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Im new to the home inspection business and will be taking my state test this friday..i was wondering if people can give me some advice on what to do and what not to do in my early home inspection career and share the mistakes you wish you could of done differently

also, direct me to a website that sells home inspection tools/software/etc. and recommend which software to use?

thanks

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Originally posted by jangalang32

Im new to the home inspection business and will be taking my state test this friday..i was wondering if people can give me some advice on what to do and what not to do in my early home inspection career and share the mistakes you wish you could of done differently

thanks

Leave the house exactly the way you found it. Not doing so, even in the most miniscule way, caused me more headaches early on than any *inspecting* thing I might have done wrong.

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thats it, really? you turn something on that you shouldnt of?

when it comes to hands on experience did anybody not have much training on site?

i have a job that is part time work but full time pay which is why i am doing HI's to fill my time so i want to take my time feeling comftorable but even going into this state test i dont feel anywhere close to being ready to do a home inspection

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Originally posted by jangalang32

...give me some advice on what to do and what not to do in my early home inspection career and share the mistakes you wish you could of done differently.

I was mentored for over 100 inspections before turning myself loose on the innocent public. If starting over, I would spend those hundred inspections being mentored by each of the top ten inspectors in the country.

also, direct me to a website that sells home inspection tools/software/etc. and recommend which software to use?
Go to the front page www.inspectorsjournal.com and scroll down to the Hi-essentials ad in the right column. You won't find any better prices on tools.
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Originally posted by inspecthistoric

I was mentored for over 100 inspections before turning myself loose on the innocent public. If starting over, I would spend those hundred inspections being mentored by each of the top ten inspectors in the country.

Right on. Once I chose this path, did the class, and easily passed the test, I figured out I would be totally useless to a customer. I, too, learned under an inspector whom I greatly respect. He also sent me out with a couple others. I did a little over 100, and wrote a complete report for each one.

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Originally posted by jangalang32

thats it, really? you turn something on that you shouldnt of?

Yeah, really. You asked for mistakes made early on.

You wanna get a call at 10:00PM about a gate you left open, and now the new $3,000 puppy is gone?

You wanna get a call about a furnace door that fell off around midnight and went *bang* and the police were called?

You wanna leave a furnace off in vacant house in January (in Chicago), and have the pipes freeze and burst and flood the house?

I did all the above, and many, many more such 'till I took the due diligence not to. Took me about the first thousand jobs or so 'till I got the routine down. No more calls...none.

I've done over 6,000 jobs, and offered you the advice in the hopes it might help ya, but if you think it's trite, then put it where it will do you the least amount of good ( & lemme know if you need any suggestions where to put it).

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Jerry, sorry about the bad breaks, but it's actually comforting to know I'm not the only person who did some bonehead things when I was starting out.

The first house I looked at on my own, I operated the garage door and ripped the bracket out of the sheet metal 'cause the lock was engaged.

A couple of weeks later, I neglected to reset a GFCI in a garage and destroyed the contents of a freezer.

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I'm still new enough that I don't need to go back really. I went out on my first job thinking I was going to deliver a computer generated report on site. NOT!!! The software can make the job of an experienced inspector more efficient but I would not recommend it for a newbie.

1. Plan on it taking you way longer then you expect.

2. Make a checklist on paper for a clipboard and follow it. Use it to gather information. Don't get side tracked when you see stuff that is not where you are on the list. Stick to the list and you will eventually get to everything.

3. Use a digital camera and take lots of pictures of the problems you find. Refer to the list notes and combine with the pictures to build a report at home.

4. Practice on some friends and family homes and pretend it's the real thing.

Here's a checklist that I use. I usually circle the areas that I need to report on. I add notes in the blanks and observations area on each page. It has its flaws so I don't present it as perfect. Edit it all you want to your liking. The blue text on the list are things that NAHI and my state require that I list in the report. As fas as the rest of the things on the list are concerned, I only comment on what needs attention. The check list makes sure I at least look at everything, and, it gives me a place to note what I need to write about.

Download Attachment: icon_word.gif NEW CHECKLIST.doc

83.9 KB

Here is a report template I made. Use it if you want. You'll have to edit out my company name and insert yours. Go to my website where you'll find a link to a sample report on my home page so you can see how the template turns out as a final product. I convert the Word doc to PDF before emailing it. This makes it a bit more difficult to be tampered with. It's just too easy for a report in Word to be changed, even if by mistake.

Download Attachment: icon_word.gif The Master Report old header.doc

41.93 KB

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Don't let the realtor tell you how, when, where, or what to inspect. If they hit you with the line about "you have to do the MBR first because blah, blah, blah......", tell 'em you don't work that way.

It's your game, and you're going to run it. It ain't a team effort (a line I stole from WJ).......

Charge more than your competitors........and.......

Don't walk away when the jetted tub is filling........

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Remember you're in someone's home. Treat it as such and leave it just as you found it. If a light is on, leave it on. If a window or door is unlocked return it to that state. Make sure you tell the agent about these things.

Look at everything from more than one angle, near, far, light, no light, add flashlight

I use tricks to help me remember things. I always change the temp in 10 degree increments. I put my pen on the keyboard if I am running a test.

Start the bubbly tub water when you enter the master. Do the bedroom and work your way into the bath.

Inspect a bit and write a bit. I do bedrooms 2, 3 etc and then the hall bath. I find there are more details to remember about the bath. Now run back to the computer.

You will have to develop your protocol.

Develop a close relationship with a good inspector. Use him/her for counsel or on the spot help.

Work hard to keep your mind clear.

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After you inspect the house go back and do it again.

Make you you recheck the areas that you found something wrong. The reason is because you can be seeing the major item and overlook some small there.

Take your time when doing the inspection. It not a foot race.

Try to do some ride alongs with good inspectors. You may have to go out of your area to do this.

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Get a good quality digital camera with at least 5x optical zoom and image stabilization. Know how to use it (for example, how to switch to spot metering and focus and back as required). Take wide angle pictures as required at high resolution to completely cover the exterior, attic, and each utility area. Ditto for each electrical panel, door closed showing location, door open /w deadfront on showing circuit directory if present, than interior shots as required to show everything in the panel. You will end up referring back to them frequently during your first inspections. I still take them out of habit, and occasionally still find them useful. If you use photos to document models and SN's be sure to review each picture as taken to insure legibility.

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

The job was fun until the RE lobbyists started making the rules.

I thought this way for a while, but since I'm not getting out of this gig alive, I'm getting cantankerous.

I make fun of realtors. It's not hard to make them look silly. All you have to do is watch them in action, and report the facts.

Overpaid professional door unlockers. Everyone knows it nowadays. At least all my customers do. I had someone the other day say right in front of both realtors....

"Forget realtors. Give me a good real estate attorney and a good home inspector. I'll take care of the rest."

It's the future.

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