Question Details

Dan Mengedoht, Real Estate Pro in 29401

Who 'owns' the home inspection report?

Asked by Dan Mengedoht, 29401 Tue Nov 13, 2007

In Charleston SC, if the listing agent requests to see the full inspection report, the buyer's agent usually asks the buyer, who paid for the inspection, for permission to send the report to the listing agent. I have heard of times (other agents; not me) when the buyer gets angry with their agent for giving the report to the listing agent and seller if permission was not previously granted. However, I have also learned that in Bluffton SC, the inspector automatically sends the inspection report to both the buyer's agent and the listing agent. Based on Charleston's protocol, I found that odd. And then there is the issue of: does the listing really want the full report, from the standpoint of full disclosure?

From reading in other Trulia posts, I have learned that standard real estate procedure is truly regional. What do y'all think and what is the norm in your area?

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

16
From an inspectors standpoint...

My client, be it buyer, seller, or another party to the sale, owns the report. The client has the option to release the report to anyone else that they may choose.

My only request on the use of my report is that I ask that the report not be reproduced in it's entirety for distribution to prospective buyers, or for publication in its entirety to a website for promotion of a sale.

It is a violation of most of the published ethics standards that Home Inspectors are required to follow to present anyone other than the client with a copy of the Inspection Report without prior consent of the client. Most clients do agree to share the report with their own agent, and many don't mind to share the report with the seller and their agent. I always ask the client before I start an inspection, and my Inspection Agreement has a space to check off to grant or deny sharing of the report.
I provide one copy of the printed report to the client on site and a copy on CD with all the photos taken of the property. If the client has agreed to share the report with anyone else I provide info on how to access the report on my website.
Alton
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2007
The buyer pays for the report and theoredically owns the report. However, here in California the report attaches to the property, becomes a material fact and MUST be disclosed to any and all potential buyers of the property. Irrespective of ownership it must now be disclosed.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
MVP'08
Contact
This doesn't sound like a "regional" question at all....

He who pays for the inspection, owns the inspection and the rights of what to do with it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in 60201
MVP'08
Contact
I stand corrected, as usual, California is in a "state" unto itself, and runs things every so differently.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in 60201
MVP'08
Contact
I am a home inspector in Virginia Beach, VA. I inspect in accordance with a national society's standards and abide by their code of ethics. I can not ethically release a buyer's report to another party without their permission. However, I encourage the buyer to let me provide a copy of the report to the seller's agent as a courtesy so they get a 1st party explanation of my findings. This seems to make the process of getting things done a whole lot smoother and I spend a lot less time on the phone providing clarification. This is a one time shot. The seller's agent is forbidden to use my client's report for another prospective buyer. See the attached Code of Ethics, #9.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 11, 2008
I'm not an expert in PA real estate law, but I provide my inspection report to the client who paid me for it.

I understand that there is a convention in the standard PA agreement of Sale or Real Estate law that allows for the seller to receive a copy of the inspection report from the buyer, if it is requested (I think this means the full report, but I have never had to find out).

I always ask the client (buyer) if I can forward it to their agent or anyone else for them - they can then let me know who they wish to have access to the report. Makes life easier for all.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
In the Seattle area, it is the property of the buyer. The agent will use this report to respond to the inspection to the seller. However it is not given to the lender or the seller's agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2007
Dan, If that were happening to me I would request specificly that the report ONLY BE PROVIDED TO BUYER AND OR BUYER/AGENT.
It is alwayse interesting to see how business differs from region to region. I would hope that the inspector would respect the wishes of the individual that is paying him/her.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
Buyer owns the report and has every right to make the decision to share with the seller. Buyer makes the final decision.
Web Reference: http://www.2905bonnell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
I guess what really prompted my comment / question was the practice in Bluffton of the inspectors automatically sending the report to both agents. It is clearly owned by the party paying for it, so how or why could it be sent to the listing agent by the inspeector?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
In NY the one who pays owns the report. They are certainly free to share it. If there are issues, there is usually a cover page that summarizes them that can be shared.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
Who ever pays for the home inspection report.
Web Reference: http://www.iansellsnola.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
In my last residentiial listing, my seller agreed to offer the buyer a credit at closing for the cost of the inspection. We made this offer as an incentive to the buyer to obtain a professional inspection on a home that was in pretty good condition. The seller and I felt that it was in both our interests for the buyer to order her own inspection.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
Contact
In NJ, the buyer owns the report. We do not provide the full report to the sellers, but we do use it in negotiations to have items repaired/credit given where necessary. The buyers attorney shares the information with the sellers' attorney, but not the actual report.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
In Marin, California -

The person who pays for the inspection, whether buyer or seller, owns the home inspection report. However, either side will need to provide the other side with the report.

As a seller, they are required to give known disclosures (inspection reports are considered as one of those) to the buyers.

So, even if a previous buyer ordered inspection, received the inspection report and decided not to buy the property; as long as the seller has the report, they are required to give the report (even if it's from the previous buyer) to the current buyer to review.

We always advise the sellers before they order an inspection that the report will be shared with the buyers. Sometimes the sellers don't want to do inspection for fear of it might reveal a big problem but then we advise them it's better to find out now than later.

It's the customary thing to do, so they understand.

Sylvia . .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Novato, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Where I do business in Colorado the buyer owns this report. Common sense tells me that if they pay for it it belongs to them. I believe that it is common if there is an issue that the buyer wants resolved that may be described in the report, that report or that portion of the report is provided to the seller as evidence.
If there was not an objection or something that was objected to that is obvious I see no reason why a seller or listing agent would have any right to have access to this information.
If the seller is so concerned perhaps they may want to get the home inspected and provide a warrantee with the home. Kill two birds with one stone...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer