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Decoding the Inspection Report: Part 3 – The Report

17 January, 2017
/ Comments Off on Decoding the Inspection Report: Part 3 – The Report
/ By The Home Inspectors

In this post, we are going to share and discuss the 4th paragraph of the Preamble which deals with the inspection report form.

“In this report, the inspector shall indicate, by checking the appropriate boxes on the form, whether each item was inspected, not inspected, not present or deficient and explain the findings in the corresponding section in the body of the report form. The inspector must check the Deficient (D) box if a condition exists that adversely and materially affects the performance of a system or component or constitutes a hazard to life, limb or property as specified by the TREC Standards of Practice. General deficiencies include inoperability, material distress, water penetration, damage, deterioration, missing components, and unsuitable installation. Comments may be provided by the inspector whether or not an item is deemed deficient. The inspector is not required to prioritize or emphasize the importance of one deficiency over another.”

In the example below, you can see how the check boxes are laid out and labeled as well as the Comments section where the findings can be explained. In addition, depending on the inspection company and/or their reporting software, you may also see disclaimers, the relevant Standard or other helpful information in this section.

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The TREC Standards of Practice require that for each inspection performed for a prospective buyer or prospective seller of a substantially complete one-to-four family residential property the inspector must prepare a written inspection report on Form REI 7-5 with the following requirements:

  • Note observed deficiencies and other items required to be reported
  •  Deliver the report to the person for whom the inspection was performed within three days unless otherwise agreed in writing by the client.
  • The inspection report must include the name and license number of each inspector who participated in performing the inspection
  • The address or other unique description of the property on each page of the report
  • The client’s name

The report rules do not apply to the following:

  • Re-inspections of a property performed for the same client
  • Inspections performed for or required by a lender or governmental agency
  • Inspections for which federal or state law requires use of a different report
  • Quality control construction inspections of new homes performed for builders (phase inspections; inspections to determine compliance with building codes; warranty or underwriting requirements) or inspections required by a municipality and the builder or other entity requires use of a different report. The first page of these reports must contain a notice either in bold or underlined reading substantially similar to the following: “This report was prepared for a builder or other entity in accordance with the builder’s requirements. The report is not intended as a substitute for an inspection of the property by an inspector of the buyer’s choice. Standard inspections performed by a license holder and reported on Commission promulgated report forms may contain additional information a buyer should consider in making a decision to purchase.” If a report form required for use by the builder or builder’s employee does not contain the notice, the inspector may attach the notice to the first page of the report at the time the report is prepared by the inspector
  • An inspection of a building or addition that is not substantially complete
  • Inspections of a single system or component, provided that the first page of the report contains a notice either in bold or underlined reading substantially similar to the following: “This report was prepared for a buyer or seller in accordance with the client’s requirements. The report addresses a single system or component and is not intended as a substitute for a complete standard inspection of the property. Standard inspections performed by a license holder and reported on a Commission promulgated report form may contain additional information a buyer should consider in making a decision to purchase.”

While the inspector is not required to prioritize or emphasize the importance of one deficiency over another, some inspectors will include a Summary Report which might list every single deficiency in a bullet point format it or it may just contain those deficiencies which are deemed health, safety or major expense items.

Real estate agents and clients often like to use these Summary Reports in preparing their repair amendments but it is important to note that these might only be a portion of the inspection findings themselves and other significant improvements may also be necessary. We highly recommend knowing what is included in the Summary and reviewing the actual Inspection Report in its entirety prior to preparing repair amendments and before the expiration of the Option Period.

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