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Danny T

Do You Give Reports To The Buyer "On Site?"

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Hello Guys. Glad I found this forum. Seems to be a lot of useful info on here. I'm in the process of training and I'm very excited to be entering this field. The course that I'm currently taking suggests that the Inspection Report should be given to the buyer "on site." Since I'm a newbie and you guys have forgotten more about this business than I know at this point, I'd like to get some opinions on this. Wouldn't it be best to check and double check everything after you leave the inspection to tweak the report if needed?

I saw a thread with a similar discussion, but it was a little old and I didn't know if maybe some opinions might have changed.

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I'm sure others will disagree, but I advise against giving the final report on site if you are working solo. My practice is to walk through the home with my clients upon completing the inspection. They will get a verbal debriefing on site but not a written report.

In writing the report I like to review my photos in case I notice something new. I also like the ability to research things online or otherwise before I state an opinion to the buyer. And I think most software that lets you produce a report quickly on site trades detail for speed. If you work as a team or with a partner that isn't an issue, but I work alone. Again, that's just my opinion and others may achieve good results doing everything on site. But I prefer to be a little more deliberate and write my reports seated comfortably at my desk.

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Tried it for a while. Found myself remembering details afterward that I'd wanted in the report. Found myself also seeing a lighbulb go on in a thought cloud afterward that would have explained something that nobody understood at the time.

He's teaching you how to race. Get in, get it done, delliver the report and tear off down the street for the next inspection. Get in, get it done, deliver the report and tear off......

It's not a race. If the customer's agent is sweating bullets because things are up against the deadline, either the agent or the customer dragged their feet before setting up the inspection. Sometimes it's agent instigated - the old line, "If we go in with a shorter inspection window there's more of a chance your offer will be accepted. Let's ask for a 3 day or a 5 day window instead of ten days." It's a scam. Agents on both sides of the transaction know that good thorough inspectors are booked at least a week to ten days out; if they force a situation where the customer can't get those guys, the customer ends up with the second string guy and there's more of a chance that the second string guy will be hungrier and not as picky because he'll want to get future referrals. They know this, they've always known it, and they use it to their advantage - even honest agents aren't above doing it because they don't have a guaranty that the guy that can make it sooner won't be as experienced or as thorough; still, they can hope, can't they?

So the school guy is teaching you how to make it easier for the agent and slathers it with a good heavy dose of, "This is what the customer want," when the customer has no idea what he or she wants. He's teaching you how to be a toadie.

You're new. Take your time and do it right and in two years when you go back and look at the reports you'd delivered the first six months in the business, you'll marvel at how lousy your reports were and wonder how it is you hadn't been sued out of business. Rush it, and in two years, as you are taking the bus back to Nickelsville or some other tent city 'cuz you lost everything, you'll look back on your decision to become a home inspector as the worst decision you'd ever made in your life.

I say again. It's not a race. I tell folks I have two inspection speeds.....slow and careful.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike's right.

My reports take twice as long as the inspection. That's why I can handle but one inspection per day. I'm not saying it's ok. It's too long but I've yet to see any HI software that follows the algorithm I use and my algorithm is ridiculously simple. I've been hunting software for months looking for bits and pieces that do what I need, checking for compatibility and trying to put them together to get a process that saves time. Can't say I've made much progress. On top of that, there's additional report features I've seen in software not specifically designed for HI's that I want to add.

Turn in the report onsite? Not in ten years, not ever.

Marc

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Great advice and responses. When the instructor mentioned this, it didn't sound exactly right to me. A little common sense entered into my thought process. I'd rather submit the best possible report I can and take a little more time, rather than try to rush just for the sake of getting it to them on site.

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Sometimes when people speak about something, they're actually saying more about themselves than that 'something'.

Letting your common sense guide you is not a bad idea.

Marc

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Our residential reports are emailed by 5:00 PM on the next business day after the inspection. Commercial and multi-family reports are often 48 hours after.

I've never had an issue - other than occasionally an agent will ask "We'll have the report tonight, right?". I give 'em a quick "nope" and that's the end of it.

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In my neck of the woods, there are some realtors who prefer inspectors who deliver the report on site, so that they can work up and get signed an inspection addendum by the client and be done with all the hassle and stress of trying to meet up again with the client and rehash over the clients concerns.

Good for the realtor, bad for the client.

The vast majority of realtors are fine with getting the report within 24 - 48 hours.

There's another set of realtors who just want you to do the inspection as fast as you can, so that they can go get their hair done or go shopping. This group could care less if you gave them a report onsite and would prefer you not do it if it adds to their time on site.

The only time I find clients asking for an onsite report is when they are going out of town or they are at the end of their inspection period.

A 24 hour cooling off period or sleeping on it model I think is best for everybody.

Chris, Oregon

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Danny T. -

I'm in the same camp as all who have already posted above.

I provide my clients what I call a "verbal book report" of my findings and that is a preview of what will be in my report that they often get by 10PM or midnight, but usually the next day.

There are so many clues from images captured and reviewed and other data points that involve (not always, but often) additional research that are also added to the report.

Most of the HIs (in our DFW market) who deliver reports on-site are characterized as the 'production' or 'drive-by' (aka: McDonalds) inspector.

Agents love 'em.

Do what is right for you. Be patient and serve your client well.

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I can and have in the past produced a pretty thorough paper report onsite. It may be that your instructor is of the old paper report school - a checklist with a few hand written comments.

If your report is to include pictures, you will be clicking away on your keypad, iPad, whatever with client and agent breathing down your neck, can't be done properly.

When I see a rushed report, it will have canned comments that have nothing to do with the house in question, lack of editing time. A mistake on a report will come back to haunt you.

I give my clients a hand written summary in a little booklet that includes invoice, contract, info sheets on asbestos or Al wiring, generic cost estimates, etc. My writing is neat and legible, and I have always done onsite reporting, so this is how I transitioned to the digital report system. My reports are full of pictures, but there are few surprises, because they already have the summary.

Don't write a summary by hand if you never learned to write in school. If you can type and print a summary, ok.

What goes in the summary varies with the house and the clients. I will sometimes put good things in there, like I found no vermiculite, that's important news sometimes to somebody that is deathly afraid of it.

Writing a summary and handing it off to the client is what I do, but it may not work for you, and you have to stress that the full report is still on the way. Good luck.

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A family member of mine allowed the listing agent to "handle" the inspection. Inspector, according to agent, could not find anything wrong. Nothing wrong = no report issued. No problem, no charge to buyer, who called inspector to ask about some tub caulking or whatever. He told her, Oh! That's the house I found nothing wrong with! No hint of how much grease hit the open palm.

I told family member, No inspection report equals no inspection done.

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A family member of mine allowed the listing agent to "handle" the inspection. Inspector, according to agent, could not find anything wrong. Nothing wrong = no report issued. No problem, no charge to buyer, who called inspector to ask about some tub caulking or whatever. He told her, Oh! That's the house I found nothing wrong with! No hint of how much grease hit the open palm.

I told family member, No inspection report equals no inspection done.

We inspectors all know that there's no such thing as "nothing wrong." It's really a matter of how "wrong" the conditions actually are. And if the referring agent wants there to be "nothing" wrong, then that agent will choose an inspector who plays along with the charade...

The buyer often loses under that scenario.

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I have written 3000+ hand written reports. If there is a plus, it is in writing very short concise remarks.

Those were the days.

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My clients will have their report via email within a few hours after the inspection. I can track when the report is viewed and I would say that the agent looks at the report hours after it is available if not the next day a large percentage of the time.

I just see no need to rush to produce a report on site when all of the liability rest on your shoulders.

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I delivered on site for many years. Now nothing is written on site. I've got time to think things out which creates a better report. If you're hell bent on money money money then this will not work for you and the caliber of your report will be different from that which many of us produce.

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I printed and delivered on-site thousands of reports but have not done so in several years. When I look back on those old reports I am kind of embarrassed at their quality and content but that was the standard in those days. The funny thing is that clients and agents always told me how great my reports were. I think kurt M. always said that the clients think anything you give them is great because they don't know any better.

After 20 years inspecting houses you would think that things would get easier, but today the actual inspection takes me longer and now I have additional report writing time at home. But the good news is I now get more referrals from past clients that agents so I like to think I'm doing something right.

To the OP, delivering reports onsite is were the industry was 10 years ago. Take your time and produce a top quality report. Your future success depends on it.

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As you break into this business you will most likely find that report writing is the most difficult part. If you're producing a quality report using software, you will most likely find that it takes as much or more time as the actual inspection.

As a new inspector you will come accoss things that you are not sure of, don't know if it's wrong or right, etc. You will need to be able to go back home to research things in order to produce an acurate report.

I've been inspecting homes for 7 years now. I can't imagine of ever doing a report onsite. As others have said, times have changed, the days of simple checklist reports that are done onsite are a thing of the past. Clients and Realtors expect a good report that can be e-mailed and has photos to show where, what, and why.

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Uhm, you realize this post is two years old, right?

Not that some posts and topics don't deserve a rehashing now and then.

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