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Kaplan ITA's Monthly Inspection Tips - Free Electronic Newsletter

August, 2005
Issue #40

This month I would like to discuss re-inspections, based upon the question below from an Kaplan instructor.


How about something on how to handle changes to an existing report? For instance, if during the inspection the water is off, the roof is old, or you are not allowed into any area. Two days later the agent calls to say the water is on, the roof has been replaced and now you can get into that room. Do you rewrite the report; send a letter, or an addendum to the report?

It sounds simple but I have found that there is not always a clear answer to this. Some agents don't want a change to an existing report; they want a complete report with no additional letters. To them it is a flag and they don't what a buyer to see changes.


In my opinion the best plan is to prevent a revisit in the first place. I always ask the agent or client during the booking process if the house is vacant. If so, the next question is "are the utilities all turned on?" Of course there are conditions that occur occasionally wherein some area is not accessible; utilities are suddenly turned off, etc.

In those cases where a revisit is necessary I believe an entirely new report is unreasonable. I have always written what I call an addendum to the original report dated____. The first paragraph is always an explanation as to why the addendum was necessary, such as due to no utilities at the time of the original inspection, unavailable areas, etc. I then list the systems or areas now available for inspection and their condition. I would not consider an addendum a "change" to the original report, only a list of systems or areas that were unavailable during the original inspection. The addendum now "completes" the original report as there would have been notes in the original report about the systems or areas that were not inspected due to whatever reasons.

Now the new roof is another issue; that is a change from the condition of the home during the original inspection. I would note it appears the roof has been replaced and to obtain any warranty information from the seller. If it had not rained in the two days you mention I would note that the weather has not yet tested the water-tightness of the roof.

I generally don't like performing re-inspections of items noted in my original report that have been "repaired." Most of the time they are not corrected or repairs are inferior. For this reason I charge a high fee for correction re-inspections and ask that the invoices from licensed repair companies be there at the site for my review. Re-inspections of condition corrections open up the workmanship/code compliance/adequacy arena. In the few instances when I am asked to do a re-inspection of corrected items I always make it clear in my report I am only verifying that a correction was made, not its adequacy, future performance, etc.

We'll talk next month,

Mike Casey
Kaplan Professional Schools
Now You're Ready For Business!™



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