouts are criti- cal in protecting your home from water damage. Fall is one of the most important times to check your gutters and downspouts to ensure they're not rusted, rotted, disconnected or full of debris. Fireplace Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney, fireplace and vents at least once per year as recommended by the National Fire Protection Associa- tion. A do-it-yourself inspection for creosote buildup can be per- formed by wearing goggles and a basic disposable dust mask. Take a flashlight and your fireplace pok- er and scratch the black surface above the damper (smoke cham- ber). If the groove you scratch is paper thin, no cleaning is needed. If it's 1/8 inch thick, schedule a cleaning. If you have 1/4 inch of creosote, don't use the fireplace until it's cleaned—a chimney fire could occur at any time. HVAC Get your furnace cleaned and serviced by a professional before the heating season begins. Also, clean or replace your furnace filters as recommended through- out the year. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency. Ensure that all supply and return vents aren't blocked or closed, as this causes the return duct to pull in cold air from cracks in windows and doors. In addition, the warm air that's still trying to push up through closed vents will either start to leak out ducts that aren't sealed properly or be forced back down into your basement or floor cavities. Trees and Bushes Trimming trees and bushes provides many advantag- es to your home's exterior. Trim so that all leaves and limbs are at least three feet away from your house. This prevents them from hitting the sides of your house when it's windy, decreasing the amount of leaves and debris that will end up in your gutters. Windows and Doors Cracks in the seals around win- dows and doors allow heated or cooled air to escape, which can cost you money. Caulking and weatherstripping can wear over time, so check the seals around your windows and doors. One of the easiest ways to diagnose this issue is to close the door or window and hold a lighted candle near the frame. If the flame flick- ers at any spot, you likely have an air leak. Replace or add caulk or weatherstripping where needed. Adam Lerman SVP, Coaching and Accountability Engel & Völkers www.evusa.com Q: What are your best tips for creating an effective recruiting referral program? A: Wouldn't it be nice to have an entire team to support your recruiting efforts, which, in turn, would help grow your business and support profit margins? Well, you do! A great way to supplement your agents' income is to reward them for finding quality prospects. It's Q A &

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