Reuben Saltzman

COVID-19 and Home Inspections 5-19-20

Governor Walz allowed Minnesota’s stay-at-home order to expire yesterday, replacing it with a new order called “Stay safe Minnesota“. This new order allows for gatherings to not exceed 10 people. As soon as that order came, our office was flooded with calls from clients who wanted to attend their home inspections. It seems that Minnesotans are anxious to get back to normal, and people really want to attend their home inspection. I’m not qualified to opine on the wisdom of any of this, so I won’t. But I will share what we’re doing about all of this.

New home inspection attendance policies

We’re allowing our clients to attend the home inspection again, with a number of special restrictions in place.

  • Limited number of people. We’re allowing up to two clients plus their agent to attend the inspection. No children, please.
  • Masks are required. Our inspector(s) and anyone else present will need to wear a mask while inside the home while together. While our inspector is alone in the home, they will wear a mask if requested by the seller.
  • Six-foot distance required. This largely means that we won’t be hanging out in the same room together.
  • Clients attend after the first two hours. This gives our inspector the chance to get a large portion of the inspection completed with free acess to the home without having to bump into other people.

Wipe sink

The rest of our home inspection standards of safety will continue to take place while in people’s homes:

  • Wash hands multiple times during every inspection, especially after touching things like faucets and door handles.
  • Bring hand towels or paper towels for drying our hands.
  • If available, we’ll keep hand sanitizer nearby and use it when needed.
  • If available, use disinfectant wipes or the equivalent on faucets and door handles.
  • If any of our inspectors have a fever or cough, we will not conduct the inspection.
These steps apply to all Structure Tech inspectors, chimney inspectors, our radon technicians, and any technicians with DrainBusters, the sewer inspection company we use.

Market update

The real estate market took a big dip in April, but things seem to be close to normal again, as least as far as market activity goes. The graph below shows showings in Minnesota, comparing this year to last year.

Minnesota Showings

Pending real estate sales are up too, according to MSP Homes.

Market Stats x2-2020-05-15

Minnesota’s requirements are supposed to be relaxing even more beginning on June 1st, but I don’t expect us to make any other attendance policy changes in the near future.

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

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2 responses to “COVID-19 and Home Inspections 5-19-20”

  1. Bill
    May 19, 2020, 5:15 am

    Masks are not for the protection of the wearer.
    Inspector wearing the mask protects the homeowner and the buyer/agent that is visiting if inspector has the virus but is not symptomatic yet.
    Buyer/Agent wearing a mask protects the homeowner and the instpector if buyer/agent has the virus but is not symptomatic yet.
    Do you ask the homeowner their status?

  2. Reuben Saltzman
    May 19, 2020, 7:44 am

    Hi Bill,

    We don’t ever have direct communication with the homeowner. We send an email to the listing agent with this request: “On the day prior to the inspection, please call your client and then let us know if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19.”

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