I have been a realtor in the Hamilton Ontario area for 25 years, currently at Royal LePage in Hamilton and have seen so many changes, most of which have been beneficial to increasing the public's perspective of professionalism of the real estate agent's role in the home buying and selling process. However, along with incxreased professionalism, there has been an increase in liability. For the last number of years, buyers have had to contend with increased and varied criteria to allow them to get home insurance for their new purchase. Insurance companies are hesitant to insure knob and tube wiring, older roofs, outdated plumbing etc. It is very common in our market area to include conditions to allow the buyer to satisfy himself that insurance will be available in order to obtain a mortgage. So as a realtor I have to be educated on these specs in order to best advise clients on potential insurance problems. This is ok with me, as I feel I should have good knowledge of the product I am selling. But now I am being asked to quote the square footage of the home for sale. Square footage is not a requirement to list or sell a house in Hamilton. Two of my clients in the last week have had their insurance agent tell them to get the square footage from their real estate agent or to estimate it themselves because without it they may have to pay a premium for insurance (Is this a threat?). In my opinion, they are asking us to do their job and are placing a heavy load of liability on both myself and my client. If we tell them appoximamtely 1000 sq. ft and it is actually 1200 sq ft and there is a fire, does that mean the house won't be covered or will they only repair the first 1000 sq ft.. This "burns me". If you sell house insurance and need square footage, get out of your office and go take the measurements yourself. This is what you are getting paid to do. When I use other services such as a roofing company, do they ask me for the sqare footage of the roof before they quote me a price. No!! They come out to make sure they have accurate measurements first. If you are an insurance agent in Hamilton Ontario who does get the information yourself, I respect you. Please contact me at carolstinson@RealtorInHamilton.com and I would be happy to refer you to future clients. Perhaps, I will even advertise you on my website - www.RealtorInHamilton.com.
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