A written inspection report is at the center of every home inspection, and is required by the California Business and Professions Code, and the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) Standards of Practice. http://www.creia.org Although an inspector may provide insight into his or her report language with verbal onsite comments or follow-up explanations, one should rely on the language and finding of the written inspection report.
For a professional home inspector, the written report is the formal, final, and factual declaration of what was discovered about the property on the day of the inspection. This is the standard centerpiece of the home inspection profession. What is written overshadows what anyone might claim to have said. This also includes oral comments by others who challenge a professional inspector’s report but refuse themselves to put it in writing.
There are several variations of professional inspection reports used in California such as field- generated checklist style of report (with follow-up typed compilation or action list); reference book (tear sheet checklists corresponding to items in a reference book); checklist style; written narrative report or other hybrids versions. Many inspectors also use digital photographs to illustrate their findings.
In addition to the written report produced by a professional inspector, sellers and real estate agents also have an obligation to complete a detailed disclosure statement, which lists known conditions that can affect the habitability, desirability, safety or value of the property. Real Estate disclosure has been required in California since the mid-‘80’s Easton case. It’s critical for consumers to carefully examine all of these documents while making final purchase decisions on what is most likely the largest investment they will ever make.
Make sure you retain the services of a professional home inspector. Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection industry and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA’s Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed by the association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for Home Inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.