Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Appraisers are exposed to the virus when going inside homes, apartments, and other buildings for relatively short periods of time. Understanding appraiser Covid safety risks is important.

Everyone decides their own level of risk. Some rarely leave their homes or only leave to go to the grocery store. Others, such as appraisers, are essential workers who must leave their homes to work.

Appraiser Personal Risks

  • Age – the older the higher the risk
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Who is in your household and their risk factors
  • Your level of personal protection risk – from none to a lot. If you get infected, you could infect your household members. To me, that is the most significant risk.

Safety risks when appraising

  • The density of occupants. The more people per sq.ft. of GLA, the higher the risk. How many were there before you came who could be infected?
  • Children and the elderly. Sometimes the owner wants them to stay in the home. Children can get infected (see data below). They must wear face masks. You may need to bring smaller children’s masks.
  • The volume of space. High ceilings are good, but most homes are 8 ft. with maybe some higher areas.
  • Ventilation is critical. Outside is better than inside. How long doors and windows are open before you come. Cooling and heating inside the home in summer and winter is an issue. Heating and cooling systems must bring in inside air. Recirculating the interior air is useless for limiting Covid risk.
  • Speaking to occupants – speaking from the car by cell phone is best otherwise both you and the occupant wear face masks and maintain distancing. Do not speak inside the home. 5 minutes speaking face to face inside, without a face mask, can be risky.
  • Everyone inside the home wears a face mask. Bring washable cloth face masks if needed. You can wash and re-use them. Or, bring disposable masks, which is safer.
  • Physical distancing is difficult. We have never done it before. Occupant follows you inside and/or outside. Difficult to control. How to ask the person to move back. What if they refuse to move.
  • Risky homes: hoarder homes, etc.

The Bottom Line

When to leave because it is not safe. For example, the occupant on the living room couch is obviously sick with coughing, sneezing, etc. The occupant refuses to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing. Reducing Appraiser Covid safety risks is important.

For lots more information, read my August 1, 2020 newsletter on Covid at www.appraisaltoday.com/coronavirus including a list of topics. Lots of information on personal protection such as face masks, gloves, etc.

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