If you’re one of the many Americans taking advantage of low-interest mortgage rates with a home purchase this year – congratulations! It’s a great time to buy. The pandemic brought about changes in the home buying process to keep everyone involved safe, and today we’re going to talk about home inspections. Let’s take a look at how home inspections work in the time of coronavirus.
Finding the right agent
Whether you’re buying or selling, your greatest ally is your real estate agent. You want to make sure you hire a top real estate professional, and not only because they know a thing or two. Top agents have carefully curated networks of professionals in all areas of real estate, from trusted contractors and loan originators to home inspectors who will find potential problems in a prospective home. To find a top realtor, you should brush up on how to interview a real estate agent.
Home inspection process
If you’re selling your home, you may be nervous about strange people entering your home during a pandemic. Since you’ve taken the time to hire a top real estate agent, they’ve likely outlined a plan for keeping everyone safe and limiting in-person home tours. But, once there’s a contract in place, your prospective buyer will probably want an inspector to check out your home. And if that buyer is financing their purchase, their lender will want an inspection completed.
Licensed professionals conduct home inspections by reviewing all major aspects of a home. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), inspectors examine the condition of a “home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing system; electrical system; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; and the foundation, basement, and structural components.” Simply put, home inspectors need unfettered access to the homes they inspect to conduct thorough reviews. So, how do they do it safely during coronavirus?
While homeowners may be nervous about traffic in their homes, homebuyers need to understand that safety comes first when purchasing a home during a pandemic. To keep everyone involved safe – inspectors included – ASHI created a safe inspection guide with guidelines for home inspections. One of the most significant changes to this process is the request that neither homeowners nor buyers be in the home when the assessment is conducted.
In the past, it’s been customary for homebuyers to be present during the home inspection. Because of COVID-19, it’s preferable for buyers to either remain outside or utilize video conferencing. And if an agent is present in the buyer’s absence, they should also stay outside while the inspection is conducted.
Additional precautions, such as mask-wearing, washing and sanitizing hands before and after touching surfaces, and wearing shoe covers are almost the norm in the real estate industry these days. However, it’s never a bad idea to reiterate safety and sanitation practices with signs and sanitizing stations throughout the home. And if you’re working with a top real estate agent, you can rest assured knowing that they’ve recommended a home inspection company that makes safety their priority.