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Kaplan ITA's Monthly Inspection Tips - Free Electronic Newsletter

February, 2003
Report Writing & On-Site Techniques
Issue #10

Dear Inspector,

This month I would like to discuss a few report writing and on-site techniques. First and most important it is imperative that the client understand the report, including the magnitude of items found. Items of high magnitude would include conditions that could be expensive to repair and/or would be a significant safety hazard (regardless of cost). One of the best ways to be sure the client understands is to invite them to be at the inspection. If they are unable to accompany you then request they at least attend a "wrap-up" on site at the end of the inspection. Be sure to always say what you write and write what you say to reduce misinterpretation of the report.

Another technique I use often is to ask the seller questions (in front of my client and as many witnesses as possible) about certain conditions found at the home. Often we will find items, for example, a water stain on the ceiling under a bathroom that appears old. Most of the time it may be impossible to determine the cause of the stain without destructive testing. I will ask the seller regarding the cause of the stain, and if the source was successfully repaired. I will many times write their answer in my report. If the seller is not available then I will direct my client to inquire with the seller regarding the condition found. There is a limit to what we can ascertain during a three or four hour inspection. There are also limitations depending upon the season, personal items blocking access, etc. Be sure to discuss the limitations and reasonable expectations of a home inspection with the client.

Mike Casey
Kaplan Professional Schools
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