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OK, you have the report, now what?

First of all it is very important that you take the time to read the entire report.  Too many times people jump to the summary and only read that.  The summary pages only reflect items that are not performing and are therefore considered defects.  There is often much more information in the body of the report.

For example consider that you are buying a 30 year old home.  At the time the home was built, the building codes did not require that smoke detectors be installed inside the bedrooms.  If they are not there, it is not a defect.  However, history has shown that the home is much safer if they are installed in the bedrooms in addition to being in the hallway.  On the other hand, for you and your family's safety, it is highly recommended that you have them installed.  This will be noted in the body of the report but not listed as a defect on the summary page.

Next pay close attention to items mentioned on the summary pages.  These are items that could either be identified as an actual defect or an item that you should consider having a specialist investigate.  Remember that all items listed here are critical. (See What's Important)  Anything that is not working or needs attention will be listed but you will find items such as a broken switch plate or small hole that needs sealed listed here also.  These are obviously items that should be addressed but would not affect your buying decision.  Determine which items are critical to your decision and then decide if they need to be addressed buy the seller of the home or if you can take care of them after you are living in the home. 

Many home are now being sold with a limit on repairs or "as is", meaning the seller does not intend to do anything about issue you may find.  You may have to decide whether or not to complete the purchase or you may find that you can still get the seller to make some repairs.  Consult with your Real Estate agent about whether or not they feel the seller will help with repairs.  At least at that point you know where you stand.

Last of all, look at the items that the seller either did not agree to repair or were not critical enough to ask them to fix and you can make a plan to schedule the remaining repairs.  Arrange the items in order of priorty.  Some of them should be dealt with as soon as you move in and others can be delayed until time or finances permit.  The import thing is that you now know what you need to do and can plan to go forward.
What to do when you get the report
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