Covid-19 has affected many parts of our lives, and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As states slowly start to reopen, there has been a lot of emphases placed on the “new normal” and how that will look for people going forward. As everyone focuses on the economy and a full reopening in the near future, the question continues to arise: what are the long-lasting effects of Covid-19 on industries, especially those that were deemed nonessential and forced to shut down during the lockdowns?
The housing industry has been particularly affected by the lockdowns. Without the anticipated business boom that typically comes in the spring and early summer, the market is at a standstill. Once the lockdowns have been lifted, there could potentially be a surge in business, especially if interest rates remain low post-lockdown. For home inspectors, this could mean an increase in business as home buyers race to take advantage of the lowered rates. While a rise in home sales and inspections would be beneficial to home inspectors, there needs to be some thought given to how to effectively maneuver through a home inspection in a post-COVID world. Home inspectors should expect to take extra precautions such as wearing a mask and practicing frequent hand washing, maintaining social distancing during inspections, and protecting themselves with home inspector’s insurance.
How has COVID-19 Affected the Home Buying Industry?
Since the onset of the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders that states have placed in effect, the housing market has effectively come to a halt. As a non-essential industry, home buying has been placed on the back burner for the time being. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of the economy, and many buyers have to be cautious about committing to such a large purchase. Others are fixated on more immediate needs such as job security and aren’t prioritizing home buying at the moment. However, interest rates have decreased significantly, signaling a possible boom in the market if lockdowns are lifted in the early summer. In the meantime, realtors have gotten creative with virtual home showings and other methods, trying to bring in clients. For the moment, though, the market is incredibly quiet, especially considering that spring is typically a time when real estate sales should be in full swing.
Will Low-Interest Rates Increase the Need for Home Inspections Post COVID-19 Lockdowns?
If interest rates remain low post-lockdown, this could naturally lead to a surge in the real estate market. With an emphasis placed on reopening, there could potentially be a lot of buyers hoping to take advantage of lower prices, especially a lot of first-time buyers. Depending on how long interest rates stay down, and how low housing prices drop, it may soon be a buyers market, increasing the demand for home inspections significantly post-lockdown.
How can Home Inspectors Prepare Now for Increased Demand in the Future?
The best way to prepare for a potential increase in home sales is to make sure that you are prepared to safely work with others again. As with any business, home inspectors will have to interact with the public, from home buyers and sellers to realtors, and this can lead to the potential for infection or illness. Inspectors should add face masks and antibacterial hand soap as well as hand sanitizer to their existing PPE. Another way home inspectors can prepare themselves by adding a Covid-19 waiver of release as an addendum to their contracts. This addendum should certify that all parties that have access to the home have not had exposure to the novel coronavirus before the home inspection begins. Moreover, this addendum should include a release, and hold harmless provision, releasing all parties from any potential claim of an “alleged” transmission of disease due to any party’s entry into the home. Lastly, home inspectors can ensure they are fully protected by purchasing comprehensive home inspectors insurance. Home inspectors insurance can help to protect inspectors from unforeseen dangers and emergencies that they face on the job, and it’s an absolute must-have in a post-COVID world. Visit EliteMGA to get a quote for home inspector insurance. EliteMGA offers superior coverage at a competitive rate. Their responsive and professional staff will get you the best value for your home inspection insurance. Contact EliteMGA today!