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Inspection Procedures

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undergroundPOP

Sophomore Member
Joined
May 29, 2013
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Hey all!

I'm getting out into the field to do some residential work to supplement my commercial training, and I was wondering what your standard procedures were for inspections. I'm still getting familiar with Total's mobile app, so I'm not sure if I'll be using that during my first few inspections, but maybe you can offer some advice, tricks, or mistakes to avoid.

One thing that I always make sure before I leave the office is to make sure that the batteries in my camera and disto are charged up and that the memory card is in.

Anything else that comes to mind?? It can be as trivial as making sure that your breath is fresh or you're freshly shaven :D
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Pre-sketch the layout then check measurements. Remember to photo all rooms, all outbuildings. Create a checklist of all the touchstones of the form you use. Ask about septic and well if present, size,age depth, distances, ask about defects.
 

J Grant

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Iphone is a great backup camera if your main camera dies or you forget it.

The main problem I find on inspections is the PEOPLE. I think I need to remind them on the phone that I will need access to all rooms and yes, I do need to come inside ( doh). So many times I go to a house, and a room is locked, or there is someone "in there". I tell them I need photos of all the rooms and they give me a blank stare. Or I get to the appointment, knock ( broken doorbell of course) and they don't answer. I then call them on my phone, no answer. I walk to my car, call wait 5 minutes , call them again. "Oh I was taking a shower" What? And so on . Just be prepared for some dumb or odd behavior , (many people are lovely too) Some home owners or agents follow you around, lecturing about the market, and then tell you that they know how much the home is worth! Be careful about conversations like that. I act aloof, say thanks for the information . Same if they hand me a list of sales. I take them, tell them I will look at them, but I always do my own research.

Dogs: I am a dog lover, but I do not want to mess with dogs at an inspection, unless I can tell they are very gentle. Put them in the garage please thank you. Then out of garage when I need to go in

Photos: make sure no people are in the photos , including your own reflection in mirrors. In bathrooms with mirrors I crouch down so I am not in the mirror. Same with photos of people on display on their wall try not to get them in your shot or crop them out later. Take all the sides of the house, multiple pictures in case one does not come out.

Comp photos: Be prepared for suspicious stares as you drive around a neighborhood, making one feel like a criminal casing the area. That's the kind of looks one gets on certain streets. Be discreet, if someone asks what you are doing explain, goes without saying no people in the comp photos either ( unless in a city area then even the dumb lenders realize it and allow it) . I've had the security called on me and police called on me when driving comps. I've had enraged people chase me for taking a picture of their house. This does not happen all the time, but it can and does happen. So keep your wits about you when driving the comps. Be safe, pull over for the photo or use blinkers etc. Don't run anyone over or hit a mail box. I never ran anyone over but I did hit a mailbox when backing out of a driveway.

Have fun, you'll see a lot of areas and different types of homes and lifestyles!
 
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Riick

Elite Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Trick for photos in neighborhoods where you don't even want to slow down, or, where 23 people are sitting on front porch.
Put camera on HD video, turn on, press lens directly against drivers window, take of home as you cruise by.
Later, select the single frame you want from the video, for the report.
 

Red Flint

Member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Professional Status
General Public
State
Michigan
Non-Right Angle Measurer

Cane with tennis ball fitted on top (dogs)

small but good flashlight (or phone light)
 

norapp

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Read lender instructions carefully. Some want street photos both directions, view of what is across street, interior photos of enclosed porch areas, interior outbuildings including sheds. They just keep adding stuff.
 

CindyR

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
The main problem I find on inspections is the PEOPLE. I think I need to remind them on the phone that I will need access to all rooms and yes, I do need to come inside

Good grief - that is my standard line in every appointment phone call if i'm appraising an occupied property. "i need to come out to the house and measure all around the outside and look inside each room and take a bunch of pictures." Really - that's exactly what i say to every single one. It works - i highly recommend it.
 
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