Home inspections are a critical part of the home buying and selling process. A home inspection in a final stamp of approval; a go-ahead for a property that is in good shape or an opportunity to improve the condition of the property or make it safer. But we’re living in strange times right now, and people are hesitant to move forward with a traditional inspection. As an agent, it’s your responsibility to ease these fears and find innovative ways to handle the inspection process while still adhering to health and safety guidelines.
Here are some of the biggest fears clients have about scheduling an inspection during a pandemic and how you can alleviate them:
The fear: I don’t know the inspector and feel uncomfortable having a stranger in my house
One of the biggest fears sellers have about an inspection during the pandemic centers around the idea of having a stranger enter their home in a time where social distancing is critical in staying healthy and safe. The best thing you can do for a worried client is to be proactive. Recommend inspectors that you know and trust, and that you know take health, safety, and COVID-19 precautions seriously.
At this stage in the game, your clients have worked with you for weeks and have learned to trust you and your judgment. Ease their worries by explaining why you recommend the inspectors that you do, and what qualifications they have to do their job both safely and effectively. If it helps, suggest hosting a virtual introduction between your client and the inspector so they can put a face to a name and feel more comfortable inviting a stranger into their home.
The fear: I don’t know what to expect during the inspection process
The fear of the unknown can cause clients to be anxious about the home inspection process. If it is their first time buying/selling a house, they may not be familiar with the process. Before the inspection process, walk your clients through what they can expect during a traditional inspection, and what changes they can expect for an inspection done during a pandemic.
The more the client knows about the process and what to expect, the more confident they will feel about it.
The fear: I don’t know how to safely prepare and plan for a safe inspection
Traditionally, sellers would prepare the property to make it easier for the inspector to move throughout space and conduct a thorough inspection. Now, sellers may worry that they have to do extra work to ensure that the inspection process follows CDC guidelines and that their space is clean and sanitized before and after the inspector comes.
You can help alleviate some of this stress by explaining exactly what your client needs to do to prepare for inspection, and then break down which tasks you can do to help make it easier for everyone. Some things you can suggest to help manage the pre- and post-inspection process include:
- If multiple different inspectors are scheduled to come through the house, try to schedule them for the same time. This way you aren’t cleaning and sanitizing every other day after a contractor or inspector comes through the home
- Set up handwashing stations
- Offer hand sanitizer
- Open all doors and windows, and turn on lights to reduce the number of things inspectors must touch during their inspection
- Inquire about what protective gear will be worn during inspections
Remind your clients that the fewer people in the home during an inspection the better. Also, remind them that you will walk them through the process so they aren’t handling all of the precautions and preparations on their own.
Your clients are trusting you to walk them through every stage of the home selling process, including the inspection. Buying and selling a property during the pandemic has proven to be challenging, but it is possible with planning and patience. Agents and brokers are constantly learning new ways to navigate the real estate market during these uncertain times, and continued education is key to success.
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