Home inspectors work long, hard days. In addition to inspecting several spaces in a day, most return to their offices to write the necessary reports and distribute to waiting clients. The less time you spend on a single home, the more efficient you can be. One strategy to help you save time is to review the online real estate listings for the property the night before an appointment. By pre-documenting this information, you can have access to key information, which you can then verify or disclaim once on the job sight. Here are a few things to keep in mind while previewing the home.
Remember the Details
Online listings are an excellent tool for collecting basic information to include in your report. Use the photographs and public assessor’s records to determine details about the house you’ve been hired to inspect. Include these details in your report the night before so you can devote less time to information-gathering on the day of the job.
Keep an Eye Out
Online listings can help you determine essential details, like missing devices, water supply information, and building materials. Keep an eye out for roof covering materials, exterior cladding, vegetation touching the exterior, foundation type, heat method and fuel source, the cooling method, and if a fireplace is present. These observations will be necessary for your report and compiling them in advance will save a lot of time.
The listing page is an excellent place to collect information regarding the home’s age, the number of stories, whether the house is on a sloped or flat lot, and what comprises the driveway’s materials. You should also be able to determine if the range is gas or electric, whether the home is vacant or occupied, and what type of permanently installed kitchen appliances are available.
Trust but Verify
While you can use the listing page as an excellent source for your report, it is essential to check for the existence of every detail you record. You can’t fully rely on the listing agent’s sales pitch or the details therein; you must verify those elements in order to include them as facts in your report. If you can’t verify a listing detail, consider attributing a comment in the report.