Environmental Home Inspections: People Are Asking; Realtors Are Listening
The coronavirus pandemic has urbanites seriously thinking about leaving their current abodes in search of more space and a healthier lifestyle. And, as they want to be sure that their prospective new homes don’t have any problems that could lead to health issues, environmental inspections are making the list.
Homes, anywhere and at any time, can harbor mold, asbestos or radon, and contain poor indoor air quality, polluted water, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), any one of which can threaten one’s health. That is why savvy realtors are now recommending investing in environmental testing services prior to purchase or sale. For buyers and sellers both, a toxic environment can kill a deal.
A Traditional Home Inspection Isn’t Enough
Home inspections are obviously necessary for the sale or purchase of a home. But what many buyers are realizing is that these inspections usually do not take into consideration mold infestation, lead, asbestos, and water quality. Most home inspectors lack the knowledge and certifications necessary to test for potentially toxic substances.
What Is an Environmental Home Inspection?
Mold testing, lead inspection, asbestos testing, water contamination testing, and indoor air quality testing may all be performed during an environmental inspection. Environmental home inspections can vary depending on the age and condition of the home. Such inspections should be scheduled with a certified, independent testing company, even before your buyer signs a contract. It’s important that the company you hire doesn’t perform both testing and remediation, as that is a conflict of interest.
Why Have an Environmental Inspection?
Testing makes sense. If buyers invest in an inspection prior to purchase, they can save tens of thousands of dollars in remediation and repair costs afterwards. For sellers, if environmental issues are found prior to going to contract, they will have the ability to remediate before the deal goes south.
“I recommend environmental testing as part of a home inspection checklist,” says Fiona Dogan, a real estate agent with Julia B. Fee Sotheby International Realty in Rye, New York. “Smart buyers want to be sure that the home they are about to purchase contains a healthy environment.” She also recommends environmental testing for sellers in order to identify issues even before putting the property on the market. “This can help you to sell your home faster and avoid costly rush charges to have last-minute issues fixed.”
As you help your clients navigate selling or buying a home, give them the option of an environmental inspection. Not all environmental hazards are obvious, and they can cause serious health issues. To detect them requires expertise, licensure, technology, and experience. If you would like more information on what types of environmental inspections may be right for your client, please feel free to call us at 800.392.6468.