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Who here completes the report before they leave the property?!

I take several photos and notes, take it all back to the office (home) and compile the report and deliver (and/or email) it the next morning (color laser printer, heavy weight paper and coil ring bound; very profesional look!). [;)]

I've been scalded by local inspectors that it's foolish to not have the report done the minute the inspection is complete (using a Palm tech like software). "...never leave with the property with the report not complete."

What are the pros and cons of each?!

I know I'm missing something, but I don't see how it's possible to deliver a custom inspection report with 'canned comments'. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea but I can't understand how it's done. I take several hours to write a single report. And yes, I'm up late every night writing!!!! I would LOVE to leave the home knowning I'm DONE, and not dread the seveal hours I have remaining to write it up!!! :)

Thanks,

Haubeil

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Don't listen to the lemmings.

About once every couple weeks I'm able to finish a report on site, but that's about it.

It's me & the computer every evening; sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes an hour or so. Somtimes 2 hours. Beats watching crappy TV as far as I'm concerned.

I like the calm & privacy of being in my office w/all my reference material on hand in case I need it, and there are no distractions like there are @ the site.

I send mine out electronically though, in a .pdf file. Their paper, their ink, their time. Everyone likes it better than fancy paper because it can be distributed so easily.

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My reports get written at home where I can think about what I saw at the inspection and use the resources on the shelf and internet to back up my findings. The inspections have been averaging over 3.5 hours and I’m so busy talking to the buyers the whole time that all I have time to do is take digital notes (pictures). This time doesn’t include Termite, Well, Septic and Radon tests and inspections. I schedule only one inspection per day to keep me from staying up all night doing reports.

All reports are emailed and mailed. Being an Ohio boy, I use Palm-Tech and have upgraded to 5.0. Now I can integrate pictures and text, great new feature.

Most inspectors in our area that give out reports at the time of inspection are using preprinted check-list or a franchised report.

I suggest doing what is best for your client and doing your best for the client.

Ezra Malernee

Canton, Ohio

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Hi Ezra!

It's been a while since we've heard from you Bro! Good to see you back in the crib!

I could do mine on-site. Hell, I helped tailor the danged software for just that purpose. However, my inspections are generally 3 to 3-1/2 hours minimum. People start squirming when I sit there working on the report and printing, so I opt not to do it that way unless absolutely necessary.

About 90 out of 100 are done by taking down notes, bringing them home and then putting all of it into the computer.

I like the fact that I can sit at home, work on the report without anyone breathing down my neck and crank up the Irish folk music.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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One a day-loads of digital pictures-some field notes. Back to my lonely home office. Report gets written (computer) up where The Home Inspector Boy can refer to his extensive technical library and is not distracted by customers and their entourage. Nothing like a couple of hours reviewing the days activities with an ample supply of Guinness. We can e-mail, then print for snail mail, if requested.

Pretty slow in the Boston area-good time to clean out and upgrade the tool bag.[:-banghea

Jack Ahern Needham on the Charles and Bridgton, Maine

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I never complete mine onsite. At home, I blow up digital pictures to look for things I might have missed. Onsite I just stick the camera under sinks, plumbing access spaces, chimneys, and all places with limited access, attics. I try to get pics of all appliances, water heater, condenser, furnace and faceplates for each. I try to cut down my time onsite to allow me to do a better report from home.

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I don't write anything down during the inspection. I photograph every item I see that's noteworthy and base my report, which I write later, on my memory and the photos. It keeps me from having to carry a bunch of stuff around and it makes the realtors nervous that I take all those photos. That alone is worth adopting the method.

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Today was the first time I did one on location; after a lot of begging by the realtor because the home buyers wife had a baby yesterday, living in a hotel, needed super fast closing, etc... So I did it on location and while I'm not having to spend the usualy 1-2 hours at home on the report. I truely do not feel it was the best quality product. I'll continue to write my reports at home and e-mail it out as a PDF, location reports will be few and far between.

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It's all what you're used to.

I'va done mine on site now since 1993 and it's worked out fine. I like being "done" when I leave the property. When I do take my info off site to write in the evening and send pdf., I often wish I hadn't because I'll realize there is comething I wish I could recall and can't. Also, I feel like I've devoted 50% more time to a property than I needed to with no real added benefit and that bugs me.

My complaints to inspection ratio has remained consistently about .25% per year, which clearly confirms that completing an inspection report on site need not be an inferior way to do the job. Last year it was zero.

So, again, each of us clearly has a routine that works for us and keeps us out of trouble.

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There’s a common theme here. Do what it takes to make you feel comfortable with your product.

I’m a slow typist. I use the laptop on site for basic boiler plate comments(no omissions that way), deliberate spelling errors that are memory prompts for custom comments, the photos (a second scan for omissions)for details with the memory prompts. I can often finish the am report over a 2 hour lunch and the pm in the midnight hour. It all depends on the house. Most of the market here is repetitive. No basements and very few over 50. No wait, they are all a pain. I mean really bad and the clients are all a pain.

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I feel like you mgb I like being finished when I leave. I probably complete 10% at home. If I feel I need to research something or the house is so disgusting that I just want to get out because my skin is crawling, then I'll go home. Another reason I don't like doing them at home it seems to take me twice as long at home with all the distractions there. There has been a time when I have finished at the property and I've been driving home and said "crap" and forgot to put something in the report.

I always tell the client the emailed copy they receive that night always supersedes the printed one on site, in case of changes.

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

I ............ it makes the realtors nervous that I take all those photos. That alone is worth adopting the method.

I've noticed that side benefit; they all hang around nervously asking why I'm taking so many pictures.

Whatever makes one comfortable is good, but I also think that's what the dinosaurs said. Checklists & incomplete sentences sans photos just isn't going to cut it in this business much longer.

Sticking w/what is comfortable is not good necessarily good business practice.

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Approximately 90+ percent of my customers want and appreciate an on site report. Life down south in by gone days was slow and easy going. Not any more. Some of them wait until the day before their time for inspection expires and are in a hissy fit wanting the inspection done yesterday. I have found that a lot of the problem is their Realtor not advising them properly.

As for incomplete sentences they are obviously not good. I am guilty of that from time to time but I correct them while still on site after my client points them out to me. Some of the client's say don't bother I know what it means.

Paul B.

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I, too, prepare reports on-site with a laptop and print them out so my customer walks away with a physical product in exchange for his/her check. I also use the laptop to create a CD-ROM of all the photos, which I use during the wrap-up to demonstrate what I'm talking about. Cousin Kurt didn't care for this approach when it was discussed in a similar thread several months ago, but it's what works for me. I'm a fairly good typist and a mostly-failed writer who is fairly adept at describing deficiencies in a house in clear, concise sentences. And, of course, I find myself describing similar conditions day after day after week after week, so there's already a quasi-boilerplate of what I need to say swarming around inside my head. There are lots of good technical-writing books around that explain how to get to the point and most-importantly-of-all----to communicate.

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Originally posted by Bain

I'm a fairly good typist and a mostly-failed writer who is fairly adept at describing deficiencies in a house in clear, concise sentences. And, of course, I find myself describing similar conditions day after day after week after week, so there's already a quasi-boilerplate of what I need to say swarming around inside my head.

Maybe we are cousins; that description fits me pretty accurately.

(I hit around 115wpm when I'm hot; I used to be able to hit 65wpm w/no mistakes on an old Royal manual.)

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It's SO nice to know That I'm not the only one up until 2 am, every night working on reports.

LOL!!! ...alright, we must be kin!! [;)]

To everyone at TIJ, THANKS!!

I wish y'all were attending the show in Vegas this fall and included on our name tag our TIJ username (and pic)...I would love to meet y'all!!!

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Golly, it sure is difficult to convince fellow inspectors that an on site report isn't a compromise in quality?

In my case, in over 13 years and 8800 inspections, I've never seen the inside of a court room.

Some of my peers have been caught up in vicious lawsuits and were pc guys who wrote impressive reports.

As I've aways claimed, this is at best "an imperfect ART."

How it's presented isn't nearly as important as that it is indeed ALL presented.

Another of my favorite home spun sayings is, "If you wish to be remembered forever, just miss something!"

We are obviously all great inspectors with good reputations and followings.

It's the service, not the wrapping.

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That's almost 700 inspections per year. Hmmmm....

And, how can "all" of it be included w/a checklist? Is it really possible to handwrite a paragraph on a specific building material and still do 700 inspections per year? I don't care how good anyone thinks they are; we are only as good as our next job. Lottsa years & thousands of inspections means something, but not much if we are only working around in our own little bubble.

How would one include "all" of what we know about dryvit, lead paint, goofy mechanical systems, or any of the other complex technical issues we deal w/on a daily basis without having some boilerplate & a PC to get it all written down?

I know your head & heart are in the right place, but I think your kidding yourself on this item. It's not possible to convey all the stuff we have to convey w/checkboxes & incomplete sentences. It just ain't.

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But it's also wrong to summarily dismiss the approach of another if the result is full dissemination of knowledge and a satisfied customer. My reports are thirty pages long(Yes, cousin. I know how you feel about that) and they contain plenty of exposition. But more importantly, I spend thirty minutes to an hour with the customer following the inspection to walk around the house and--for instance--show him/her the soft copper gas-line in the furnace. For attics, crawlspaces, roofs, etc., I take plenty of photos and display each one on my laptop while explaining to the customer what's incorrect and what kind of remedy might be in order. A photo of termite-ridden floor joists or water stained roof decking goes a long way toward making someone understand what's happening in the house he or she is about to buy or walk away from.

People are busy, and it's sophistry to think each and every customer is going to curl up with an inspection report and devour it like it was a tantalizing novel. Do folks actually read the termite report? Or do they simply want a yes or no answer? Same with radon. People typically have no idea of what it is or what its hazards are, but if radon is an issue, well of course let's mitigate. Like I said, the most valuable time for my customers is when they walk through the house with me and check out the photos as I describe what they contain. Everybody has a method to their own particular madness, but I'd much rather spend the extra time with the client instead of typing up notes that may or may not make sense to a layman.

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