This can be a troubling time for everybody, and even more worrisome if you are preparing to purchase a home. Until ordered by the Governor of North Carolina, or local governments, most home inspectors are continuing to provide home inspections. Numerous organizations have issued recommendations on how to perform a home inspection while maintaining a safe environment for the inspector, buyers, and sellers.
I have decided to follow the recommendations of the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspectors Association (NCLHIA), which include the following:
- Real estate professionals and home buyers should not attend the inspection. Although this may be a disappointment, it is to ensure your safety, and mine in this time of unprecedented health risk.
- I will revert to utilizing electronic payment methods exclusively, via Paypal, where you can use any major credit card.
- Any resident or tenant currently occupying the property must vacate during the inspection. Presence of a resident or tenant at the time of the inspection will result in immediate cancellation and the full fee will be due.
- I must have a letter from the sellers agent certifying that the occupants of the residence have not recently been ill, are not known to have been in the company of someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, are not under quarantine, or are not under self-isolation. If the sellers agent is unable to provide this information in writing, or any of the previously mentioned conditions are true, the inspection will then be rescheduled to a later date of mutual understanding. Failure to inform me prior to the inspection will result in the cancellation of the inspection and the full fee will be due.
- I cannot guarantee the completion of 3rd party services such as radon and termite inspections. Those appointments will be made on a case by case basis.
I appreciate you understanding through this time, and I look forward to inspecting your future home!
~Jeffrey Howard, Owner
For your convenience, here are the complete recommendations from the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspectors Association:
- For everyone’s safety and to adhere to the guidance issued by the NCDHHS and CDC, we strongly recommend that you refrain from attending the inspection. Inspectors are more than willing to hold phone and/or video conferencing to answer any questions.
- We understand that you may be disappointed that you are being asked not to attend. But these measures are to protect you and the Inspector during these extraordinary circumstances.
- In the event that you insist on being physically present during an inspection, some inspection companies may opt out of performing the inspection. When allowed by the company, the number of people in attendance should be in conformance with the then-current maximum number of people gathering (currently 10) and we recommend that the meeting be held outside of the Property.
- If you or someone staying in or visiting the Property exhibit any known symptoms of the Coronavirus prior to the scheduled inspection, please have your Agent contact the Buyer’s Agent and the Inspector so that the inspection can be appropriately rescheduled.
- While this is your home, for your protection as well as the protection of all parties involved, we request that you vacate the home during the duration of the scheduled home inspection. All individuals should consider what is best for them, their families, and their business in order to limit the spread and decrease the impact of COVID-19. With careful hygiene and interaction limits, each of us can be an integral part in flattening the curve and allowing for a quicker return to the old norm.
- If you exhibit symptoms of acute respiratory illness, stay home (except to get medical care) until you are free of fever (100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer), or have signs of a fever, or any other symptom for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines.
- Licensees who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should refrain from public exposure in accordance with CDC guidelines. This may or may not preclude the performance of certain home inspection activities.
- For your safety, implement a procedure during the inspection booking process to obtain written confirmation from the Listing Agent that none of the Property’s occupants have recently been ill, are known to have been in the company of someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, are under quarantine, or under self-isolation. In the event that one or more of these conditions exist, the inspection should not proceed until at least two (2) weeks subsequent to the end of the condition that triggered the cancellation and assurances that CDC cleaning and disinfection methods have been followed.
- As the greatest known risk in the spread of this virus is from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, limit in-person contact during the inspection by adhering to social distancing standards (approx. 6 feet) and encourage real estate agents and buyers that desire to attend the home inspection to preferably not enter the home. Instead, offer to meet outside at the end of the inspection. Alternatively, offer to hold a conference call rather than have face-to-face meetings.
- While transmission from surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus has not been ruled out, proactively protect yourself against infection from surfaces by wearing disposable gloves and shoe covers while inspecting. This practice includes prior to entry of the dwelling and safe removal and disposal prior to entry into your personal/company vehicle. Refrain from touching your face while wearing these gloves and use hand sanitizer and or wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after inspections.
- Utilize remote payment options like online invoices to minimize handling payment onsite (cash, check or credit card). Should clients use your mobile device or pens to complete payment onsite wipe down and sanitize as needed.
- As is current policy of many/most Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and or Realtor Associations, home inspectors should not provide anyone else access to the Property.