View Full Version : Red Ink

Rick Hurst
08-06-2007, 08:34 PM
I am curious if any of you use red ink or a way of highlighting defects when writing your reports.

Have been doing the red ink thing for quite some time because it brings attention to those items in need of repair.

Of course, the RE agents hate it when they see one but the clients like it.

Any opinions?

Rick H.

Thom Walker
08-06-2007, 08:39 PM
I use bullets. I add yellow when it's also an issue of safety that should be repaired irrespective of who is living there.

Bruce Breedlove
08-06-2007, 09:51 PM
Red doesn't show up very well in Black & White. On the rare occassions that I actually print a report (instead of e-mailing it) I print it on my laser printer in B&W. So, no, I don't highlight anything in red.

Dom D'Agostino
08-07-2007, 05:56 AM
Not just red ink, but Bold & Red really grabs your attention.

I use it sparingly, typically for safety issues or grossly deficient items. If you use it too much, it loses its purpose.


Eric Van De Ven
08-07-2007, 06:38 AM
I don't bold or red ink anything in my reports. As 95% of them are E mailed, I could easily do it, but, to me, it is up to my Client to determine what is important to them. I may emphasize certain things at an inspection, and in some cases, most commonly when a Realtor attempts to trivialize what I say or try to tell my Client what is major or minor, I will repeat it and go into great detail about the matter.

Jack Feldmann
08-07-2007, 06:44 AM
I don't use red ink in my reports. Since many of the reports get faxed back and forth between client/agent and agent/agent, the color doesn't show up (or photos for that matter).

I have no other reason for not using red, other than it would involve more "clicks" when I'm getting the report together. I want my client to read the entire report, not just look for the colored text.

Jerry Peck
08-07-2007, 08:47 AM
I did not use colors as they did not show up on copies or faxed reports, likewise, bold is lost in some faxes, thus, I used ALL CAPS for those items.

Dom D'Agostino
08-07-2007, 10:55 AM
Sorry, while I understand trying to be considerate of all parties, I'm not going to dumb-down my report just in case someone wants to fax it across town. I write the report for the client, and if the color change or bold typeface is lost on the other end of some future fax, so be it. The client is the one person for whom the font change or colored text is included. (And that is only 1 or 2 "altered" words in, maybe, 25% of the reports.)
Besides, nowadays, most multi-paged reports are emailed around town, not faxed.

Using the fax analogy would dictate that no photos are included either, because they don't transmit at all. (Well, they do transmit, just as large blocks of black and gray.)

Just my .02 cents, and to each his own, of course. What works for one may not work for others.


Bruce Breedlove
08-07-2007, 11:16 AM
One size does not fit all.

Ezra Malernee
08-07-2007, 11:36 AM
I use red for Defective and Safety items in the body of the report and the summary pages along with color photos. Reports are emailed and a hard copy sent out later. No complaints yet by clients, agents are something else.

Ezra Malernee
Canton, Ohio

Jerry Peck
08-07-2007, 11:57 AM
Nothing, though BEATS ALL CAPS TO BRINGS ONE'S ATTENTION TO A PROBLEM you want to bring their attention to.

Dom, just something to consider FOR YOUR CLIENT'S BENEFIT. :)

Dom D'Agostino
08-07-2007, 03:28 PM
Nothing, though BEATS ALL CAPS TO BRINGS ONE'S ATTENTION TO A PROBLEM you want to bring their attention to.

Dom, just something to consider FOR YOUR CLIENT'S BENEFIT. :)

Sorry, Jerry. I refuse to use all caps. It bugs the hell out me trying to read paragraphs of all caps. (Kind of like some of your posts...:) )

Jerry Peck
08-07-2007, 03:31 PM

There, see? It wasn't so bad after all. :D

Rick Hurst
08-07-2007, 03:42 PM
So what I'm getting from everyone is that BLUE would be more appropriate. :)

Jim Luttrall
08-07-2007, 04:19 PM
I use Blue and Red for different purposes, just to set apart recommendations about maintenance is blue and some items in red. I deliver the report directly to 99% of my clients via email, so faxing limitations are not something I consider. If I know the client must have a copy via fax, then I might make a few extra verbal explanations, but even without the different color text, the report will convey all the needed information, it might be little harder to read, but all the information is still there.
I never use all caps, but italics, underline and bold are all possibilities when appropriate.

Richard Rushing
08-07-2007, 07:08 PM
When I'm typing an item on my report, I use the F9 key in a macro to auto type:
"In Need of Repair"

At the end of the item requiring attention.

Trent Tarter
08-08-2007, 07:06 PM
Rick, I used to use red arrows or circles. The web-based report system that I use allows me to use different colors. I now use yellow or blue arrows depending on what shows up best on the photo. This seems to not scare people as much, but still draws attention to the item.

Jeff Knight
08-09-2007, 09:00 AM
Remember that about 8% of males with European origins are color blind and about 1% of females are. The most common color blindness (99% of the cases) are color blind to red and green. I recommend bolding and underlining text instead of messing with the colors to avoid the problems with people that are color blind.


Rick Hurst
08-09-2007, 09:51 AM
So I guess using the term, "POS" throughout the report is not recommended.

Don't you just wish sometimes you just say it like it is?

Nick Ostrowski
08-09-2007, 10:06 AM
I will sprinkle in the word "death" every so often. For example...."furnace flue pipe blocked with deteriorated chimney debris (death hazard - repairs needed)". I find it really grabs their attention ;).

Jeff Knight
08-09-2007, 03:07 PM
I also have heard many times from home inspectors or teachers-for-home inspectors to not be an "alarmist"....my opinion (as a consumer) is that you should be an "alarmist" if it is an "alarming" issue. I am paying you to help not only discover what is wrong in the house I am buying, but also to help me evaluate what things I should be most concerned about....I may be a newlywed couple that knows squat about homes and I am depending on your expertise to help me out... and I could gives a rat's ,you know what, about whether the agent thinks the inspector is being an "alarmist".

Jerry Peck
08-09-2007, 05:11 PM
Fot the last few months, I feel like I'm on the front of the firetruck truck revving up the sirens.

Is that the firetruck I said needs to be parked out front? :)

Rick Hurst
08-09-2007, 05:25 PM

And bringing up the rear are the paramedics and I believe I see a hearse coming too. :)

Jerry Peck
08-09-2007, 07:27 PM
And bringing up the rear are the paramedics and I believe I see a hearse coming too. :)

For my old "surviving spouse" and their just deceased partner, no doubt. :D

Jerry Peck
08-09-2007, 07:34 PM
I remember one magical time (which I repeated several times afterward) wherein a builder asked, after I pointed out some serious design flaws - which were also against code - in the swimming pool of a very expensive new house, "What's that worst that could happen?"

(Never, never, and I repeat - never - ask a home inspector "what's the worst that can happen". ;) )

By the time I was done explaining what's the worst that could happen, there were *7* dead people in the pool, each progressively died trying to save the previous one(s).

The look on my client's faces was priceless, but the look on the builder's face was 'a Kodak moment'.