05 Oct Changes Ahead for How You Order CLUE Reports – Are You Ready?
Changes Ahead for How You Order C.L.U.E. Reports – Are You Ready?
If part of your duties, as a real estate agent involves performing due diligence prior to real estate closings, the news that follows should interest you. Indeed, this can tremendously impact the way that you conduct closings, as well as how you interact with each party involved in the real estate transaction so continue reading to ensure that you’re prepared.
Effective December 1, 2015, C.L.U.E. Home Seller’s Disclosure Reports will no longer be available through Natural Hazard Disclosure (NHD) companies. However, homeowners will still be able to purchase them directly from LexisNexis.
The Intrinsic Value Contained in C.L.U.E. Reports
If you’re a new real estate agent or have never had to order C.L.U.E. Reports for your clients, in a nutshell, the report contains a seven year history of insurance claims that the property owner has filed against the property. The information contained in the consumer files is made available subject to the free disclosure requirement.
Among the types of claims against the property that the C.L.U.E. Report discloses include weather-related losses, fires, theft, vandalism, water damage and others.
Here are a few reasons that these reports have become such an integral part of real estate closings:
- C.L.U.E. Reports provide a seven year history of loss reported to insurance companies regarding a specific property.
- Buyers tend to gain a sense of security after reviewing C.L.U.E. Reports because they disclose any potential problems that could impact the availability of homeowners insurance and adversely impact the viability of their real estate purchase.
- Sellers also derive benefits from C.L.U.E. Reports because they allow for transparency–without their personal or confidential information being disclosed.
- Property insurance companies also rely upon these reports, as the information found within the reports helps them underwrite homeowners insurance policies.
For a clearer understanding of how the C.L.U.E. Report can aid your clients in making wise purchase decisions imagine the following scenario. In this example, your clients are a young couple who believe that they’ve found their dream home. It’s nestled just at the foot of a mountain, which even has a seasonal brook. However, the wife is concerned that runoff from the rain could be a problem.
Whereas, you could simply ask the seller if the property has ever had issues with flooding but not know whether the owner provided accurate information; you can simply ask the seller to provide a C.L.U.E. Report and it will tell your clients–with certainty–everything they need to know about the last seven years of property damage claims filed at the address.
Additional C.L.U.E. Report Considerations
C.L.U.E. Reports are not required by law. Nonetheless, many real estate professionals have come to rely upon them due to the helpful information that they contain on prior loss claims. So if you’ve become accustomed to ordering them from NHD companies the process to obtain them will be different after November 30, 2015.
Instead of ordering a report from an NHD company you could encourage the property seller to request a report from LexisNexis. Of course, if you represent the seller, remember that C.L.U.E. Reports are not required and it’s best to only offer one if the buyer specifically requests a copy of the report.
Property owners may order a copy of their C.L.U.E. Report from:
An additional factor to keep in mind is that the report does not go into specifics such as where the damage to the property occurred. However, it does list claims that were denied. Additionally, claims longer than seven years ago would not show up on the C.L.U.E. Report and of course if there is property damage that has not been reported to the insurance company there would be no claim and no record of the damage in the report.
So again just to reiterate, although NDH companies will no longer provide the report, homeowners can still obtain it directly either from the LexisNexis website or by phone at (866) 312-8076.
Do you have questions or comments? Let us know in the comment section below. Alternatively, you can give us a call at (310) 937-1177.