Results 1 to 49 of 49
  1. #1

    Default pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Was viewing the post and comments on whether or not a disconnect mounted directly to exterior HVAC unit was appropriate (http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_inspection/showthread.php?t=24459)

    Some comments brought up additional concerns that were evident in the picture, as do most pictures posted for viewing.

    As I enter the world of Home Inspections I do believe I will add a small number of photos to my report. However, the school I attended does not think that should be the case, and once again it comes back to legal concerns. If for some reason you were being sued, a lawyer would be looking over your report with fine tooth comb. If you comment on a deficiency and add a picture but miss other deficiencies in that picture they might have an arguement of what else did you miss.

    Wondering if everyone here adds pictures, do you crop them to try to avoid this situation, ...? I know we can't do everything thinking about possible legal consequences but this is a legit concern.

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Gulotta View Post
    Was viewing the post and comments on whether or not a disconnect mounted directly to exterior HVAC unit was appropriate (http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_inspection/showthread.php?t=24459)

    Some comments brought up additional concerns that were evident in the picture, as do most pictures posted for viewing.

    As I enter the world of Home Inspections I do believe I will add a small number of photos to my report. However, the school I attended does not think that should be the case, and once again it comes back to legal concerns. If for some reason you were being sued, a lawyer would be looking over your report with fine tooth comb. If you comment on a deficiency and add a picture but miss other deficiencies in that picture they might have an arguement of what else did you miss.

    Wondering if everyone here adds pictures, do you crop them to try to avoid this situation, ...? I know we can't do everything thinking about possible legal consequences but this is a legit concern.
    Photos limit call backs and show that what you are reporting is actually a problem. In the market that we work in today I think photos are expected by the clients. If you do your job properly photos can only help you.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Gulotta View Post
    Was viewing the post and comments on whether or not a disconnect mounted directly to exterior HVAC unit was appropriate (http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_inspection/showthread.php?t=24459)

    Some comments brought up additional concerns that were evident in the picture, as do most pictures posted for viewing.

    As I enter the world of Home Inspections I do believe I will add a small number of photos to my report. However, the school I attended does not think that should be the case, and once again it comes back to legal concerns. If for some reason you were being sued, a lawyer would be looking over your report with fine tooth comb. If you comment on a deficiency and add a picture but miss other deficiencies in that picture they might have an argument of what else did you miss.

    Wondering if everyone here adds pictures, do you crop them to try to avoid this situation, ...? I know we can't do everything thinking about possible legal consequences but this is a legit concern.

    I think the school you are going to is foolish for suggesting that you do not add pictures. To tell someone just starting out in the inspection field to not add pictures is dooming that inspector from the start.

    Folks want pictures. No matter what you write they need a visual to fall back on. That is about the oldest school of thought there is to say not add pictures.

    Another thing pictures are great for is for negotiation with the seller. Now of course Realtors generally like a very few pictures so they can brush what they want under the rug like it is no big deal or expense.

    There are too many reasons to add picture and only one stupid one not to. If you take a picture of something and there is something else that is a concern in the picture that you did not catch, then guess what, you screwed up and either should have caught it at the inspection or when you bring the picture up later on for the original concern you will probably see it then.

    Being sued ids the least of your worries. Doing a great job is the only thing you should be worrying about. You have not even started inspecting and you are worried about being sued. That is not the route to go. The only way to cover yourself is to do a great inspection. The second way to cover yourself is to bring duct tape with you to put over the clients and Realtors and sellers (if the seller is there) mouths so that there is absolutely no outside interference.

    Once folks start interjecting through out the entire inspection, and I do not care who you are, you have a much greater chance of walking right by something. Don't get me wrong because the client can point something out that you did not readily see ...... but you probably would not have missed it if you were not playing entertainer and rubber gumming it with everyone at the inspection.

    Think of text messaging while driving. You are looking back and forth trying to get the text out ..... did you see that dog running in front of you??????????

    Take pictures of the concerns. Sometimes, depending on the concern, there may be a few pics of that one concern. A picture is worth far more than the extent of writing in the report. A short explanation of the concern and the picture and you are done.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Gulotta View Post
    Was viewing the post and comments on whether or not a disconnect mounted directly to exterior HVAC unit was appropriate (http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_inspection/showthread.php?t=24459)

    Some comments brought up additional concerns that were evident in the picture, as do most pictures posted for viewing.

    As I enter the world of Home Inspections I do believe I will add a small number of photos to my report. However, the school I attended does not think that should be the case, and once again it comes back to legal concerns. If for some reason you were being sued, a lawyer would be looking over your report with fine tooth comb. If you comment on a deficiency and add a picture but miss other deficiencies in that picture they might have an arguement of what else did you miss.

    Wondering if everyone here adds pictures, do you crop them to try to avoid this situation, ...?
    I know we can't do everything thinking about possible legal consequences but this is a legit concern.
    If I had to do this with the pictures I took, then I'd have to say I have no business performing home inspections. How are your supposed to crop out defects that you don't even know exist? If anything, pictures help you refresh your memory and provide additional documentation that will only aid you when completing a report.

    The purpose of a home inspection is to find and document defects, not hide or bury them. You never said in your post Eric that the school you attended specifically is against any and all pictures in reports but that is what it sounds like. If that's the case, they're not giving you good advice. Like has already been said, buyers want pictures. And in this day and age of computer programs and digital photography, there's no excuse for not putting pics in your reports.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    From what I hear and the licensing class I took, it seems many schools teach the no photo BS. I guess that's a nice safety line for new inspectors.
    In addition to what others have stated, you have to have pics. Clients won't know what you are talking about half the time otherwise.
    Avoid wide angle shots in the beginning and you should be fine.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    IMO, the fear mongering in this profession is way overblown. Yes, there are lawsuits, yes you may get sued. To have a healthy understaning of the concept is good but I leave it at that. You can't do your job in fear. If you do it will likely become a self fulfilling prophecy. At least that's my take.

    I've gone back and forth over the years but the longer I do this the more I just educate myself as much as possible and honestly do the best job I can for my clients. The best defense against lawsuits is doing a good job and clearly letting people know what you have done (seen/accessed) and what you haven't.

    As for leaving out pictures because of the liability.... I suppose I agree to some extent. If you don't put pictures in your reports you won't work so I guess you won't get sued


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    I'm a picture posting whore in all my reports. Never get callbacks much asking what a comment means or they don't understand what is in the picture.

    rick


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I'm a picture posting whore in all my reports. Never get callbacks much asking what a comment means or they don't understand what is in the picture.

    rick
    I must admit....I am a PP whore also.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    super whore here for pictures

    cvf


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    While you can certainly write an accurate report without photos, it will not save you in court. In fact, the lack of photos could very well doom you in court, since you can not "show" what you have written.

    As a report verifier, I have seen lots of examples of reports where the photos show something other than what was written. For example, a clear photo of a gas water heater, when the report says the house has an electric unit. Or the photo that clearly shows damage, yet there is no mention of said damage in the report.

    Having served as an expert witness many times, I can say that it's the photos that makes it very clear when I am calling out a defect. I have found that clients like photos. Judges and juries like photos. Sellers and listing agents have a hard time saying there isn't any wood rot when there are 6 photos clearly showing it.


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

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    In addition to what others have stated, you have to have pics. Clients won't know what you are talking about half the time otherwise.

    Avoid wide angle shots in the beginning and you should be fine.
    I apprenticed under the licensing board investigator who re-inspected homes when complaints were filed. He said he loved reports with photos because he could always find overlooked issues in the pics. What I took from that was to never had wide angle photos in my report.

    Learn to take the photos ALREADY cropped. Take a close up of the defect and defect only. Take a second photo at wide angle for YOUR reference. The defect only photo goes in the report. If the only thing in the photo is the defect, there is nothing to have overlooked. The wide angle photo is for your notes only.

    I take 100-150 photos on every inspection. I don't take written notes, voice recordings, or any other form of notes besides photos. Only about 25-30 photos make it into the report. The rest are to document I performed the inspection or reference. I start with 8 photos of the exterior: 4 corners and 4 sides of the house. Very useful for remembering where the meter panel was, using windows to locate specific rooms, etc.

    I have photos of service panel open, panel labeling, and dead front cover removed. I have a photos of the water supply and waste lines just for description purposes. Photos of all the data plates of the HVAC and water heaters. Photos of the gas service bonding, attic insulation depth, deck bolted to the house, hose bib vacumn breakers, walkways, patios, etc. I take a photo of the outside of the HVAC units, with the maintenance panels open, and data plates. Photos of the water heater, expansion tank, sediment leg, and TPR drain pipe. Photos under the kitchen sink showing the dishwasher high loop and trap system. That is just the photos I take for my own reference.

    Then add in the photos of defects. With digital cameras there is no reason not to have a photo of every defect. Sometimes 2 or 3 photos from different angles to make sure the lighting is just right. I think my personal high is about 300 photos for a single inspection.

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgetown, KY
    Posts
    537

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Photos! We don't need no stinking photos!

    Why heck, just pull out that yellow legal tablet:
    1. Scrawl the customer's name on it.
    2. Scrawl the inspection address on it.
    3. Scrawl a list of contractor types that should be consulted for "further evaluation" of each system.

    4. Collect your cash and go home.



    (Insert dripping sarcasm icon here)

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Erby Crofutt View Post
    Photos! We don't need no stinking photos!

    Why heck, just pull out that yellow legal tablet:
    1. Scrawl the customer's name on it.
    2. Scrawl the inspection address on it.
    3. Scrawl a list of contractor types that should be consulted for "further evaluation" of each system.

    4. Collect your cash and go home.



    (Insert dripping sarcasm icon here)
    .
    I Like It !
    .
    YouTube - mo money
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Hey Erby,
    you may want to think about upping your E&O... ...

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    .
    you may want to think about upping your E&O... ...
    .
    No Time I'm Changing Locations.
    .
    YouTube - In Living Color Home Boy Shopping Network Season 1 Episode 1
    .



    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    I've heard the no picture argument since day one.
    From my experience reviewing 50 plus complaints against inspectors over the past few years, take as many photos as you can.



    I have yet to see an inspector get nailed for having something in a photo that was not reported.
    I've seen on several occasions where the inspector presented a photo that helped him, and I have seen a couple times where the inspector , [that may of been 100% correct in his reporting] could of defended himself if he had a photo.
    You can almost count on, when a customer files a complaint you can almost be assured that customer, a contractor or another inspector will supply plenty of photos after the fact.

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 03-24-2011 at 07:56 PM.
    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Funny stuff...ahhhh the 80's, those were the days.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Take as many photos as you can.

    Use all of them in your report.

    Look at each photo and make a comment about everything you see wrong in that photo (if you miss anything in the photo, which gives you a chance to re-visit the inspection, then shame on you).

    DO NOT EDIT OR ALTER the photos.

    My reports referred to the attached photos, the attached photos referred to the report, each stated NOT TO USE one without the other as BOTH were *THE REPORT*. Using only the report or the photos would be like only using half of the report - the client does that at their own risk, not at your risk.

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

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    It's cool when you spot something you didnt see at the inspection later while writing the report. Not that this has happened to me...i've just heard stories.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Pictures have saved me hundreds of times, I think. I go over my pics in the kitchen before I meet with my clients. (I spend 2 1/2 hours in the house before they arrive. Then they get one hour of my full attention. They like it, I like it. It's a bit of a pain for the realtors, opening up early, but they'll get over it when they see client walking around all smiles.) A few times, I've gone back into the attic or some other dark place because of something that appeared in a picture.
    If there's a defect in the pic, you should have seen it. If not, you're seeing it now, in your pic. Go over the pics every evening. Call or email your clients if you've spotted something that didn't make the report. It's an addendum to the report, no shame in that.

    If you see an electrical fault in a panel and call for an electrician to repair, then chances are, there are other faults, especially if it's amateur work. You may not have listed them all, but you can put that in your report, "the electrician may find other defects not listed here".

    Sometimes the pics can lie! The flash can make copper wiring look pale like aluminum. OSB with paint on it can look like it's moldy. Also lines can be bent and distorted by the lens and the angle of your shot. But I think the camera is your best tool for picking up details you can't quite see, and the best record keeping tool as well.

    My clients get pics of everything. If there's something wrong in a pic that I didn't report, it's not a major defect. It might be a fence that's leaning or a tree branch hanging over the roof. So what? They've been given a picture of it, so they've been informed.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Pictures can be used against the inspector just as they can be used in defence.

    I have yet to read any case law where photos were introduced in defence or even discussed in the court records. (Canadian Jurisprudence)

    Having been chair of a home inspection discipline committee during my tenure we never had a complaint due to lack of the inspector providing photos, nor did inspectors who had complaints lodged against them introduce photos in their defence even if they had photos.

    As for myself I do not include photos, have the client present. Being in the biz for 20 years I have not been asked to provide photos in the report, and have not had an issue where a photo would have averted a complaint. Nor ever had a client who was disappointed because of the lack of photos.


  22. #22

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Thank you all for the comments. I was always intending to take pictures and add several to the report. This conversation confirmed that I should do that. Thank you also for this thread not disintegrating into who knows what like some others do.


  23. #23
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Pictures can be used against the inspector just as they can be used in defence.

    I have yet to read any case law where photos were introduced in defence or even discussed in the court records. (Canadian Jurisprudence)

    Having been chair of a home inspection discipline committee during my tenure we never had a complaint due to lack of the inspector providing photos, nor did inspectors who had complaints lodged against them introduce photos in their defence even if they had photos.

    As for myself I do not include photos, have the client present. Being in the biz for 20 years I have not been asked to provide photos in the report, and have not had an issue where a photo would have averted a complaint. Nor ever had a client who was disappointed because of the lack of photos.

    Being in the business for 20 years I cannot believe you feel photos are not necessary and do not include them.

    I see other inspector reports all the time. Anywhere in all three states I have lived in pictures were provided to the clients, and yes all the way back to pics being added after development or Instamatics.

    Canada must be a strange place as I know of no one that does not expect pictures today. Once upon a time there were many that did not add pics but after digital cameras came about there is practically no one left that does not add pictures.

    Realtor friendly inspectors add very few pictures as the realtor cannot just brush the concern aside with a nasty ole picture in front of their face.

    I just looked at a report from one of the guys on here that uses a complete check list and actually had 6 to 8 pictures thrown in but it did look extremely naked with practically no pics.


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Unlike the USA Canada is not litigation happy.
    I am not a Realtor friendly inspector. Don't even advertise to them.
    Must be doing something right for the 20 years. I also charge more than my competitors.

    Cheers.


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    raymond

    around here i get referrals from past clients friends and real estate agents, and have even had the sellers agent call me to do their next buyer because of my photos and explanations connected to them. do you do a written report or checklist ??? wonder what you charge for a 2500 sq ft home say 1998. 3 bed 3bath--two car garage --with radon and without without pictures.
    you can private message me if you prefer. maybe i am under pricing with the report i provide

    thanks

    cvf


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Hi Charlie

    My biz comes from referrals, past clients, lawyers, even realtors who I do not solicit.

    I use two report types the Carson Dunlop report system and Inspectit.

    For clients in attendance I use the CD report. My minimum price is $450 and it goes up from there dependent on price of the house and not by square footage. No photos, although I do carry a camera and occasionally take photos for my own reference.

    For clients who cannot attend I will use Inspectit and charge a premium of $150+. I will add pictures as needed. But I do not go overboard and I certainly don't take more than 50 pictures, ever.

    I have never had anyone complain for lack of pictures, have a good reputation according to my surveys I include with each report. Nor as I mentioned earlier has anyone queried me whether I take photos or not.

    Just my view but everyone thinks pictures will save your bacon. I have found the opposite. I handle complaints expediently I go back to the site, and I talk to the person, I have yet to refund a fee, and have been sued once for a latent defect back in 1994, but even then pictures would not have saved me as the insurer eagerly paid out even though the latent defect was actively concealed by the vendor.

    That's just the way I do business and its worked for me. Should everyone follow my example? No, to each their own and their experience will dictate their modus operandi.

    Here is my website for your perusal.

    http://www.raymondwand.ca

    All the best,


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    RAYMOND

    thanks, i think i need to up my price, but all locals are priced different. good for you on the inspection price. around here they like pictures. and i am priced higher then most inspectors. i would get confused if i had three different inspection reports. i guess i read your post wrong, thought you sai no pictures

    good luck

    go canada

    cvf


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Gulotta View Post
    Thank you also for this thread not disintegrating into who knows what like some others do.
    Just wait, it will get around to "who knows what" in a little while; it is still early!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    "My minimum price is $450"
    Yeah, but its Canadian............. :-)


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    "My minimum price is $450"
    Yeah, but its Canadian............. :-)
    Check it out. The US$ ain't what she used to be. Canadian money is at par or slightly Higher these days.

    It's actually hurting our economy. US$ only flows our way when it can buy more than a buck's worth of stuff.
    We're having to sell wood to China these days.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    My last two inspections were about 120-140 images. one was okay, the other a huge POS.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Before this thread I've never really seen and up or down side as far as liability.... I just couldn't imagine trying to explain how extensive bug damage in a crawl space is or what a damaged shingle or improper flashing on a roof looks like.

    Let's see.... at 1,000 words saved per picture I think I'm starting to understand why some guys spend so much time on reports

    I toally agree with the "whatever works for you" idea..... Different markets, different rules, different expectations. As long as the phone is ringing with clients and not attorneys you're doing something right.


  33. #33
    Tom Camp's Avatar
    Tom Camp Guest

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    I always use photos, although it takes longer to complete a report. Not using photos of defects would be a disservice to a client. I have had at times 20 photos in a report and as few as three, I always have a photo of the main water shut off and furnace filter location in my reports.


  34. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Total pics in my report varies from 12 - 30 depending upon the house. I try to stick using pics of defects that are not readily accessible and viewable (ie - roofs, chimneys, service panel interiors, etc.) and defects that are the most significant and/or costly to repair.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    How many provide pictures in the report if the client is in attendance?


  36. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    How many provide pictures in the report if the client is in attendance?
    No difference for me. Maybe more when they start asking if I give guarantees or how much insurance I have.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    No difference for me. Maybe more when they start asking if I give guarantees or how much insurance I have.
    Same here. I put pics in whether the client is there or not. Even if they are in attendance and follow me around, chances are they or somebody related to the sale may have questions after the report is sent. Including pics in the report regardless of who is there helps reduce callbacks and questions.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    I got a call yesterday, of course I was in traffic, but had speaker phone on. The lady wants to know, for earthquake preparedness, if her 1960 house that I inspected last summer is anchored to the foundation?
    Was the basement finished, I ask."Yes, all covered in. No, you couldn't have seen them while doing the inspection. We just want to know if they would be there?"
    So this AM, I went into the files, about 130 pics, found pics of two places where they can remove some insulation in the corners and check the bottom plates for anchor bolts. Easy one.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Lancaster, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Realtor friendly inspectors add very few pictures as the realtor cannot just brush the concern aside with a nasty ole picture in front of their face.
    .
    Seems to be the case here too... And those who employ these methods can *slap* a report together in 15-20 minutes!

    A guy touts doing a bazillion inspections all the time... and putting a report together in less than 20 minutes, and openly claims using excessive photos/captions and such are just a "waste of time and not part of the service".

    Well.... low and behold an aXXorney called me dropping the guys name and they were planning on pegging him in near future (I told him to keep to keep calling) as a lengthly laundry list of items have been found and continue to keep being found after they've moved in. I usually let this kinda thing go in one ear and out the other... but seems like he let a guy buy a "polished turd" without saying much about it. Do inspectors do that??? A shame, but I guess so.

    The thing that put it "over the top???" And was reaaaalllly sticking in this guys (the buyer's) head??? This inspector (that I actually liked prior to hearing this) told the guy repeatedly... "You're buying a GREAT HOUSE"

    Why would an inspector use few/no pictures and compliment a home????

    Hmmm, I wonder. What a shame.


  40. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Out of several thousand users, and reviewing thousands of reports sent to me, I'd say we have about 10 guys not including photos. All of them have been inspecting a LONG time. I hear new guys say the same thing that you heard. They last one inspection before they start adding images.

    There's a few more that only put photos at the end of the report, the rest integrate them in line.

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
    Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad. Import HomeGauge, 3D & InspectVue Narratives!

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Realtor friendly inspectors add very few pictures as the realtor cannot just brush the concern aside with a nasty ole picture in front of their face.

    Who is the Realtor to brush off any concern given the Realtor is not the client. My clients make the decisions not the Realtors.


  42. #42
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Realtor friendly inspectors add very few pictures as the realtor cannot just brush the concern aside with a nasty ole picture in front of their face.

    Who is the Realtor to brush off any concern given the Realtor is not the client. My clients make the decisions not the Realtors.
    SOME of your clients may make the decision. The rest are influenced heavily by the Realtor as to what to ask for in an addendum for what to get fixed. Realtors have a tremendous amount of control over a large portion of clients. The Realtor gains there trust and as soon as they have it, they have control. This is not saying that the clients brush particular items off instantly because of the Realtor but the Realtor can make it to be either not so much of a deal or talk the client into "Sellers never fix those kind of things" or "The warranty will cover stuff like that so lets move on to other items.

    The more ammo you give your client the better informed they are when sitting down with the Realtor to go over items with the Realtor that they want repaired.


  43. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    SOME of your clients may make the decision. The rest are influenced heavily by the Realtor as to what to ask for in an addendum for what to get fixed. Realtors have a tremendous amount of control over a large portion of clients. The Realtor gains there trust and as soon as they have it, they have control. This is not saying that the clients brush particular items off instantly because of the Realtor but the Realtor can make it to be either not so much of a deal or talk the client into "Sellers never fix those kind of things" or "The warranty will cover stuff like that so lets move on to other items.

    The more ammo you give your client the better informed they are when sitting down with the Realtor to go over items with the Realtor that they want repaired.
    So in that case the pictures are irrelevant if the Realtors are influencing their clients to that extent?


  44. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    How many provide pictures in the report if the client is in attendance?
    Report is the same regardless of attendance. I try to include a photo for every defect. Usually only ends up being about 90% of defects have photos.

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

  45. #45
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    So in that case the pictures are irrelevant if the Realtors are influencing their clients to that extent?
    Just the opposite. If there are pictures and a nasty mess of an HVAC system is staring them in the face it is a lot harder for a Realtor to talk them out of negotiating for it with remarks like " As long as it is blowing hot air and cold air the sellers never fix anything to do with the HVAC, and besides if something were to go wrong with the system "That is what home warranties are for"


  46. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    I cannot imagine a report without photos. I take nothing but photos while on site, no notes, no voice recordings, no data entry.

    I agree with others who stated getting sued is over blown, and the best way to avoid it is by doing a really thorough inspection and providing a great service.


  47. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    An average house around the Twin Cities, say a 1950's rambler will have 40 to 60 pictures. I did an 8 year old townhome today which had 20 pictures. The worst house I've seen had 98 pictures. I generally include a few more pictures if the buyers isn't present, but I very seldom have inspections when the buyer isn't present.

    It generally takes me about 15 minutes at the end of the inspection to add all the pictures into the report. This isn't normal for everyone. I know my software, I'm extremely computer literate, and I can type 65 words per minute.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  48. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    While you can certainly write an accurate report without photos, it will not save you in court. In fact, the lack of photos could very well doom you in court, since you can not "show" what you have written.

    As a report verifier, I have seen lots of examples of reports where the photos show something other than what was written. For example, a clear photo of a gas water heater, when the report says the house has an electric unit. Or the photo that clearly shows damage, yet there is no mention of said damage in the report.

    Having served as an expert witness many times, I can say that it's the photos that makes it very clear when I am calling out a defect. I have found that clients like photos. Judges and juries like photos. Sellers and listing agents have a hard time saying there isn't any wood rot when there are 6 photos clearly showing it.
    The more pics the better


  49. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: pictures vs. no pictures in a report

    Sorry the Client seldom make the decision without being influenced by their Agent. Real Estate Agents/Realtors are in SALES and the basic and most important purpose in their minds and their Brokers is to SELL. That is what they are out there to do. If you think the vast majority do not put themselves before the Client you are very naive.

    The client may not know what the written statement really means and rely mostly on the Agent to explain it to them. It is harder to downplay the picture. The picture will clarify what is being said..

    One of the problems with many HI training schools or courses required to obtain a lic is that they stress that the Inspector is a Generalist and not to exceed the minimal interpenetration of the SOP. Reduce liability by referring everything with any question to someone else for their professional opinion. The mantra of "you are a generalist and you are there to report only the observable ", and since you are not a lic. professional ___X, ___Y or ___Z you can not offer a competent opinion or judgement of what you are looking at other than it needs someone else to inspect it.

    If you know what you are doing you should not be worried about the liability of a picture of what you have seen. If you don't know what you are doing then you, for personal liability concerns, you will perform only to the most minimal and basic level in regards to the report. In and out in 30 min with a page and a half report and 4 pages of disclaimers.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 03-02-2013 at 08:59 AM. Reason: addition

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •