RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JAN 2018

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.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/918036

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Page 66 of 110

62 January 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Lawn, Landscape and Pool Safety Pools are far and away the most dan- gerous part of a residential home, with one child under 14 drowning on average each day. There are several steps a homeowner should take be- fore listing a home with a pool: 8 Install VGB-compliant drain covers 8 Properly store hazardous pool chemicals away from the pool site 8 Ensure the pool is covered with an adequate safety cover Nearly every American suburban home has a lawn, but most people aren't aware of the potential safety hazards. Here are some actionable steps to take before listing: 8 Remove sharp items like rocks or glass from the yard 8 Check for poisonous/harmful plants like poison ivy and remove if present 8 Properly store weed killers with hazardous chemicals away from the lawn Fire Safety The average monetary value of property damage from a fire was $16,610 in 2016, according to data collected by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). If the homeowner is accused of neg- ligence, they will have to pay for all damages. This is why properly re- moving fire hazards in the home is essential. Before listing the home for sale, check for damaged plugs and appli- ances, overloaded outlets and mul- tiple extension cords. Additionally, you will want to ensure that outdoor cooking appliances are at a safe distance from the home. Kitchen Safety It shouldn't be a surprise that the kitchen is one of the most hazard- ous areas of the home, since it houses the most electrical and gas appliances. One crucial but often overlooked safety feature is a work- ing fire extinguisher. By purchasing one and leaving it in the kitchen, you will be preventing any negligence lawsuits pertaining to grease or electrical fires. If a homeowner is looking to rent all or part of their home, make sure the kitchen is childproofed if the in- coming tenants have small children. Since many sharp utensils can be found in the kitchen, either keep them out of reach of children (in a high cabinet) or, even better, ensure they're secured with a childproof lock. Hopefully these guidelines can help you as a real estate agent mini- mize the risk of lawsuits. And you will also keep the future occupants safe, which is just as important. RE Cal Cook is consumer finance investigator at ConsumerSafety.org. This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall, blog.rismedia.com The Importance of a Home Safety Check Before Selling T he prospect of a profitable sale can push REALTORS® and individual homeowners alike to list a home before it's truly ready to hit the market. However, due to the Breach of Duty regulations, a real estate agent can be at risk of a lawsuit if a homebuyer finds problems with the house that were not disclosed during negotiations. That's why it's so important to perform a thorough safety check before listing a home for sale. Much of this information comes from the Home Safety Guide published by ConsumerSafety.org. By Cal Cook

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