Who Owns the Inspection Report?
During the home purchase, one of the due-diligence items that the buyer should do is order a Home Inspection Report on the house. This is performed by a licensed Inspector and it allows the buyer to know what issues, if any, the home has so they can work on getting them repaired. Many times, the buyer will ask the seller to make some repairs and the seller asks for a copy of the report to make it easier. Other times, the buyer sends to the seller and then the buyer terminates the contract. At that point, the question comes up – Who owns the Inspection Report?
If you are the Listing Agent and a buyer shares their inspection report with you and then terminates, do you agree that the seller can share this with other potential buyers showing what he has repaired on the report? Who actually is owner of the report and if this is a violation to share if you did not pay.
Answer from a Buyer’s Agent:
If we get permission from our buyers to share their inspection report, then it is no longer simply theirs. Many inspectors have started asking the buyers for their permission to even send it to the buyers’ agent, and if we’re there, it’s a great opportunity to ask our buyers to be able to send it to the listing agent as well. But once it’s sent, there’s no taking it back
Answer from an Inspector:
An inspector must ask to send the report to the Buyer’s Agent. The report is the property of the buyer. If the buyer permits the report to be sent to the seller, then yes, the seller can give that to another potential buyer. The seller must also modify the seller disclosure to disclose deficient items that were found. They must also disclose that an inspection was done. They are not required to provide that report, but it would be recommended. You do not need the inspector’s permission to forward the report. You only need the permission of the buyer (client). It is their report, and they are the only ones that can authorize it going to anyone else. The inspection report is not transferable, but that does not mean that you can’t forward it. Transfer of the report implies that someone else is now the client of the inspector, and that is why reports will say they are not transferable.
The seller AND the agent are both required to disclose material facts about the property. So as soon as an inspection report is delivered both are liable for the information. I know that there is a lot of discussion about who ‘owns’ the report – but you have to remember that it is the information on the report that is required to be disclosed.
The easiest way is to include the actual inspection report (I black out the previous buyer’s name & contact info in this situation). I think that providing the report instead of translating the information into a revised disclosure is better for all. It allows a buyer the chance to contact the inspector with questions and ensures that the seller doesn’t accidentally omit or alter the information during translation.
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- Chris Ohlig has lived in The Colony for 27 years and is an expert in all things going on in the area and all things Real Estate related.
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