Selling your home can bring up anxieties. On top of that, finding out the results of a home inspection can be unnerving, as you may have to consider unexpected maintenance issues. And now, worries about the coronavirus bring up questions about whether even having a home inspection is safe right now.
At first glance of these issues, you have reason for concern. Home inspectors are out and about all day. They visit other spaces. Who knows what they touched there!? However, you can relieve your concerns by working with your home inspector and real estate professional. You’ll get the objective, professional evaluation that will help you in your transaction negotiations.
Real estate professionals and home inspectors understand your concerns. They are adopting new protocols to ensure this vital part of the home sale process is as safe as possible for everyone.
Proactive Measures for You and Your Home
Depending on your local restrictions and your health, you can still take charge of making your home inspection provide the information you need about your property.
- Health Safety. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) recommends that inspectors and homeowners reschedule inspections if anyone feels sick or exhibits any symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as a fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher.
- Pre-Sale Readiness. If you want to get the most value from your home, order a pre-sale inspection to identify any major work that should be done before placing the home on the market. You can use the inspection report for your personal information. Be aware that you may need to share copies of any reports you receive as part of your transaction.
- Be Flexible. If a new local restriction is put in place or if someone is ill, acknowledge the unusual circumstances we live in and reschedule the inspection.
- Home Warranty. If you are unable to schedule a home inspection and you still want to go ahead with the sale, offer a home warranty. Also known as home repair insurance, this covers any structural or roofing damage not found during a home inspection, as well as breakdowns in appliances such as the refrigerator or furnace. Be aware many home warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions.
- Synchronize Inspections. Minimize exposure by scheduling inspections at the same time. If you need a wood-destroying organisms (termite) inspection as well as a home inspection, schedule them at the same time.
- Stay Away. Before the pandemic, most inspectors encouraged your presence at the inspection so you could exchange information. Now, the safest procedure for all concerned is to vacate the house during the inspection. Your report will cover all the findings and you can follow up by phone for a post-inspection conference if you have questions.
- Sanitize. Most inspectors wear protective masks during an inspection. You could also ask them to wear foot coverings in the home to help ensure a safe environment.
Stay-at-home orders vary by municipality as far as whether real estate sales and home inspections are considered “essential services” during the coronavirus pandemic. Your real estate professional will keep you informed about any regulations that impact your sale.
A home inspection is a typical contract contingency. Without a home inspection, the buyer could cancel the contract and the escrow money would be due back. Your real estate professional is just as ready as you are for the sale to go through. Work with them to assure a smooth transaction during these stressful times.
Dealing with the coronavirus is uncharted territory for everyone. Stay open to changes. Keep your communication with the inspector and your real estate professional open. They understand the unique situation and remain flexible within the limits of local ordinances.
Keep an open mind, be willing to make changes and communicate your needs. Home inspectors are professionals who will continue to provide the service and expertise you need to complete your sale.