Video in reports - Liability

[FONT=Verdana]I have recently added video in to my reports and have be given a suggestion not to use video for liability reasons. I send the client a electronic copy of the report right away, and then mail them a hard copy.
“You have included videos that cannot be included in a written report. This means that the report in it’s printed format, or in the PDF format in which you supplied it to me, is incomplete. I recommend that you not try include videos, they just complicate matters. If you insist on doing so, you should ask your attorney about the liability attached to providing an incomplete report”

Can anyone offer suggestions on legal jargon to keep using videos, or a good way to go about it. Videos is a unique selling point for me!


**Video information is useless in a report.
**Use video for your personal notes if needed much as some use audio for the same reason.
You are not a movie star (sorry) and very few are going to watch it.

Clients,Agents,and Lawyers need printed documentation that can be used for demands.
This report is for the client… period.

Make your report detailed,precise,clear,streamlined and easy for understandable issues to be repeated in a business setting.
Leave entertainment to HGTV.

Unique does not always equal better value.

You can’t use video as a substitute for your written report or any part of your written report for many reasons.

The main reason is that a home inspection report is a legal document in a real estate transaction. For centuries, legal documents have been distilled into writing. Even nowadays, digital documents are merely representations of paper. You aren’t going to change that.

A video may be used to explain something in the written report. It may be used as evidence to support something in the written report. But it can’t be used as a substitute for text.

Conversely, a photo can.

Q: Why? Isn’t a video just a series of photos? What’s the difference between a video and a photo?

A: A photo can be put on and into a paper document. A video can’t.

I think a video report might be appropriate for a client who has reading difficulty … but I can certainly see how your client who objected to it would resent having to, first, read through all of your written materials and then take additional time to go through the video of your inspection to see (1) if it contained new information, and (2) if he could see things in the video that you might have overlooked.

What makes you believe that offering a video of your inspection, other than to the plaintiff’s attorney during the discovery process of a lawsuit, would be of benefit to anyone?

I dont see it a a liability at all. I have used video several times to show something to a client. For example, I found a weak spot below a skylight on a roof. Client was in another state, and unable to see what I was talking about.
If you are worried about “including” it in the report, Include a link inside the written report. They cant click on it obviously, merely inform them the report is intended to be digital.

Most states that have adopted licensing define a home inspection to be in “written format.” That means text, diagrams, drawings, schematics, photos… but not video or audio (you can’t distill video or audio to paper).

I am in MI, not a license state. This gives me the ability to serve my clients by the best means I deem necessary. I like it this way.
Nick states that a legal document needs to be paper, (i don’t disagree) Is this an example of unnecessary government intervention?

*Mike throws a match on a pool of gas, and steps back"

The video is never standalone (an not used a substitute), it goes with the text of the issue and usually another picture. The video is a supplement to the other written information. Videos usualy 10-20 seconds.

I see no benefit to your or your clients time.
Get busy and see how that format works for you.

When business is slow period we all think up crazy addons.
Through here .
Gotta go inspect.:slight_smile:

This is a example of printed report, the online versions, shows the video with the voltage sniffer going off, showing high voltage.

Video is the new HG thing, which I use. Personally I see no use in adding videos. Others may disagree.

Consider uploading your video descriptions of common defects to YouTube and providing a link to them, using them multiple times. Kills two birds, IMO.

For the most part, I agree with Nick on this. However, even a picture can’t take the place of text, otherwise there’d be no need for text in most instances - just take a picture and let the client figure out what they’re looking at.

Video might make for “flashy” reports, but they’re absolutely unnecessary.

Video is one my unique selling points, I am moving into a larger area and the realtors really seem to like it! Take that out and it limits my uniqueness… I thought it was cool, but I am digging into the legality and liability.

I think you should just say that the video is not a substitute for the report, but is rather intended to compliment the report.

That was my original thinking years ago as a way to get basic material comments which take up a lot of time out of the way.
The report could then concentrate purely on issues.

Not easy as it sounds however though in cookie cutter rural areas that might be possible.