- Realtof.com first real estate website to disclose flood risk information on properties
- Flood risk information now included along with information about kitchens, bedrooms/bathrooms, mortgage estimates, school ratings, etc.
- Also offering estimates of how climate change might impact property in coming years
Is providing the most available information about a property a good sales tool for a real estate property website? Realtor.com believes it is.
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Realtor.com is now the one and only real estate website adding to its “usual” property information (number of rooms/bedrooms/bathrooms, square footage, mortgage estimates, school ratings, etc.) by including disclosures about a home’s flood risk and how climate change might impact that property. (Such disclosures might decrease the value of the home, right?)
Currently, realtor.com is including both privately and publicly assembled flood risk information on each of the some 110M home listings on its website. Public data, as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), stipulates whether or not the house is located in a flood zone. Private data, such as data published by the modeling flood risk company First Street Foundation that rates properties from 1 (least flood risk) to 10 (most flood risk), combines with FEMA information so that potential homebuyers can make a better informed decisions about purchase prices, insurance costs, maintenance costs and potential costs for damage repairs.
According to Leslie Jordan, senior vice president of product at realtor.com, consumers ought to know about flood risks and potential climate change impacts prior to making an offer on a property. If such risks and potential impacts exist, “they can elevate their home on stilts. They can add a sump pump into the basement. They can install a rain garden outside.”
Jordan also sees the disclosure of flood risk information as a competitive edge. “The more transparent we can be about these properties – about all the data about them – the more consumers will trust us as a legitimate source to (help) make their home-buying decisions.”
Until other real estate websites include flooding risks with their standard property information disclosures, consumers and other real estate professionals can look up a property’s flood risk on the First Street Foundation website.
Thanks to realtor.com, First Street Foundation and National Public Radio.
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