It’s no secret that the topic on everyone’s mind today is the coronavirus. As real estate and home inspection professionals, we’re anxiously watching the story unfold in real-time. Based on forecasts from medical and science experts, it has become increasingly apparent that all of us will be adapting to new realities that could significantly affect our families and businesses in the uncertain months ahead.
A-Pro Home Inspection believes it’s essential to keep the real estate community fully informed about the proactive steps our team is taking to deal with this growing threat. We’ve devoted our spring issue of From the Rafters to answer questions regarding our “COVID-19 Home Inspection Guidelines” so you can impart them to your clients. As I’m sure you believe as well, communication will be key as we move forward, both in helping to prevent the spread of the virus and keeping our clients—and each other—safe.
With such a rapidly developing story, of course, A-Pro’s policies may change as new challenges arise or breakthroughs occur that alter the course of our current situation. We’ll let you know if they do. Working together, let’s continue to safely and responsibly address the needs of our clients during these unprecedented circumstances.
A-Pro Home Inspection
Is A-Pro Still Performing Home Inspections?
Yes. If there are no local or state restrictions in place due to the outbreak, your clients can still rely on a comprehensive home inspection from a certified A-Pro home inspector.
In other parts of the country, A-Pro Home Inspection is fully complying with applicable temporary coronavirus restrictions enacted by government authorities. For obvious reasons, performing home inspections will not be possible in areas where universal “shelter in place” and “lockdown” mandates are being enforced, or when “non-essential” businesses have been closed. We encourage you to call us to see if home inspection companies fall under the “non-essential” business shutdown that may be imposed in your area. In some cases, those in the building industry have been placed in the “essential” category. We will, of course, be ready to assist sellers and buyers once restrictions have been lifted or modified. As with all of these guidelines, the health of the people in the communities we serve, and our own team is, and always will be, our top priority.
Can My Buying and Selling Clients Attend the Home Inspection?
A-Pro has always welcomed homebuyers to attend the inspection. We see it as an excellent opportunity to answer questions they may have as the inspection is being performed, as well as an opportunity to educate them about home maintenance and other concerns. With this being said, we are temporarily changing this policy to reduce possible risks to all parties involved. Taking the recommendations of experts who have emphasized the importance of “social distancing” as a means to slow the spread of the virus, A-Pro is exercising an abundance of caution by strongly encouraging that homebuyers and their agents not attend the inspection. In these times, the best-case scenario is to have the home inspector do the job efficiently, effectively, and safely alone. After the inspection, we will follow up with a phone call or other form of communication (Facetime, Skype, Messenger, etc.) to explain our findings and answer questions. In the event that a client insists on attending (though we discourage this), we require that…
- Only the client(s) and agent attend (no children, other family members, contractors, etc.)
- Proper social distancing be practiced during and after the inspection
- No one showing signs of illness may attend
- Attendees refrain from touching anything in the house
When inspecting the home, A-Pro—like most in the home inspection industry—prefers that sellers not be present during a home inspection contracted by a potential buyer. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, we understand that sellers may be more apprehensive about having strangers in their house and may feel more comfortable being in the home to monitor how the inspection is being conducted. While we don’t encourage this, A-Pro will do our best to accommodate this request.
While these restrictions may seem severe, please know it is part of A-Pro Home Inspection’s long-standing belief that safety is paramount in the home inspection business. We thank you for your understanding.
What Extra Precautions Are A-Pro Home Inspectors Taking During Their Inspections?
As more details surface about how the coronavirus can be spread and live on surfaces, all of A-Pro home inspectors are required to follow an even stricter set of sanitary guidelines during each inspection—many of the same directives proposed by the National Association of Realtors®. By being vigilant in using these common-sense precautions, our goal is to provide you, the seller, and buyers with the peace of mind that we are doing everything in our power to maintain a sanitary environment and minimize exposure risk in the homes we inspect.
Our inspectors will:
- Wash hands with soap and water whenever necessary during the inspection and afterward (for at least the recommended 20 seconds)
- Dry hands using paper towels or hand towels which they have brought
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hand-washingis not available in a specific area of the home
- Avoid touching surfaces unless absolutely necessary
- Immediately and thoroughly clean touched surfaces (doorknobs, faucets, window latches,and locks, toilet handles, light switches, etc.) using disinfectant wipes or other cleaning material
- Refrain from shaking hands, bumping fists or making any contact with others attending the inspection
- Maintain the recommended six-foot social distancing rule at all times
- Wear masks by request of the seller or buyer
- Sanitize home inspector tools and equipment before each inspection
- Practice all recommended personal safety practices, such as not touching one’s nose, mouth, or face
- Cancel appointments if there isany sign of illness
Further, with schools closing and kids being left home alone, it’s also important to note that our policy is, and always has been, that we will not enter a home with minors present unless an adult is present.
Communication Is Critical
Feel free to reach out to your local A-Pro Home Inspection team in Billings. Call 406-426-2766 or visit the link here.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Go to USA.gov for links to each state’s official government website for relevant coronavirus news in your area.