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  1. #1
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    Default "Your report is to long"

    Tuesdays report was a vacant REO.

    Small single story ranch but I was there for almost four hours - many, many defects resulting from an unpermitted major rehab and first time buyes, so I spent a lot of my time attempting to put the more important defects in perspective.

    Client: "Your report is too long, can't you give me something all on one page?

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    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 10-15-2009 at 07:48 AM.
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    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    You should have just wrote POS on a piece of paper and handed it to them.

    Check please!

    rick


  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Tuesdays report was a vacant REO.

    I was there for almost four hours - man,. many defects resulting from unpermitted major rehab.

    Client: "Your report is too long, can't you give me something all on one page?"
    MT: Reminds me of an attorney client from last month. Initially he insists on an excruciatingly detailed report (the only kind I write). Upon receipt of it he howls about the 80 pages and demands a summary. He went on and on about the boilerplate and CYA statements. I asked him if he had ever bothered to read any of his own writing.

    His agent ended up writing the summary. I do not do summaries.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    His agent ended up writing the summary....
    Sounds like this attorney ended up basing his decisions on which items in your report were most important based on further investigation and analysis by a competent and independent party

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  5. #5
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Rick that is great


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    You should have just wrote POS on a piece of paper and handed it to them.

    Check please!

    rick

    I like it

    That will be on the next summary, if I ever write a summary. I do not and have never copied concerns to a summary page. I have been asked a few times when the home was a wreck to print a summary and have told them that the report was the summary.

    When the report has more red highlighted items than black print items you know you earned your money and really did not charge enough. My summaries are the red highlight. I have highlighted concerns in red forever. The red makes a nice colorful report with the more concerns you find.

    I was thinking of doing the color thing like the threat levels that use to be


  7. #7
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Tuesdays report was a vacant REO.

    Small single story ranch but I was there for almost four hours - many, many defects resulting from an unpermitted major rehab and first time buyes, so I spent a lot of my time attempting to put the more important defects in perspective.

    Client: "Your report is too long, can't you give me something all on one page?
    Michael do you provide a summary page?

    I know if I did not provide one ,the 5 day window would expire before they finished reading it..


  8. #8
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    It's easy if you use HomeGauge...

    I can't imagine NOT giving a summary.

    We know why you fly: because the bus is too expensive and the railroad has a dress code...
    www.atozinspector.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    Michael do you provide a summary page?

    I provide a "summary" which extracts the full comment for each item requiring action from the rest of the report, for a 50 page report like this one, it will usually run 3-5 pages.

    The real problem here is that these are first time buyers, and don't fully understand that they are responsible for a lot of the follow up - that for example if the furnace does not respond to the thermostat calling for heat and the control wires are cut at the condenser, that it is their responsibility to accept the property as-is, or make arrangements to have these the systems further evaluated.

    What they ant is for me to somehow make buying an REO with many issues "simple"... it's not.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Tuesdays report was a vacant REO.

    Small single story ranch but I was there for almost four hours - many, many defects resulting from an unpermitted major rehab and first time buyes, so I spent a lot of my time attempting to put the more important defects in perspective.

    Client: "Your report is too long, can't you give me something all on one page?
    The length of the report depends on the condition of the house. "Give me a better house and you'll get a shorter report."

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I provide a "summary" which extracts the full comment for each item requiring action from the rest of the report, for a 50 page report like this one, it will usually run 3-5 pages.
    My summary pages also included EVERY deficient item.

    The problem with most summaries, and the reason why agents like summaries, is that most inspectors EDIT THEIR REPORTS by selecting what deficient items are "MAJOR" and go into the summary, which means that all other items are ignored, which means that THE INSPECTOR but themselves out on a limb deciding what was important - i.e., "major" - and what was unimportant - i.e., "not in the summary" - and that action by the inspector can lead to problems down the road when the inspector tries to tell their client that, yes, that item was written up in the report, but it was "not important enough to make it to the summary", yet here is their client calling about that "unimportant IMPORTANT item" as it is not VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CLIENT.

    Woe is the inspector who put themself in that trap.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
    Chuck Lambert's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My summary pages also included EVERY deficient item.

    The problem with most summaries, and the reason why agents like summaries, is that most inspectors EDIT THEIR REPORTS by selecting what deficient items are "MAJOR" and go into the summary, which means that all other items are ignored, which means that THE INSPECTOR but themselves out on a limb deciding what was important - i.e., "major" - and what was unimportant - i.e., "not in the summary" - and that action by the inspector can lead to problems down the road when the inspector tries to tell their client that, yes, that item was written up in the report, but it was "not important enough to make it to the summary", yet here is their client calling about that "unimportant IMPORTANT item" as it is not VERY IMPORTANT TO THE CLIENT.

    Woe is the inspector who put themself in that trap.
    Listed above is the reason I do not include a summary!! I am not going to tell them what is or is not important...that is my clients job. Either ALL defeciences go in the summary or no summary at all. My choice is no summary, report=summary whether it be 15 pages or 100 pages.

    Chuck


  13. #13
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Lambert View Post
    Either ALL deficiencies go in the summary or no summary at all. My choice is no summary,
    The inspection program I wrote and used allowed my to make one click and ALL the deficiencies were automatically copied to the summary ... which made making the summary "no problem" ... "click" ... and there it was - every single deficiency was in the summary, without all the other information about what I inspected or did not inspect. However, my summaries were usually as long as most reports were.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Summary ??????????????

    Why would you won't to compile a report and then trash it all to put just the problems in the home in a summary.

    If some of you did not have a monster report then there would be no problem with the client regarding the report. If you did not compile a bunch of garbage that has nothing to do with, the leak at the cold water shut off valve under the kitchen sink, then your client would not have a problem with reading the report.

    My concerns stay in the report and not copied and pasted to a summary report. I am not doing 2 reports. I highlight the concerns in red and they can pick them right out but the rest of the points of interest are right above or right below the highlighted red concerns. I do not laden my report with a bunch of protectionary, home maintenance, the code was this back in 1932, the sly fox jumped over the sleeping dog....crap. My reports are what they were intended to be. They tell you the basics of the home under each section and of course the concerns in those sections are highlighted in red. Thats it....simple and to the point. Maybe 18 to 20 pages max including the 2 front pages of the TREC info and cover page.

    I am not going to do all the work of compiling information on the clients possible future home for them not to see it because they just went to a summary page and read about major concerns instead of knowing what the weater pressure is and where the main shut off for the water is. All simple easy to read no bull, no hype, no fluff, no crap, no maintenance lists other than a few items added along the way in the excplanation of their systems.

    You want to avoid lawsuits???

    Keep it simple stupid. Keep it as brief and to the point as possible.

    Don't make it look like you are hiding behind a bunch of crap disclaimers and the history of the home inspection business.

    Don't beat them to death with a voluminous novel when a short story will tell them what they need to know.

    Don't put the concerns about the items you are explaining in a summary when the rest of what they need to know about the item is back in the body of the report.

    You cannot tell them somewhere in a summary that they need a new evaporator coil when they do not know what the evaporator coil is and what system it belongs to and where it is located and what roll it plays in the HVAC system. You will be asking for trouble and get calls all the time for an explanation.

    I almost, and I do mean almost never, ever, get calls from clients after an inspection ..... never.... get ..... calls ... about ..... the ... inspection. I never get a complaint about no summary. When I say never it might be 1 in 300 inspections someone might ask about a summary...... period...no story ...no tale. My answer to them is...The report is the summary. Everything you need to know is in the report. To leave everything out and just put major concerns would be an insult to them because my reports could not be easier to read and undestand.

    My reports are so easy to read and understand and not filled with crap the buyers agent just forwards the report to the sellers agent for the list of repairs needed. The sellers agent goes over it with the seller and they agree or disagree on what they will repair. No, no calls from the seller or sellers agent either.

    Maybe, just maybe it is time to question things you may be doing. I rethink things I do on an endless basis and make adjustments as necessary.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 10-17-2009 at 06:26 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gault View Post
    It's easy if you use HomeGauge...

    I can't imagine NOT giving a summary.
    Home Gauge is ok but Home Inspector Pro is stealing all their business with better customer service,smaller price,better looking and faster loading report that writes directly to PDF.
    HG also has reoccurring fees where as Home Inspector Pro is a one time charge with no different levels of membership .

    HIP has a Bookmark index on the left side that makes reports much easier to read.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Summary ??????????????

    Why would you won't to compile a report and then trash it all to put just the problems in the home in a summary.
    Because the reports contain so much useful information in the main body of the report in a geographical manner that it is easier for the client to have an all inclusive summary laid out in a systematic manner where each trades deficiencies are all grouped together.

    If your report does not do that, well ... shame on you.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    No summary, I want the client to read the entire report.
    The state required report format here groups everything together by system so all the electrical is in the electrical section, plumbing is in the plumbing section, etc. There are even check boxes required to mark the sections with deficiencies.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  18. #18
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    No summary, I want the client to read the entire report.
    The state required report format here groups everything together by system so all the electrical is in the electrical section, plumbing is in the plumbing section, etc. There are even check boxes required to mark the sections with deficiencies.
    So you really want the Lawyer representing you client needing to go through 50 pages or so of door is wood,wall is plaster,maintenance tips ,etc


  19. #19
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    So you really want the Lawyer representing you client needing to go through 50 pages or so of door is wood,wall is plaster,maintenance tips ,etc

    OK Who let the LAWYERS In.....who....who....whoooo......

    Lawyers? We don't need no stinking Lawyers...

    Best

    Ron


  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    So you really want the Lawyer representing you client needing to go through 50 pages or so of door is wood,wall is plaster,maintenance tips ,etc
    50 pages is way to much for anything but a run down shack and then even for the run down shack that is 2 x to long. You are not writing a book you are listing the deficiencies of the home under each section of the formated report.

    As far as maintenance tips it takes one sentence to tell the folks they should shut off, drain down, fill back up, turn back on their water heater once every six months and then that is not my job to write a book on how to maintain their home. It is a home inspection and a listing of deficiencies. Not a how to book on home maintenance and repair. They want to learn how to maintain everything in their home then there is a book store or internet for that. There is no way you are going to tell them everything there is to know about maintaining their home in a home inspection report. They have five hundred websites with hundreds of pages or 500 page books for that matter or HGTV. Clean the dryer vent pipe, have the chimney flue cleaned, drain the water tank periodically, caulk the window....why would you need a book to tell them the basics. For gosh sakes man. If you want your home inspection report to be a home maintenance book then leave all that crap out of the report and give them a CD on home maintenance. You can get them pretty cheap by the dozens and pass them out too your clients. Get rid of the 50 and hundred page books on home maintenance tips and disclaimers and give them a useful, short and to the point HOME INSPECTION REPORT

    As far as Mr Jerrys post

    Seriously. Your report is not already broken down into different sections for each item...Plumbing, electrical, structural etc etc? If it is not you have been doing it wrong all your life. Even before I came to Texas my reports were formatted by section. You want to know about plumbing go to the plumbing section.

    As far as "so much useful information in the main body of the report".................If there is so much "usefull" information in the body of the report about the items and concerns in the home why would you not want them to read it instead of just sticking a major concern about the item in a summary bypassing all that usefull information.

    I read a sample report from an inspector on this site.

    One short sentence for the concern in question and then multiple paragraphs of tips and code history and disclaimers. It was a good report if you wanted some sleepy time bedtime reading. Everything became a blurr just part way thru the report. My head was swimming and I was loosing track of what the concerns were or where they started and where they ended.

    Usefull info becomes very useless after a while. List all the model and serial numbers for all the appliances. Usefull...sure. Was it a concern you found in the home to save them money and the history lesson about the item?????? Why would any home inspector give such useless info in a HOME INSPECTION REPORT.

    If the AC condenser craps out later down the road why does the client even need a model and serial number. He picks up the phone, calls and HVAC company, tells them it stopped working, they come out to evaluate the situation.....Did the model and serial number of the item help them out in any way what so ever?????? "Do you know the make sir?" Well it says Trane on the side of it. "Great, we will be out in about an hour. Or...We don't service Tranes so let me give you another number.


  21. #21
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    "I was thinking of doing the color thing like the threat levels that use to be"

    The threat levels are all black now, aren't they???


  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    "I was thinking of doing the color thing like the threat levels that use to be"

    The threat levels are all black now, aren't they???
    That is just waht I said

    Actually I already do the threat levels.

    The more that is highlighted in the report the redder it gets. Kinda like making hot sauce for wings. The more chilli's there are on the menu next to the item the hotter it is. The redder my report gets the more concerned they should be


  23. #23
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    Default Re: "Your report is to long"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    So you really want the Lawyer representing you client needing to go through 50 pages or so of door is wood,wall is plaster,maintenance tips ,etc
    The point is to make the report easy to understand and complete so that no lawyer ever needs to get involved.
    If a lawyer ever gets involved I think the summary which left out the widget that went bad and now needs to be replaced for $10,000 would be much easier to attack than a report that told them the widget was working but old and needed to be replaced soon along with the other deficiencies. Oh yeah, if it is in the report then why would they need a lawyer.
    Summaries are for real estate agents and lawyers, they really like them. I have NEVER had a client ask for a summary and rarely have a client call for an explanation. I have many, many notes from clients thanking me for the thorough report with all the photographs that made it easy to understand.
    It ain't rocket science boys, keep it simple.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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