Guidelines for Safe Home Inspections During Coronavirus Pandemic

As a member of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), I recently completed a course detailing steps we can take to keep home sellers, homebuyers, real estate agents and myself safe while performing a home inspection during the pandemic. I thought I would share these guidelines with you.

Perform inspections alone, if possible.

• I will ask the listing agent to request that homeowners vacate the house during the inspection, if possible. If this is not possible, I will request a pre-inspection telephone conversation with homeowners to create a social distancing strategy–essentially making sure that we are in different rooms at all times during the inspection.

• Ideally, the selling agent will not enter the house during the inspection. So that the agent need not wait for hours outside, I am happy to lock up after my inspection, if the homeowner and agents are comfortable with this arrangement. If not, I can inspect one room and then invite the agent to enter and stay in that room during the inspection.

• Normally, I encourage potential buyers to accompany me during inspections, so I can physically point out important findings. In lieu of this, after the inspection, I can do a FaceTime or other video chat walk-through of the home, reviewing my findings and answering any questions the buyers may have. As another option I can shoot narrated videos of important findings. These videos can be included with my written report.

Avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily.

• I will ask that homeowners open all doors before I arrive. This includes entry and closet doors and all doors on kitchen and bathroom cabinets and sink vanities.

• Before touching any hard surface, such as a countertop or faucet handle, I will wipe it with disinfectant. I will wipe again after I have touched the surface.

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