My perspective on this is informed by my past experience as a Realtor. The general public is seeking guidance in the real estate transaction with the ultimate question being “Should I buy this house?” Sometimes I get asked that question directly, with variants such as “Would you by this house?”.
Naturally, I tell my clients it’s not for me to say, and tell them that’s a “Realtor question”. Still, they look to the Inspector as the only person in the transaction with no skin in the game, so I feel compelled to help them put things in perspective.
Buyers often want to know what are the “Safety Issues”, so I provide that category. I reserve “Major Issue” for things like a trashed out roof, failing foundation, etc.
“Possible Issue” is probably my most used category. These are things that are significant, but can be addressed without breaking the bank. Below those are “Moderate”, “Minor”, and “Cosmetic”.
Minor and Cosmetic are typically things that are of no real significance, but I include so that the buyer will not see it, think I missed it, and get stressed out over it.
I get very good on-line ratings from my clients for my thoroughness and willingness to answer their questions, and I get referred a lot by Realtors because they know that I am thorough, but will also the time and effort necessary to help the buyer put things in perspective.
Ultimately, I think the best approach is to find out what your clients are seeking to learn from the inspection and do your best to provide answers and perspective.