4 Time Saving Tips When Creating an Electronic Home Inspection Report

This article is going to discuss four tips that home inspectors can use to save time and become more efficient while creating their home inspection reports. The time saved can be used elsewhere such as working on their company website, marketing campaigns, or more time with their family.

Tip 1 – Use Software in the Field
Using home inspection software on a portable device in the field allows an inspector to create the report as they inspect. Depending on the software, this can be done on a laptop, tablet, or handheld device. Once the inspector finishes their inspection, the report is complete. The inspector can choose to go back to the office and make any final changes before delivering it, such as adding pictures and adding final comments, or deliver it to the client in the field. Many home inspectors are still using paper to do their inspections and not taking advantage of field reporting software. Using software on-site saves the inspector time by eliminating the need to create the inspection report a second time back at the office.

Tip 2 – Use Customized Forms
Another tip for inspectors is to use a customized home inspection form or template that suits them and their inspection style. Using a customized form that the inspector is comfortable with will save them time while filling out their inspection report on-site. They can choose the order in which the sections of the home appear in their software to match the order in which they inspect. Inspectors can also make one time changes for a specific property or make permanent changes to their template. For example, an inspector in Florida could delete the ‘Basement’ section in their report, since most of the properties they will be inspecting will not have basements. Using a form that is suited for an inspector will save them time and allow their inspection process to be more efficient.

Tip 3 – Use Dropdown Lists
The third tip for saving time is to select common answers from the software’s dropdown lists. Most inspection software programs already come with preloaded narratives. It is important that an inspector continues to build their library of narratives with their own comments to eliminate the amount of typing they have to do. Over time an inspector’s library will grow and give them the ability to choose very quickly from several different choices. This will eliminate the need to type out each narrative and will save a great deal of time each inspection. Typing takes a lot of time in the field and any chance an inspector has to eliminate it, is a benefit to them and their inspection process.

Tip 4 – Preload Data into Report
The last time saving tip for home inspectors is to fill out any information they may have about the home before they arrive on-site for the inspection. A home inspector should be able to fill out most of the general information about the home beforehand. Inspectors can use their knowledge of the area to fill out common information ahead of time as well. For example, if a specific subdivision has all asphalt driveways or hardwood floors, they can go ahead and put that information into their report. Filling out information ahead of time will not only save them time when creating their report, but it will also be one less thing they have to worry about in the field.

Using the tips listed above, an inspector will be able to save time and become more efficient while creating their home inspection report. Saving time will allow an inspector to schedule more inspections and also have more time to spend on other areas of their business.

Some Home Inspection Tips for Buyers

Homebuyers want home inspection tips as they consider making a large financial investment. Tips about home inspection are especially valuable for those who have not purchased a house before. This article is intended to provide such readers the most important pointers to follow so that the real estate buying process is not so overwhelming.

The home inspection tips contained herein address three primary concerns, namely, how to select a home inspector, how to ensure you get the inspection you want and need, and how to get the most benefit out of the inspection report. These pointers apply whether or not you are working with a real estate agent. In fact, if you are working with an agent, these tips will help you get more involved so that the agent doesn’t make all or even some decisions unilaterally.

Our first tip is to consider why you should have the house you plan to buy inspected. There are various motives or reasons for doing so, the most common of which is to avoid buying a money pit. Sometimes the lender requires an inspection, and in general it’s a good idea to discover what may need to be remedied prior to closing. Also, though at one time a home warranty policy was commonly incorporated into the purchase agreement (perhaps seller and buyer sharing the cost), today the home inspection is in essence the only step taken to protect one’s investment.

But this makes it all the more important to get a report that covers all the bases and serves as a kind of owner’s manual to help you get acquainted to your new residence. Unfortunately, too often the inspection is somewhat rushed or even cursory. Minor problems might get glossed over and occasionally a serious major defect is missed. In such a case, if damages occur down the road, the buyer has some recourse by filing a claim, assuming the inspector is bonded. But the liability may be limited to the price of the inspection.

So our second tip is to find a home inspector who is thorough and who writes a complete report that puts everything he finds in proper perspective. If something is wrong, it is important to know what the implications are, just how serious the problem is, and how necessary it is to fix it.

To accomplish this, your inspector should not be too beholden to the real estate agent. If his primary goal is to please the agent (so he can continue to get referrals), he may take shortcuts. (Agents in general prefer quick inspections and summarized findings of major issues only.)

Don’t ignore or discount an inspector referral from your agent, but ask for more than one name and research them. (Most inspectors have a website with sample reports, and you may find there or elsewhere reviews or client testimonials appraising their work.) Be sure you are going to get the kind of home inspection you want before choosing the inspector.

Our third tip builds on the first two and is similar to them. The first tip was the why, whereas the second advises care in determining who inspects the house and how it is inspected. This next tip advises taking care to establish what is inspected.

A number of things can cause an inspector to exclude items from the inspection. Examples are Standards of Practice, his contract, the utilities not being on, inaccessibility due to blocking objects or locked doors, and dangerous situations. Some of these things are under the inspector’s control, some are not, but he is not liable for unintended exclusions and will charge the same fee despite them.

Thus, we recommend reviewing the contract carefully, identifying normally excluded items you want included and possibly normally included items you don’t care about. Also, be sure that lender requirements and constraints will be accommodated. Discuss changes to the list of exclusions and inclusions with the inspector, potentially negotiating a reduced inspection fee.

Then, we advise leaving as little to chance as possible. Ask the inspector what his expectations are to ensure that all inclusions are actually inspected. Relay this information to your real estate agent, who is responsible for seeing that the expectations are met by making arrangements with the owner via the owner’s listing agent. Now, any unintended exclusions that arise would suggest a deliberately uncooperative seller.

Our fourth tip is to get maximum leverage out of the inspection report. Study all findings in the body, not just the major items listed in the summary. If you followed our second tip faithfully, there should be nothing unclear, vague, or out of context. Even so, don’t hesitate to ask the inspector for explanations or elaborations, who should be more than willing to comply.

Some findings may be purely informational and not defects. Some defects may be more or less trivial and not worth pursuing. Serious problems can be addressed in three different ways: as deal breakers, causing you to withdraw your offer; as things you want the seller to remedy prior to closing at his expense; or as conditions you will accept possibly with some form of compensation such as reduced sales price.

We advise against sharing the inspection report with the seller or listing agent. You have paid for it and it belongs to you. The lender may require a copy, but you may request him to keep it confidential. Simply work up a brief contract addendum with your agent covering items falling into the last two categories mentioned in the previous paragraph.

By following these home inspection tips, you stand the best chance of minimizing if not eliminating home-buying surprises.

The Reality Of Home Inspections

Home inspections are one of the most necessary steps in the purchase of any home, new or old. as a home is a major purchase, likely the most major purchase, and the most expensive purchase you will ever make, it only makes sense to ensure that you are getting what you paid for. Make sure that when you have the home inspected it is by a reputable and in dependent home inspector. It is their job to examine every aspect of the home and to make sure that not only is it safe, but that the seller has been earnest with their disclosure about the home. They can also help to find things that the seller may not have been aware of themselves. This is especially true in homes where the seller has not owned the home for an extended period of time.

Inspections are are a required aspect of real estate sales. They are in place to ensure that the home that is transferring hands is safe and livable. Inspectors visually check many aspects of the home during an average inspection. The most notable things are the home’s systems like plumbing, heating, electrical and so on. Another major aspect of a home inspection is the checking of the foundation and home itself for structural stability. If there is a problem like cracks in the foundation or leaks in the basement an inspection will identify these problems so that they can be dealt with before the sale is complete.

One thing that many regular inspections don’t look at that should be looked at is the possibility of mold in the home. Some inspectors are not fully versed in the identification of mold so it would benefit you greatly to find an inspector who is trained in the identification of mold. This will be particularly important in any home that is in close proximity to a water source such as a lake or river. Is is important to know about mold in a home as certain types of mold can be extremely harmful. Mold of any sort can inflame allergies and conditions of the respiratory system.

Don’t sell yourself short on a home purchase and be wary of any seller who seems to want to have the inspection step skipped. Maybe they are trying to hide something? Unless you get the inspection you may never know for sure.