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Degree of Importance


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I struggle with this alot. To me there are things that need to be repaired now and things that need repair.

In other words if a client asks me "When should it be repaired?" The answer would depend on what it is. If its a safety matter there is no other answer then to repair it right now as soon as you can. If its something that will cause damage or further deterioration then the answer is the same. If its something thats no correct then the answer to that can get problematic.

As far as I am concerned everything I write up should be corrected if they want to avoid and problems now or in the future.

The zoids of course are always trying to get the inspector to differentiate between those things that should be done now and things that can wait. That whole idea is rediculous as in the mind of the buyer every item in need of repairs has a cost of correction associated with it and its just dishonest thinking to try and say that items not in need of repair right now are not worthy of consideration.

I don't think it is right to try and minimize something by indicating that it could be taken care of as part of normal maintenance or saying something like this.

I have a problem with that idea. There is just not enough information there and any hint of delaying consideration for later is likely to get an inspector into trouble because all of the ramifications were not addressed.

Whats your opinion on the degree of importance aspect in report writing?

Chris, Oregon

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It's a personal decision. Sometimes it's easy; if the only thing wrong is a bad roof, I say the roof. Sometimes it's really complicated; how important is EIFS?

Everyone has their own expectations, desires, & perceptions of everything; imagining I can know what's important to every customer is not realistic.

If a realtor asks me what's important, I defer to my customer; I tell 'em flat out "I don't put words in my customers mouths; it's their decision. If they want to talk it over w/me, I'll be glad to oblige, then they can get back to you". Basically, I don't talk to realtors if I an help it.

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I get asked that a lot, too. "What are the most important items that should be addressed?"

Excluding a shot roof or failed heat exchanger, or something similarly egregious, I say, "Well, but I don't like to do that. If I tell you to take care of twelve specific defects, the thirteenth is the one that'll wind up executing your mother-in-law. I think all of the flubs should be addressed."

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BTW, I initiated this post as I was writing up the report that resulted later in my Old houses and egress windows post over in the exterior forum.

I was struggling with how aggressive to write up replacement windows on an old house that did not qualify as egress windows and low and behold the zoid went ballistic with that I'll never be reffering you again attitude.

Oh, Well - live and learn

At least I'm trying to get better.

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

I struggle with this alot. To me there are things that need to be repaired now and things that need repair.

Why should that cause you to struggle? Just say which is which.

In other words if a client asks me "When should it be repaired?" The answer would depend on what it is. If its a safety matter there is no other answer then to repair it right now as soon as you can. If its something that will cause damage or further deterioration then the answer is the same. If its something thats no correct then the answer to that can get problematic.

I don't understand why it's problematic. Just describe the condition and the likely consequenses. The buyers have brains, let them figure out their own repair schedule.

As far as I am concerned everything I write up should be corrected if they want to avoid and problems now or in the future.

Well, maybe. But the reality is that there are limitations to what people are willing to spend to make their house "perfect" and there comes a time when you reach a point of diminishing return on repairs. Sometimes people would rather apply their limited resources to cosmetic improvements that they can see and enjoy rather than on mundane improvements that are better for the house over the long term.

The zoids of course are always trying to get the inspector to differentiate between those things that should be done now and things that can wait. That whole idea is rediculous as in the mind of the buyer every item in need of repairs has a cost of correction associated with it and its just dishonest thinking to try and say that items not in need of repair right now are not worthy of consideration.

On the other hand, unless he has unlimited resources, a buyer's got to prioritize the repairs in order to formulate a game plan. If the repairs lack some sort of scale of relative merit, the buyer can't prioritize effectively.

I don't think it is right to try and minimize something by indicating that it could be taken care of as part of normal maintenance or saying something like this.

But what if it is something that's a normal maintenance task? Is is right to endow all defects with the same level of importance?

I have a problem with that idea. There is just not enough information there and any hint of delaying consideration for later is likely to get an inspector into trouble because all of the ramifications were not addressed.

Whats your opinion on the degree of importance aspect in report writing?

Chris, Oregon

I think it's like printing a photograph, I want good contrast. If there's too much contrast, everything looks black & white. If there's too little, the photo is all gray & muddy and it's hard to figure out what's going on. There used to be a guy named Jerry Peck who was very active on the inspector forums. He used to preach that "If it isn't right, then it's wrong and it must be fixed." He was a high-contrast kind of guy. Some of the realtor butt-kissing types I know are at the other end of the spectrum. Their reports are one big hedge with qualifiers to modify the qualifiers. Those reports have too little contrast.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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