Part II Worst Inspection Report

January 22, 2006 · Print This Article

Bob Kille Acuspect Home InspectionAs promised, the rest of the “Worst Inspection Report”.

In the last post on this topic I eluded that the report format was basically a check box with some arcane letters standing for a particular condition. When a notable defect or condition was encountered the inspector added a corresponding color-coded comment. The rest of the text of the report was mostly disclaimers and minor adjuncts as to how the inspection was performed.

So, what happens with this type of report is that, the reader quickly surmises that all he has to do is read any colored comment and he’ll have assimilated the germane issues of condition prior to escrow. What you have to remember though, is what effect color and font type/size has on the reader. The buyer as most realtors recognize is already in a state of buyer’s remorse and is looking for either a confirmation that the choice was a good one or an easy way to keep looking without explaining his fears. The (RED) color coding may not seem like a grievous error on its own but added together with the rest of the mistakes makes mountains out of mole hills.

The rest of the mistakes? Well, I didn’t spend too much time unwrapping this story but in the few moments I did leaf through the report the following small errors caught my eye.

First thing I noticed right off was that the summary was at the end of the report and in the same red ink to further inflame the buyer’s psyche. These along with the small italic text (10pt), which can only further frustrate someone who’s anxious and has poor eyesight.

Also included in the report were pages such as “Crawl Space” when none existed. And weird comments such as “Did not walk flat roof – viewed from ladder with binoculars”

The next objection I had was that some of the comments had two recommendations listed instead of one. Comments should always follow the: Observed, Warning & Recommendation sequence for the observed condition condensing any recommendations into one statement such as: “Further review is recommended for a better understanding of repair/replacement costs and/or present condition”. Recommending how to fix or repair something should be avoided.

I only know the following because I was asked to perform the same inspection just days after this inspector made his appearance. The inspector missed broken seals at 3 large thermo panes and an improper roofing tile installation at the ridge.

Try to make your reports follow a logical sequence in plain type large enough for the average 60 year old with as little red ink as possible. If you include a summary, be sure its placed at the beginning of the report. The sum of the parts always adds up to the whole, and if the whole experience of using your service isn’t outstanding in the opinion of both the buyer and Realtor, your days are numbered.

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link.


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