I was the first to bid on a Fannie Mae condo but outbid by 6 other people. the first bidder backed out after the inspection.

Asked by ssmith5423, Kent, WA Fri Jun 14, 2013

I was told the inspection report was not public information and I would have to pay for my own inspection but not until my bid was accepted so the process started over again. Why are inspections not public information.

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Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Sun Jun 16, 2013
I just noticed this was a condo. With condos it is less likely that the flip was due to inspection because the more serious issues that would not likely be noticed just walking through would more likely be an association responsibility to repair.

With a condo the flip could be due to information contained in the "resale certificate" regarding the financial health of the association. And there are a lot of condo associations which are struggling right now, particularly ones built or converted to condo at or near the time of our peak in prices (2007). Unfortunately the resale certificate is also not public information, but I did once see a listing agent put a copy of a resale certificate in the unit for potential buyers to review. The condo had serious financial issues due to needed repairs and the listing agent probably wanted to make sure buyers knew what they were getting into in advance so that she wouldn't waste everyone's' time.
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Lorelei Wind…, Agent, Kent, WA
Sat Jun 15, 2013
It should also be noted that every inspector is subject to human differences, and what one inspector may call out, another may see differently. As previously stated, if you choose your own inspector, that person works for you. You have the benefit of attending the inspection in most cases, or at the very least, you should be entitled to a detailed explanation of the inspector's findings. Reading a report and looking at a photo is often difficult to understand, whereas seeing the problem firsthand and having a knowledgable individual explain what it is, why it is a problem, and what action should be taken to remedy it allows you to make an educated decision of how to proceed.
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Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Sat Jun 15, 2013
Beyond what Ardell said, there are a few other concerns here.

1. You wouldn't want to trust an inspector that you don't know. They could be good or bad. They could have missed important items or even claimed something that was not a problem at all was serious problem. At best they would give you a list of things to look at, but you would still need to do your own inspection.

2. The seller doesn't want the information in the inspection report due to the concerns in the first paragraph. They would have to disclose everything in the report, and many of those things might not be valid concerns. Although banks sell "as is" neither they nor their agents can fail to disclose known serious conditions.

3. While perhaps not as likely on a bank owned transaction, buyers can back out for many reasons which are insignificant. So it might be that the inspection report has little or no useful information.

That said I can see why you would want that information. I had a situation previously where my buyer client went into contract on a bank owned property where they were the second buyer accepted. By happenstance I learned that the prior buyer was represented by an agent in my office. It was comforting to learn that their inspector also found the house very clean, and that the reason for the flip was financing (an incompetent lender).
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Ardell Della…, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Fri Jun 14, 2013
Because the buyer pays for it and receives it and the seller almost never sees it. The report belongs to the buyer, not the seller.
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