Home Inspection Reports
When it comes to home inspection reports, there’s something to be said about getting your own.
Here’s the scenario
A buyer makes an offer on a house and the seller accepts. During the due diligence period, several inspections are performed. Based on the results of the inspections, the buyer decides to cancel the contract and walk away. They send the cancellation to the seller, along with a copy of the inspection report. Does the seller have to share the report with any future buyers?
In a word, no.
BUT, they are required to disclose any defects that were uncovered during the previous inspection.
What if a buyer is OK with relying on the previous inspection?
There are some reasons you shouldn’t.
To start with, inspections are time sensitive. Home conditions can change every day. A water heater that was fine when the report was written could be leaking today. An HVAC system that performed perfectly could now be in need of maintenance or repair.
Second, the previous buyers paid for report. It’s not the seller’s report to share. Can they? Sure. But should you rely on it? It’s risky, since you won’t have any recourse against an inspector (that you didn’t pay) if an issue comes up later.
Third, every home inspector will come up with a different list of defects. They are, after all, human. Is the report from an inspector you trust? What if you have questions about some of the findings? The inspector will not even discuss it with you since they didn’t do the inspection on your behalf.
The bottom line
Even if a seller is willing to share a previous inspection report with you, it’s worth having a frank discussion with your agent about the risks of relying on it. It’s our job to protect your interests and advise you on the pros and cons of doing so. Making educated decisions is a critical part of the home buying process.