Comparing Home Inspection Reports
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, ALL HOME INSPECTORS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. A home inspection is not just a formality. A home inspector brings with him various levels of knowledge, experience and training or expertese. Another vital component that needs to be taken into consideration is the reporting system.
When interviewing inspectors a question that needs to be asked is what type of a report is provided and what the typical length is. First of all make sure that you are getting a computer generated report. There are some inspectors out there that will still hand you a hand written report on site. Next find out if ther report provided is a checklist report, a narrative report or a combination? Also be sure to ask if the report will contain digital photos, especially of hard to explain items or areas that are not easily seen by the buyer such as on the roof or in the attic.
Checklist reports tend to be short, vague and uninformative. They provide information for a particular component that tells whether is is serviceable, fair, good, poor, etcetera. There is no detail invoved and comments are often generic and not tailored to a particular home. Checklist and narrative combination reports are slightly more informative but there is still a lack of clarity and does not provide an accurate assessment of a property.
A narrative report provides the most helpful knowledge to a perspective buyer. It can explain in detail, locations, components conditions that are easlily understandable. An inspector can also provide suggestions for long term care and maintenance if an item is a relatively minor issue that just needs basic care. Narrative comments can also be more helpful to buyers when asking for repairs or to sellers that are trying to accomodate the buyer’s request. This type of report truly reflects the knowledge and expertese of the inspector. Make sure to ask to see a sample of the reporting system used before making an appointment.
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