Best of 2020: What to Do When You’re Expecting an Inspection During a Pandemic

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Editor’s Note: This year has been a decade, right? So many things happened, lots of things were postponed, and houses continued to sell despite it all. While the team takes a hot minute this holiday season to recharge the ol’ Energizers, we’re serving up our very favorite stories from 2020. Enjoy!

Brenda Masse, Green Scene Home Inspections: I picked this article as my favorite of 2020 because of how proud I am of everyone in the real estate industry for reinventing their processes and adapting to the pandemic as quickly and effectively as they did. Major kudos to everyone from Realtors to title companies, mortgage pros, insurance agents, and inspectors for finding safe ways to get business done and keep our industry strong.

As the stay-at-home order lifts later this week, we expect that more people will begin resuming their planned real estate activities. As the busy spring real estate season begins to resume, we hope that everyone involved in a real estate transaction will keep the safety and the health of those most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus in mind.

Advice For Sellers:

As we’ve been endeavoring to complete home inspections during the quarantine, we’ve been surprised by some of the push-back we’ve had from people insisting on staying at home, even following inspectors and other vendors around while they work. It’s difficult enough to sell your home during a global pandemic, wouldn’t you want to ensure every phase of the sale goes through without a hitch?

1. Ask your Realtor to clear all vendor appointments with you (home inspector, appraiser, electrician, plumber, or others the buyer may have come through during the option period), and plan to be out of the house if possible. 

2. If you can’t leave, practice social distancing within your home, and stay clear of the workers so they can  get in and out as quickly as possible.

3. Make sure any home vendors are wearing masks, gloves, and protective booties as they enter your home.

Advice For Buyers:

If you’ve been fortunate enough to find and make an offer on a home during quarantine, first of all, congratulations! During the option period, you have the chance to get as much info about the home as possible. You’ll want to have a home inspection and an appraisal, and you may need to call in additional experts if the inspector finds problems, like a plumber, electrician or foundation repair. 

1. Choose vendors that are taking extra steps to ensure safety, like wearing protective gear, checking appointment times via BOTH Realtors to ensure multiple vendors aren’t present at the same time, and offering virtual or video reporting.

2. Don’t attend these appointments. Your home inspector should be able to walk you through the report without you being physically present. (We provide a video with every report.)

Advice For Home Shoppers:

If you’re shopping for a home, take advantage of virtual tours, 3D imaging, and internet research while you shop, and only personally visit the homes you’re really serious about. 

1. If a home doesn’t have a good online presence, see if your Realtor will do a FaceTime walk-through with you.

2. Wear a mask, gloves, and shoe coverings when you tour a home.

Advice for Real Estate Professionals:

Everyone involved with a real estate transaction should be taking extra precautions to protect their clients’ and their own health. Best practices include:

1. Keeping appointments virtual whenever possible.

2. Wearing a mask and maintaining social distance when meeting in person.

3. Wearing a mask, gloves, and shoe coverings when entering a home.

4. Arranging appointments at the homes to ensure minimal contact among Realtors, homeowners, buyers, and other vendors.

We can begin to get back to business, but we can do so safely and mindfully. And, no matter what side of the real estate transaction you’re on, if you or someone close to you has been ill, err on the side of caution and stay home.

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