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This article describes the basic communication skills needed to be a successful and effective home inspector, and suggests how inspectors should evaluate different written home inspection report forms.
This article series, beginning at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS, provides lists of common building defects and basic defect knowledge that also outline recommended curriculum content for home inspector education. The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks.
Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.
10 COMMUNICATION AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE for Home Inspectors
10.1 Professional Practice
10.1.1 Knowledge Base
1. Describe the goal of a home inspection.
2. Outline the scope of a home inspection .
3. Outline the history of home inspection in North America.
4. Describe the profile of a typical client.
5. Describe the characteristics of an ethical home inspector
6. Describe the tools typically used by a home inspector to perform a basic inspection.
7. Describe the home inspection process, including the pre-inspection routine, introductory discussion, inspection itself, closing discussion, delivery of written report
8. Describe the following with respect to home inspection:
real estate agent and broker, listing and selling agent, buyer broker or buyer agent, agreement of purchase and sale, irrevocable date, expiry date???JDG, closing or closing date, seller disclosure, substitute disclosure, escrow, waiver, closing adjustments, mortgage, equity, mortgage insurance, title insurance, commission, multiple listing service (MLS), sign-back.
9. Identify the licensing or practice laws, inspection standards and codes of ethics which apply to a professional home inspector in your area.
10. Describe how the home inspection process fits into the real estate transaction, including the home inspector’s interaction with parties other than the client.
11. Define the following terms with respect to the practice of home inspection:
property conditions, observed, installed systems and components, describe, technically exhaustive, advisability of purchase, cosmetic items, underground items, warranties, guarantees, engineering, occupational license, strength, adequacy, efficiency, normal operating controls, safety controls, hazardous substance, hazardous conditions, future conditions, operating costs, acoustical characteristics, practical experience, honest conviction, good faith, disclosure of information to third parties, compensation, commissions or allowances, conflict of interest, unregulated, pre-purchase home inspection, visual inspection, readily accessible, non-destructive, non-invasive, sampling type inspection, conditional offer, neutral and unbiased, risk management
10.1.2 Home Inspection Skills Required
1. Describe sets of circumstances against which the principles of professional practice are tested. Describe how the inspector should handle the situation professionally and ethically.
10.2.1 Knowledge Base
1. Describe the purpose of verbal and written communication with respect to home inspection.
2.. Define the following terms within the context of verbal communication:
sender, receiver, message, encoding, decoding, feedback, medium, noise, personal filter areas, reception, para-verbals, body language, illustrators, emblems, regulators, adaptors, affect displays (emotional displays), mimic technique, credibility, jargon, semantic differences, proximity, information overload, time constraints, empathy, trust, distractions
3. List three general written report formats.
4. Describe these common components found in written reports:
description, conditions or evaluations, causes of conditions, implications of conditions, recommended action, limitations, life expectancy, priorities, estimated costs of repair, further investigation
5. List four reasons for writing written reports.
6. Define the following terms within the context of written reports:
Warning: third party liability, on-site reports, report delivery, checklist, narrative, combination, contract, scope, report summary, report body, limitations, client questionnaire, maintenance tips, filing system, cost estimates, home owner letter (seller letter)
7. Describe the nature of the liabilities that professional home inspectors bear.
8. Describe two strategies used to limit liability of home inspectors.
9. Define the following terms with respect to the liability of home inspectors:
Warning: these lists may include unrealistic expectations, gray issues, engineering, competent inspector concept, contractors, 20/20 hindsight, last-one-in syndrome, someone’s fault, prevention strategies, response strategies, walk-through inspections, model contracts, pre-inspection routine, introductory discussion, the inspection itself, closing discussion
10. Describe the importance of reporting and communicating immediate hazards to the occupant and client.
10.2.2 Inspection Skills
1. Demonstrate the principles of good verbal communication in a presentation.
2. Describe the general sequence of a home inspection, outlining the issues communicated at each stage.
3. Construct a written report using the principles of good written communication.
4. Read reports and identify which report component(s) each sentence addresses.
Warning: Assumptions - all comments in this curriculum series apply [only] to 1 to 4 family dwellings.
Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website.
Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here.
These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material. The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson.
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Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Mr. Cramer serves on the ASHI Home Inspection Standards. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com
John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. He is also a contributor to InspectApedia.com in several technical areas such as plumbing and appliances (dryer vents). Contact Mr. Cranor at 804-747-7747 or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Arlene Puentes, an ASHI member and a licensed home inspector in Kingston, NY, and has served on ASHI national committees as well as HVASHI Chapter President. Ms. Puentes can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wikipedia provided background information about some topics discussed at this website provided this citation is also found in the same article along with a " retrieved on" date. NOTE: because Wikipedia entries are fluid and can be amended in real time, we cite the retrieval date of Wikipedia citations and we do not assert that the information found there is necessarily authoritative.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
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