Knowing how to write an inspection report is crucial, no matter what level of experience you have as a home inspector. You may be new to the home-inspection field, or you may be a pro who is looking to improve certain processes. Either way, reviewing these seven best practices may help you improve your report writing.
For example, you may want to explain:
his section will serve as a snapshot of your key findings (the most important issues you found) and, therefore, will satisfy the client’s desire to read the “important stuff” first. It should identify all systems and components that do not function as intended, or adversely affect the dwelling’s habitableness, or seem to require further investigation by a specialist.
For liability reasons, you should also include a disclaimer that instructs the client to read the report in its entirety, and not just the summary. For example: “This summary is provided as an amenity and, therefore, should not be viewed as a substitute for the entire report. Please read and consider the complete report before making any decisions related to the home inspection.”
A high-quality home inspection report is detailed, customized and encompasses all major aspects of a residential property. This is much preferred over a generic inspection checklist filled with checkmarks and meager comments.
Essentially, the report document should contain your observations of the visual condition of accessible areas in and around a home, such as:
Each report may also provide an estimate for the remaining useful life of different aspects of a dwelling, including the structure, the roof, major systems and equipment, as well as paint and finishes. (Although, doing so may increase your liability.)
For more extensive guidelines pertaining to home inspection report contents, you can visit the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors website or the American Society of Home Inspectors website.
You can achieve this by using a couple of common formatting techniques:
In other words:
The inclusion of digital photos in your inspection reports will validate your findings, and will help readers better understand your written descriptions. Fortunately, you don’t need a fancy camera. A handy mobile device with a good camera will do just fine. Plus, with the right software app preloaded on your device, you’ll be able to integrate pictures quickly and seamlessly into every report.
Another way to make each report more visually appealing is to include a floor plan with notations calling out important issues. For example, instead of writing "an issue was found in the rear left bedroom,” you can add a note to where that room is shown in the floor plan. Clients will appreciate how this helps them grasp the exact location of each problem.
And, good news: floor-plan sketching doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. A good floor-plan app will make the process speedy and easy.
Many home inspectors deliver inspection reports within 24 to 48 hours. But what if you could generate a report faster and finish it onsite? That’s often possible with use of a mobile device and a floor plan app. (Yes, a floor plan app is great for this purpose, too!) Your clients will appreciate receiving a report right away. Plus, you’ll appreciate how you can crank out reports more efficiently.
If you’re wondering how to become a home inspector…
The home-inspection industry does not mandate ‘one set way’ to craft a home inspection report. In fact, home inspectors have a wide array of opinions on how to go about doing that. Yet, one thing is certain: By following a few best practices, you can produce reports that are well-suited for their intended purpose – helping clients make important real-estate decisions.
Or read our guide on why you should be adding Indoor Air Quality Inspections to your menu of services.
Team Lead Marketing