Most Inspectors are well prepared to manage just about any weather situation and do so without much need for special preparations. However, it can be a bit unnerving for the buyer and seller – especially if the 4 letter word SNOW is in the forecast! A resourceful Real Estate Agent can help ease the process for all parties involved. Here are five things a Real Estate Agent can do to mitigate the impact of bad weather on inspections:
- Communicate Effectively: Confirm the Inspection is a GO! Keep open lines of communication – maybe a group text to keep everyone on the same page in real time. If the forecast looks really bad, try and discuss contingency plans in advance. This helps manage expectations and reduces surprises on Inspection Day.
- Schedule Flexibility: While the Inspection may move forward, certain limitations may exist. Think – Snow covered roof…. The Inspector will likely need to return to complete the Roof Inspection once the snow melts off (or better yet – can the Inspector stop at the property BEFORE the weather hits to take care of things like the roof). Within the confines of the Agreement, work with all parties to establish flexible inspection scheduling. If there’s a forecast for severe weather, consider having alternative dates or times in mind. Being adaptable can help.
- Pre-Inspection Preparations: Encourage the seller to address potential weather-related issues before the inspection. Let’s say the forecast is for 3 days of heavy rain – Suggest cleaning gutters, ensuring proper drainage, and running a dehumidifier in the basement. For snow – have the drive and walkway clear for safe access. Proactive measures can help minimize the impact of inclement weather on the inspection process.
- During the Inspection: The Inspector should be prepared with things like protective floor covering, shoe covers, foul weather gear and weather resistant equipment. Clients may be hesitant to join the Inspector. Real Estate Agents can show an extra level of care for clients by offering simple things such as an umbrella to take a walk outside or if the home is vacant, maybe a folding chair for clients to sit. The Inspector should check-in periodically to keep clients up to speed.
- Safety is Paramount: Remember that safety should be a top priority during inspections, and any measures taken to address inclement weather should not compromise the well-being of those involved. By staying proactive, communicating effectively, and taking practical steps to mitigate weather-related challenges, a Real Estate Agent can help ensure a smoother inspection process even in adverse conditions.