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ďThere is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper Ė and the people who consider price alone are this manís lawful prey.Ē  John Ruskin

Shopping for a home inspector can be difficult, canít it?  After all, they all appear to meet the minimum qualifications, so how do you find the best inspectors?  Like many professionals, the best home inspectors use the best equipment and produce the best products, or in this case, the best-written inspection reports.

There are two basic types of inspection reports.  Beginners and high volume multi-inspector firms favor the checklist type report.  The inspector typically checks off items on a NCR type form or uses a hand held computer.  Unfortunately, the checklist reports donít always convey the necessary information, and most of these reports do not meet the Arizona Board of Technical Registration minimum requirements.  The main attraction of the checklist reports is that they are the cheapest and easiest type of report to produce. 

The best narrative reports are custom, computer generated reports that are very flexible.  The inspector is basically developing a written document that can be modified as required to provide the best description of the issues noted.  In order to use this type of report, the inspector must have excellent computer and communication skills.  Therefore, the most experienced and more competent inspectors favor this type of report.  The best narrative reports will have photographs embedded in the document.  Since they are digital documents, these types of reports can be delivered via email and uploaded to the Internet.

When comparing home inspectors, be sure to review a copy of their inspection report.  After all, you want the best inspector and report format, donít you?  Be sure to compare features and price to get the best value.

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