PLEASE READ THIS DOCUMENT: Additional directives will now permit inspections in both Oregon and Washington under certain guidelines. Clients, owners, and agents are kindly asked to review this in its entirety as it includes critical information about inspections moving forward during this shut-down or semi-shut-down period. Buyers/buyers' agents are asked to forward this to the listing agent/seller.
We are going through an unprecedented time in this country and, indeed, in the world. Earlier this year, Governor's Kate Brown of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington have issued varying statements which have shut down portions of the economy with hope to "flatten the curve" and prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus Covid-19.
Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC is proud to provide inspections in both states and, wishing to maintain consistency in our services, in light of the recent additional clarifications from Jay Inslee, we will be doing the following for ALL inspections moving forward until the Governor's open up the industry to operate "normally" again. Home owners, buyers, buyer's agents, seller's agents, and sellers are kindly asked to heed to the following for the time being.
1. Clients MAY be Present/Only Three Total People in Property: In light of the directives by the State's of Oregon and Washington, NHI's protocol will now permit ONE person other than the realtor and inspector(s) in the property. This updates from Phase I where for inspections performed for real estate transactions, no clients were permitted to attend. We recognize that many clients may have more than one person that is purchasing and may wish to show the home to family, friends, children and others. Kindly, the protocols we are operating under do not permit this at this time. One person other than the real estate agent and the inspector(s) may attend the inspections. NOTE: at this time, if the inspection is in Multnomah, Clackamas, or Washington Counties, the client may NOT attend the inspection and only two people may be on site, which is typically the agent and the inspector(s).
2. Encouraged to Come at End (Unless in a Phase I County): While one person other than the real estate agent and the inspector(s) may be at the inspection, the one client that would like to attend is encouraged to come only for the review at the end of the inspection. For scheduling purposes, we must know at the time that the inspection is scheduled whether a) the client will be attending, b) the name of which client planning on attending, and c) at what time they plan on being there. If you need an estimate for how long the inspection will take and when to arrive, if you plan on attending, please contact our office for a time estimate. NOTE: Again, some areas are still in Phase I. If the county the inspection is being conducted in is in Phase I, the client may not attend the inspection.
3. Masks Must be Worn/Social Distancing Maintained: Those in attendance at the inspection must wear a mask or respirator, shoe coverings, and are kindly asked to not touch surfaces inside of the property. Additionally, standard social distancing measures shall continue, generally defined as maintaining a 6' distance. This will limit the review of the report onsite. However, NHI has been making and will continue to make ourselves more than available to answer any additional questions that a client may have subsequent to any onsite reviews.
4. Sellers Are Asked to Vacate and Prepare for Inspection: It is typical already that sellers vacate properties for inspections. We are herein proactively requesting it so that our work can be conducted and so as to limit exposure and ensure compliance with the orders we are operating under. Additionally, sellers/occupants are kindly asked to ensure that overhead attic accesses and the immediate area, underfloor crawl space accesses and the immediate area, water heater, furnaces, and electrical panels all be fully cleared and ready for inspection. The home inspection is a "non-invasive" process and personal items/belongings are not disturbed during the inspection. If an area, system, or component is blocked or impeded, it may be skipped and we may need to return to the property. Clients and agents are kindly asked to forward this document to the selling party, along with this explanation of what needs to be done to prepare for the inspection, besides the request in #5 below: How to Prepare a Home for Inspection: Important Guidelines.
5. Disinfect Relevant Items and Surfaces: Sellers/occupants or clients (if the inspection is for you and you already live in the property) are asked to disinfect relevant items and surfaces before and after the inspection is done to, again, limit exposure. Items, surfaces, and areas included but are not limited to: door knobs and handles, cabinet knobs and handles, all sink and toilet faucets and handles, toilets, counter tops in kitchens and bathrooms, appliance handles and controls (stove/oven/range, vent, microwave, dishwasher). Sellers are also kindly asked to crack a couple windows in the home and turn on all vents for at least 15 minutes before the inspector arrives at the property (within a couple hours or so if possible of the scheduled appointment), which will be done again during the inspection by the inspector.
6. Is Anyone in Home Sick?: The health of the inspectors and all involved is paramount. As such, if anyone occupying the home is or has recently been sick or shown any indication of sickness, we kindly request that the inspection be postponed for a period of 14 days from the last point of any indication of sickness.
7. Onsite Reports: Inspection reports are typically done on site, which has been our norm for over 20 years. During the initial Phase of the Covid-19 protocols we were doing reports off site. We will now move back to our normal process of doing reports onsite for the most part. For clients and agents who have become accustomed in the last few months to off site reports by us will be asked to schedule accordingly and to contact our office for an idea of how long we believe it will take to do the report on site. It is critical that enough time is scheduled. NOTE: For counties still in Phase I, where clients are unable to attend the inspection, or where in an abundance of reasonable caution the client doesn't wish to attend the inspection, NHI will make itself more than available after the inspection to review the findings after the client has reviewed the report.
8. For Vacant Homes: To limit exposure, agents are asked to provide one-day codes or combo box codes and to come towards the end of the inspection. Note: For counties still in Phase I, it is advised that nobody attend the inspection at all on vacant homes and that a code/combo be provided.
9. NHI Takes This Seriously: We take the health of the occupants and all NHI inspectors seriously. We feel that we can confidently navigate properties using the aforementioned guidelines well. Inspectors will be taking extra precautions at all properties, washing and disinfecting hands regularly, wearing shoe covers or inside-only shoes, and the like.
10. Our Normal Process: It would be advisable for the client to review what our normal process is (outside of this Covid-19/Phase II protocol). They can do so by reviewing this document: NHI: Our Typical Process (CLICK). Additionally, it would be helpful for the client to review our article outlining what a home inspection is by CLICKING HERE.
We greatly appreciate your cooperation as we ALL navigate these serious, difficult, trying and even bizarre time we are living in. We WILL get through this TOGETHER!
WA Realtors Association Guidelines (CLICK)