Wow, things moving and changing quickly. There have been a lot of unprecedented events over the past few weeks related to the coronavirus outbreak.
While a home inspection is a vital part of any home purchase, ASHI (The American Society of Home Inspectors) believes that home inspections may continue during the COVID-19 outbreak when prudent safety precautions are practiced, and when performing the inspection does not conflict with government orders and recommendations.
Everyone involved with the home inspection is responsible for helping with safety. The following advice is based on current recommendations from the CDC, NIH and WHO. People should be aware that the situation is changing constantly and should monitor the CDC for official updates and recommended behavior.
For home inspectors:
• Reschedule the inspection if you feel sick, or if you exhibit symptoms of a respiratory illness or have a different inspector perform the inspection.
• Bring your own anti-bacterial soap, towel, hand sanitizer and shoe covers.
• Use hand sanitizer before entering the home, and wash your hands as recommended before and throughout beginning the inspection.
• Wear disposable shoe covers when entering the home.
• Do not shake hands, bump fists or touch elbows.
• Avoid touching your face.
• Wash your hands after inspecting each bathroom and the kitchen.
• Wipe bathroom and kitchen fixtures and toilet handles with a sanitizing wipe after inspecting these areas. Be sure the wipe instructions allow use on the fixture or handle.
• Wipe door handle/knob inside and outside the home as you enter and leave the home.
For buyers and real estate agents:
• Do not attend the inspection. If you wish to attend, do so only at the end of the inspection.
• Do not bring children, relatives, contractors and others to the inspection. Reschedule the inspection if you wish to attend, and if you feel sick, or if you exhibit symptoms of a respiratory illness.
• Use hand sanitizer before entering and before leaving the home.
• Touch as few things in the home as possible.
• Reschedule the inspection if anyone in the home feels sick or exhibits symptoms of a respiratory illness.
• Do not attend the inspection. Make arrangements for children, relatives and others to be out of the home during the inspection. Wipe bathroom and kitchen fixtures, toilet handles and doorknobs with a sanitizing wipe before the inspection. Be sure the wipe instructions allow use on the surface.
• It may be prudent to take things a step further. For all concerned a zoom meeting or FaceTime review of the inspection report may be the best way to disseminate the information in the inspection report. Only the home inspector would enter the home in this case. Be respectful of the wishes of everyone involved in the real estate transaction. The process will not be evolving the same as it would have just a few weeks ago. Please be safe.