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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Lancaster, CA
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    153

    Default Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    Hello all, I haven't posted here... in let's say awhile.

    Anyways, was just reading another post about report ownership. Seems with all the ways we're presented with software choices...

    No one has covered this? Blows me away, that with all the genius of software, we can't fix this within our own software tools.

    You think about this long enough and all the people who call and even ask 3 months later if I can email a copy for their client.... "They're just going to waive the inspection if you don't... as they won't PAY for an inspection. "OK, let me know when I can be of further service, but the answer is NO". Then I think.. "Whew" glad they are POORLY ORGANIZED and lost a .pdf file.

    I will provide (and I keep) reports for my client for ever and will provide them with one at any time. But... my clients only.

    With this I keep asking WHY can't someone "fix this"

    Self Expiring .pdfs or some type of .html based reports would be good. I expire the .html files or something, and keep the file if my CLIENT needs it. I know some have a hang up with .pdfs, but I think that's the format for the near future.

    A veteran inspector that I and all of you may know has been a VICTIM of this. For this

    I still subscribe to the theory of:


    I buy a car from John. John had replaced the engine 3 months prior to selling the car to me.

    One month after buying the car, the engine freezes up.

    John left me HIS receipt from the mechanic whom had replaced the engine. I read the receipt, realize that I have no claim of warranty as it was John's property and NOT transferable.

    I may not talk to the mechanic,

    But of the "umpteen" people who've "obtained" your reports.... They MAY call you!

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by Tim Spargo; 11-17-2009 at 01:01 AM. Reason: edit
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    The "technology" would scare many clients.... In my state a seller is requred to disclose an inspection that was performed within the last 2 (I think) years.

    I see your point and can agree to some extent.... I just don't like the idea of selling a product that is going to disappear.


  3. #3
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
    Richard Soundy Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    As I see it and practice it, the property inspection can be divided into three separate categories:

    Signature on contract with SOPS

    A. The inspection itself - a thorough one carried out using a check-list for convenience with appropriate notes, as many pictures as needed and some dictation [approx, 40% of the time]

    B. The report - prepared strictly to the SOP's requirements with a rating summary, ~65% mandatory text, ~30% recommended text and 5% free text. [approx. 20% of time]

    Collect fee.....

    C. Finally, what the client truly seeks, a verbal consultation of findings (with minimal opinions) with client and or spouse in a professional manner and place. i.e. carried out with notes, logs and all backing material for review. [approx. 40% of time]

    The "meat" of this inspection lies within the category of "C" and as you can see this knowledge you are parting with can hardly be copied or passed along by a non-inspector with out any credence.

    This method has served me well to date but may not work for others.

    Best regards Richard


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    As I see it and practice it, the property inspection can be divided into three separate categories:

    Signature on contract with SOPS

    A. The inspection itself - a thorough one carried out using a check-list for convenience with appropriate notes, as many pictures as needed and some dictation [approx, 40% of the time]

    B. The report - prepared strictly to the SOP's requirements with a rating summary, ~65% mandatory text, ~30% recommended text and 5% free text. [approx. 20% of time]

    Collect fee.....

    C. Finally, what the client truly seeks, a verbal consultation of findings (with minimal opinions) with client and or spouse in a professional manner and place. i.e. carried out with notes, logs and all backing material for review. [approx. 40% of time]

    The "meat" of this inspection lies within the category of "C" and as you can see this knowledge you are parting with can hardly be copied or passed along by a non-inspector with out any credence.

    This method has served me well to date but may not work for others.

    Best regards Richard
    I did not follow your percentages, but given your a, b, c breakdown approximately 1/3 to 2/3 of the inspection process is not contained or conveyed in the written report; thus the reason for the perceived need for report security.
    The person that gets the report other than the original client does not have the full picture nor the relationship.
    Perhaps this just points out that your inspection agreement and relationship with the client are not included in the report making the inclusion of limits, copyright, disclaimers need to be part of the report.
    Magic technology to make pdf files disappear after a certain time won't fly even if they were accepted by the client and were possible.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Lancaster, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    Agreed...

    And I am not saying it's the Report Software Co's responsibility either.. What I'm saying is that it is a liability to whatever extent to have... Just a report.

    I actually received a couple calls today about this topic...

    I realize that dissappearing .pdf's and my other suggestions are not the end all, but where do you start when these formats are so portable?




    Tim

    Last edited by Tim Spargo; 11-18-2009 at 03:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    Realize that what you say will last forever whether you want it to or not. Same thing when posting here being that what you say can have unintended consequences. So say what you mean and mean what you say, you may have to back up your words. About the best we can hope for is that the original client makes use of the report in the way it was intended and that no "secondary" users try to make claims against you.

    I believe there is absolutely no way to absolutely secure a document that is intended to be delivered to more than one person short of showing it to the person and burning the hand written original once they read it, not a very convenient proposal.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    I really don't care if the report is out there. If I find out my client did not buy the house, I remove the report from the web site. Of course, who knows how many people have already got a copy on their hard drive. Don't care.

    If someone other than my client or a party to the original inspection calls with questions, then they get the same answer. SORRY, YOU ARE NOT MY CLIENT, AND/OR NOT PARTY TO THE TRANSACTION I DID THE INSPECTION FOR. I AM NOT WILLING TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT MY REPORT. dial tone comes next.

    If they want me to do another inspection, I will do it for the same fee. When they want a discount because I have already been there I use something I think I got here. "You had a great steak dinner last week at the Chop House. You go back this week and want another one at a reduced rate, or free. Same dinner. Easy to do because you've cooked this before. Why can't I get a discount? I sometimes get the dial tone here, and sometimes they get my point.

    If someone called the day after I had been at a house, I might give them a discount, but not very much.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Eastern NC
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    For a while there, I was thinking that it is not fair that we do a report for someone and then they sell it or give it to someone else to use and we do not get any benefit from it. In some respect, I still think that is not fair. However, as long as I put the disclaimer in the report that it is for a specific client for a specific house and a specific time, what else can I do?

    The report is not a book or something that could be used and sold by someone else. It is specific to the property. If someone calls me later and asks me for a copy of the report, then if they are a good client, etc I may just forward it to them. Otherwise I will look in the all of the "wrong places" and not find it.

    I tried Homeguage software. I am impressed with it and may buy it in the future. I also tried some others as well. After a period of time, I could not get back into it until I bought it and had an unlock key. That is protected property. A report for specific house and date is not.

    I was one of the diehards that it was not fair that we were not reimbursed for the use of the report. To some extent I still believe that, however, it comes down to educating the public, including real estate agents, and others. We have too many other issues to be concerned with. My biggest peeve is if an inspector misses something, regardless of what it is, it is more news than closing the prison in Cuba. What the buyer does not think about is the fact that the inspector saw the failing structural system that could have cost them thousands of dollars. Instead they are pissed because the insulation was missed in a wall that the inspector could not see in the first place.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Greenville, N.C.
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    You go Wal Mart and buy a TV. You take it home. I's yours because you bargained and paid for it. The report is no different. It belongs to the original buyer. What they do with it is of no concern to me. If that deal falls out and another buyer comes along-new report! Maybe at a discount since I'm familiar with the bones of the property.
    But I'm galled when some one tells me he has my report and got it from an agent. I'm galled for my client. They paid for it.
    As for catching grief for a dollar when you found $5000.00 for the buyer: welcome to the machine. Both we as inspectors and agents are reaping what we have sewn. All of a sudden second hand homes are to be perfect and that's because the inspector said so.

    JLMathis
    Greenville, N.C.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    encryption that requires a password key with a date specific expiration algorhthym.

    The technology is out there. You can encrypt email and attached files.

    The printed out copy retained, however, can be duplicated for perpitutity.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Inspection Report Security.... who cares? We Should

    I did not get all details of where and who yet but I got a job yesteday as a result of an old report.

    Inspected a foreclosure about a month ago. Leak in the roof, cascaded down through the second story wall to first story ceiling. Leak in the back of the front hall closet probably from bathroom overhead. Broken handrails, rainforest in the crawlspace, 20 yr old HVAC systems, cooktop not attached to kitchen island, blah, blah, blah.

    My client was going to handyman it all back together. Apprently the wife talked him out of the deal.

    Got a call today from a buyer that had seen my report on the foreclosure house and wants to buy a different house in the same neighborhood. She liked the level of detail and wanted me to inspect for her. In this case, the rogue report becamse advertising to select me and not buy the foreclosure.

    Once the report is emailed, they take on a life of their own.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

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