The home inspection industry was already changing before COVID-19 hit. Now, those changes seem like distant predictions thrown to the wayside.
COVID-19 is changing the way everyone conducts business. So how is it changing the home inspection industry?
This article discusses how home inspection industry trends were already evolving. It also outlines how COVID-19 changed the industry and what you can expect for the rest of 2020 into 2021.
What Is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is an assessment that trained, state-licensed inspectors need to conduct during the escrow process. Individual states such as New Jersey, the Carolinas, Wisconsin, and Oregon require stringent rules and regulations to follow.
These rules and regulations change over time. So it’s essential to stay up to date on the current changes in your state’s inspection procedures.
Ohio has a list of exterior and interior violations that buyers can require before finalizing housing contracts. The inspector cites these violations, and the homeowner must fix the violations before the buyer completes the agreement.
Why You Should Demand an In-Home Inspection
The escrow process is a long, harrowing ordeal with a light at the end of the tunnel. That light is bright, but don’t let it dissuade you from how tricky lending agents and homeowners can act. When there’s money on the line, you’ll need your wits.
For example, if you’re looking to buy a home that looks beautiful, the tendency is to excite yourself and pull the trigger. But what’s underneath that shiny car hood? Well, a home inspection gives you all the details so you know what you’re thinking about purchasing.
What if the house has a leaky bathroom pipe? What if the airconditioning is broken? Nine out of ten people don’t know how to spot these issues, but a certified inspector does.
How Long Does a Typical Home Inspection Take
You may be wondering what to expect with an in-home house inspection. For starters, there are very few things house inspectors can’t inspect. Home inspections can take anywhere from two to three hours. If a home inspector is thoroughly versed in his/her profession, they will perform the following checks and identify any glaring or potential issues of concern.
It’s important to note that certified home inspectors are not specialists. They don’t estimate the cost of any issues they find.
Home inspectors look at the house from further away than a specialist. For example, a home inspector might understand that there is an issue with a roof, but a roofing specialist would have to diagnose the roof and issue an estimate.
Home inspectors are the first line of defense. Once they provide a diagnostic, it’s up to the buyer and the seller to decide how to address the issues the inspector offers.
- Structural issues
- Insulation and ventilation
- Electrical systems
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems
- Interiors and appliances
- Exterior Faults
How COVID-19 Changes Industry Trends for Home Inspections
Now that you know what to look for with in-home inspections, how does COVID-19 change the way inspectors conduct their business? Here are a few of the main changes in response to COVID-19.
Attending In-Home Inspections
Many companies are changing their policy regarding buyers and sellers attending the inspection. In the past, companies saw this as a way to remain transparent with both the buyer and the seller.
But given the health risks, most companies have decided to conduct inspections without putting anyone at risk. Having one person in the house as opposed to four reduces the possibility of someone contracting the illness.
Stricter Safety Guidelines for Inspectors, Buyers, and Sellers
Even if companies allow buyers and sellers to attend the home inspection, increased safety precautions make it safer for everyone involved.
Some increased safety protocols include:
- Wearing a mask at all times during the inspection
- Washing your hands during and after the inspection
- The inspector must wear gloves at all times
- Buyers and sellers should avoid touching surfaces unless necessary
- Immediately clean surfaces that were touched
- Buyers and sellers must not shake hands with inspectors
- Everyone in the house must maintain correct social distancing protocols throughout the inspection
- Inspectors must regularly sanitize their inspector’s tools
Inspectors Hiring Medical Professionals
In the wake of the coronavirus, many inspectors and contractors have started hiring medical professionals as consultants to keep their business afloat.
Since very few people understand how to combat the virus, medical professionals can offer valuable guidance on safety issues such as social distancing and how to conduct inspections safely.
From safety tool coverings to staggered scheduling, the industry trends are shifting to a more health-conscious approach to inspections.
A Glimpse into the Future
COVID-19 struck unexpectedly, and a lot of unexpected changes are about to unfold over the next few years. For example, virtual tours were already a burgeoning aspect of home inspection and might have a more significant role in the inspection process in the future.
Applications like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom allow potential buyers and sellers to remain in contact throughout the escrow and inspection process.
Depending on how long the COVID-19 pandemic lasts, we could see a preference shift from in-person tours, to virtual tours. People may not be comfortable leaving their homes for unnecessary reasons in the future.
For now, the most effective way to understand the home your considering is attending the inspection. Few things take the place of seeing the potential issues for yourself.
Get Your In-Home Inspection Done Today
If you’re considering buying a home, make sure you have an inspector who understands all the industry trends take a look. Have them report back to you every detail and give yourself the peace of mind that comes with understanding the commitment it takes to buy a house.
In these difficult times, the future is unpredictable, but with the escrow process, there are certain non-negotiables you have to consider before entering into a contractual agreement. What are you waiting for? Get your new home inspected today!