What's Our Job?
Eventually, you’ll hear an inspector say “Why are you writing all that, just write what you see!”
Home inspectors are hired by buyers because the buyers want to know the level of financial and physical risk associated with buying a particular property. They don‘t care what you see, they’re not hiring you because they want to help you make a living, they hire you to protect them and they care about what you find.
A home inspector’s job is to provide information that will allow their clients to accurately access the level of risk associated with the purchase. This means that home inspection is consumer protection. If you write narratives that only describe what you see but don’t make plain the level of urgency or threat represented by a condition, then you don’t provide enough information for your client to make an informed decision, and you haven’t done a good job.
On Narrative Length
On various forums and message boards you’ll see inspectors write “That narrative is too long, they’ll never read it”.
Your job as an inspector isn’t to guess the longest narrative a client will read and never exceed that. Your job is to put the information into the report necessary for a client to make an informed decision. If neither the client nor their agent wants to read the report, that’s on them, but not on you.
On Narrative Language
We want to use easy-to-read narratives, but remember that a report is a legal document not written only for the client, but it may also be seen (and judged/interpreted) by the seller, both buyer and seller’s agents, attorneys, arbitrators, judges, and /or contractors. For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid colloquial terms unless they are very widely understood.