Summary Page?

I have come across reports that have a summary page and I have heard that it is required in some states. I recently had a request from a Realtor if I can include a summary page in my reports. Since this information is already included in the report and finding it it each page is easy to do, I cannot see a reason for it. So I come to you to see if there is a good reason to include a summary page on which I cannot think of?

I have never included a summary page and eliminated the “Major Defect Page” that gave our professional opinion on what items are considered a “Major Defect” in a standard contract that the buyer and seller signed from their Realtors.

Just looking for some input why you think a summary page is important.

Always trying to keep an open mind.

The Summary page is sometimes a tool in the hands of a Realtor that is
used to bypass the problems of all the details. IMHO. I do not use one
and do so in order to get the Client to read the entire report.

I do not solict or work for Realtors.

I don’t use a Summary Page for the same reason John stated.

And the inspector never determines what is a “major defect”–only the client can determine this. What is signifcant to one person may be of no consequence to another. Educate the client completely about the issues and let him/her decide the significance.

I use a summery page and always have done so.With the reminder x 10 that they must read the whole report.

a realtor once asked me for a summary pages as well because he said, “we are too busy to have to look through the entire report” Most realtors I know these days have TOO much time on their hands because of the crappy market. Anyway, I know the client will read the entire report but I do rehash the bullets on a summary page as well.

I also do not use a summary page .
Used too and found many did not read the report.
I agree with Jae and John .

… Cookie

In my summary page I refer to the page and line for the client to read for more exact detail on what I found so there is no question about my findings. This make them reread my report.

The summary page is an additional opportunity to market oneself. It will be reviewed more than any other single page or feature of the report - so add your logo and link on it if you provide one.

You cannot make anyone sit and read the entire report, anymore than you can make them eat all their vegetables. Not providing a summary does not guarantee that they will read the entire report, and if properly stated, you are not increasing liability even a little by adding one.

To refuse a direct request from clients and their Realtors for something is to turn a deaf ear to what can help you book more inspections. I think that is kind of cutting your nose off to spite your face, but that’s just me…

I use a summary page. I encourage reading the entire report (in writing on the summary page) but have no control over whether they do or not…it’s on them if they don’t read the entire report.

I only provide a summary for the realtor with a recommendation to read the entire report…my summary contains all findings and photos that are in the full report, so at times can be 6 to 12 pages long…the full report provided to the client contains all the reference material and a list of the components and systems…I use TWI Systems OSDS Uniform Building Inspection Report

I doubt that 2 in 10 reports are read regardless of how they are written, I provide a summary at the front of my report where most people want it.

Same here. I include the major and minor discrepancies as well as my recommendations, so everything in the body of the report is once again detailed in the Summary. Do it in a bullet format, double space between items. Typically no more than two pages, sometimes more. So this makes it almost impossible for that phone call where the client says you didn’t put so and so in the report. It is in there three times. In the report, in the photo album and on the summary. So if they don’t see it, they ain’t even trying. The body of the report is usually filled with pretty much BS information anyway. Brand names of items, numbers, ages; all the crap people continue to ask for on the BB that the customer almost never gives a RA about. Sometimes, simple is better. Ive seen some 86 page reports that say nothing, looks real pretty but the customer is left scratching their heads wondering what the hell they just read. Report what you see, cover everything by the book, keep your opinions to a minimum and Germain to the home inspection. No one wants to read how much rainfall took place during the time the trees were growing that produced the lumber for the manufactured trusses in the gable roof on the house that is facing NE.

My sentiments exactly…:smiley:

I personally don’t see why the report has to be redundant. Having one page that reference the pages with information on it might be an option.

Sounds time consuming.

Most good reporting software will allow you to determine what defects appear in the summary, no extra time required.

Just realize that your report like everyone else’s won’t be read and all the other decisions become very easy, the reality is that clients reading the summary is about the best it ever gets.

I refer to the summary report with all items defined by the report to be defective in any manner requiring repair. Time consumption has nothing to do with accurately and faithfully executing your obligation to provide an objective understanding of the property to your client. The summary is provided as a convenience to the client for easy transfer between the parties in the transaction so things can get done or to allow for smoother negotiations.

It is not time consuming at all. The photos are simply downloaded to an (file) album, I do some annotations on the photos, perhaps some arrows or circles are added to indicated the exact discrepancies. The report package is done before I ever leave the inspection site, the customer has their copy in their hands if they attend. It is about 95% complete at the end of the inspection. I do the Summary back at the office, usually takes half an hour to an hour if I get distracted and come in here. I then email the photo album and the summary to the customer the next morning after I review it again. It is produced in the normal course of doing the inspection with a few exceptions. Believe me, Ive done it many different ways and this one works great for me, may not for someone else. I did two summaries yesterday afternoon with a total of about 1.5 hours time invested. It isn’t hard if you don’t include all the nickel dime crap in the report that does not matter. As I said Ive seen some reports where they tell the customers how to arrange their furniture.

Oh yeah, and if you really want to save time, use a Voice recognition software and you can dictate the entire summary while your computer types it. Works like a dream. The more you use it the more accurate it gets. Most people give up too easy and think it sux so they quit using it.


I just added a Summary page to my report and only added the first sentence from each comment. 26 comments and it looks like a lot of problems with the house. I would think this would scare the clients then anything else.



  1. Double taps installed at breaker.
  2. Reverse polarity found at various outlets in house.
  3. TPR valve pipe is not installed on water heater.
  4. Furnace did not operate when thermostat was calling for heat.

By the time you add all the comments, it looks scary.

I’m going to have to get some feed back from some people around here before going in this direction.

The report is not scary, the report is the report. Perhaps the house is scary?