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Virtual home tours on the rise; buyers warned to inspect before they buy

Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors has noticed a trend. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the country, real estate professionals are trying to find new, safe ways to sell homes. But despite the economic hiccups and social distancing regulations, the real estate market has stayed afloat due to plunging interest rates. With open houses suspended in many states, realtors have turned to virtual tours in order to continue home showings. In fact, a study by Redfin recorded a nearly 500 percent spike in video home tour requests in March. However, virtual tours only reveal surface features. An in-person home inspection, conducted by a Licensed Louisiana Home Inspector, is designed to look beyond the first impression of a home through a visual inspection. That’s why the Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors released their latest PSA, to educate homebuyers about why you should always “Inspect Before you Buy!”

For those concerned about the safety risks of in-person home inspections, the Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors also created a recommended COVID-19 inspection protocol that allows for responsible social distancing. As an insider tip, the Board would like to point out that a home inspection is a great time for you to spend one to two hours getting to know your potential new home, often without the sellers present. It is also a great time to ask your Louisiana Licensed Real Estate Agent and Home Inspector questions to increase your knowledge of the investment.

Home Inspection Detective Work

Most licensed Louisiana Home Inspectors have horror stories of sellers attempting to hide signs of damage. Some of the most obvious tricks can be identified by an experienced licensed home inspector, who will investigate further. Experienced Home Inspectors are able to connect the dots and follow clues hinting at possible signs of property damage, making them one of the first lines of defense while purchasing a property. These professionals use their eyes (and sometimes even their nose) to help you identify issues beyond traditional indications of wear and tear.

The Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors (LSBHI) developed specialized and stringent certification requirements, including classroom time, field training and examinations. LSBHI developed the Standards of Practice to help protect the safety, health, property and welfare of the general public in a real estate transaction. The State Board also requires Louisiana Home Inspectors to obtain a minimum 20 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain their license, one of the highest hours of continuing education in the country. With specialized training, the Standards of Practice, a network of peers and continuing education, a Licensed Home Inspector can recognize conditions that are conducive to larger issues that may not be visible on a virtual home tour. A home inspection with our State Licensed inspectors helps you make a fully informed home purchasing decision.

What You Can Expect from a Home Inspection

A Louisiana home inspection will include the following: A visual examination of the major components and operating systems of the property; An unbiased and professional opinion of the condition of the property; Documentation of significant visible deficiencies found on the day of the inspection; Professional recommendations; and Specialized knowledge for a more informed home purchasing decision.

Louisiana Law and Home Inspections

In 2001, the Louisiana Legislature passed a law requiring all persons performing home inspections to be licensed by the State of Louisiana. This mandate protects the health and safety of prospective homebuyers because they receive a thorough evaluation of the home and its operating systems.

LSBHI chief operating officer, Morgan Spinosa, has heard her fair share of home inspection horror stories. “Louisiana licensed home inspectors are trained to look beyond the initial impression of a property,” Spinosa said. “We released this PSA to educate home buyers about the importance of home inspections and expectations.”

 

Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors regulates residential resale home inspections in Louisiana. Their mission is to protect the safety, health, property and welfare of the general public. LSBHI currently licenses over 300 professional home inspectors statewide that are trained, ready and willing to help the public make an informed home buying decision and offers a comprehensive database of licensed home inspectors, their service areas and contact information on InspectLouisianaHomes.com.