I hope this helps,
AJ Heidmann, ABR, CRS, e-PRO
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Old Town Alexandria
"Serving Distinctive Clients & Properties in Northern Virginia"
first of all, does the seller actually have a copy of the prior inspection? obviously, they can't share something they don't have. in the scenario, sure they could ask the prior (would-be) buyer for a copy and it would be up to that person to decide to share it or not.
if they do have a copy of the inspection report, how did they get it? if they stole it under cloud of darkness, they have possession of the report, but not necessarily permission to share it, (and might not want to cop to the pilffering...) so i could understand if they didn't
but if the previous (would-be) buyer GAVE a copy to the seller, why couldn't that seller share it with anyone else? in 23 years i have NEVER seen an instance where a buyer presented a copy of the inspection to a seller and said "shhhh, this is mine - dont show this to anyone else." sellers show inspection reports to their own consultants and contractors all the time to evaluate inspection demands and to effect repairs.
i am simply unaware of any illinois case law, statute, or local ordinance anywhere in northern illinois that would prohibit a seller from sharing a copy of a prior inspection report. perhaps the law is different in the southeast....
(1) i do agree that a seller is duty-bound to disclose all known material defects (including anything revealed by prior inspections), and
(2) yes, you really should have your own inspection anyway....
2: The selling agent is correct unless she has written permission from the report owner (potential buyer)
3: don't know if she is "hiding" anything. She has a legal obligation to disclose any adverse defects that are made known to her but that is all. Seems she gave you a correct answer.
4: Bottom line: ALWAYS have your own inspection done. NEVER rely on any other parties reports. They may not have hired an inspection company that meets your standards and thus you would be taking a risk that a major issue was possibly overlooked. Sometimes the best advice is to spend a few hundred dollars for the peace of mind it brings. That can be very comforting to have in the long run.
Best of luck. Great question!
Tina Evans, Principal Broker