Would you share home inspector's report with the seller?

12 Replies

Pros / cons?

I have used it as a bargaining tool in the past. Found lots of issues with a property, documented it (home inspector report) and submitted it to seller with my new offer. Not sure of cons, I am fairly new to the real estate game.

Depends on who paid for it. If by agreeemnt or contract the buyer is paying, they are entitled to the report.

As a seller you need to comply with those disclosures required by law, as to the issues specific to those requirements, nothing more.

Additional information becomes a marketing issue, you can certainly use such a report to justify your price.

Most such reports are made with a human element and may reflect personal assessments or opinions, the style of writing or in stating deficiencies, if it has a negative tone I might not hand it over. If it is positive, I might show it at the open house.

If any deficiency is found that is significant I would disclose the matter as I would then have knowledge, but that does not mean handing over the report.

Ie. if the inspector said the furnance looks like it will only last one more winter season.....that's an opinion, I would disclose that the furnance was original to the house or it's age, I have no idea if it only has one more season left and I don't need to disclose the matter with speculation, but fact and it's on the buyer to determine the value and risk. :)

It can be a bargaining tool if you, as the buyer, order a home inspection and they find issues. You can ask the seller to lower the price based on the issues reported by the inspector.

Absolutely if it has negatives I can use as a bargaining tool. If it comes back clean saying the property is in great shape absolutely not.

As @Bill Gulley said in most states sellers are required to disclose defects they are aware of. If teh seller chooses not to negotiate when problems are found, remind tehm that now they are on notice of the efects they need to disclose them to any future buyer. Even if the seller does not, the agent would often be obligated to do the same. Check your state laws.

Reading Bill Gulley's comments, it appears to me, that he thought you were the seller and were wondering if you need to disclose to the buyer.

Yes, that was my assumption, and Realtors have an obligation to disclose. I also said that you need to make those disclosures required, if a seller is aware of any defect that is a disclosure issue. My point was that opinions need not be disclosed as presented but addressed.

Ned is correct concerning future notices required. Even if a problem was cured or repaired, the issue needs to be diosclosed as having been repaired and in many cases by who along with any warranty if applicable.

I do know of a case concerning defects not being disclosed, the inspector provided a copy of the inspection showing that the seller and listing agent had knowledge prior to sale and disclosure was not given, I know the matter was satisfied and the agent found another broker saying she never saw the report (but she should have). Non-disclosure can get serious quickly.

Originally posted by J Scott:
When I sell houses, I would never consider doing repairs unless I were to see the actual inspection report.

If the buyers don't ask for repairs, I have no need to see the report.

Really that simple.

This really sums it all up, no need to go beyond what J stated here.
On the buy side, you need to show it if you expect a discount or seller repairs.

Yes sorry if I didn't make myself clear. What I was really wondering was if there was any reason, as a buyer, to NOT share the inspection results with the seller. I think the question was answered; thanks for everyone's input.

I think that the report is the most important aspect for evaluating the nature of the purchase, residential or commercial. If you are the seller you can do the repairs and this way protect your asking price from vultures, by saying this is what was wrong this is how it was fixed, or even giving credits for repairs to be done against asking price.
Make certain whoever is doing the report knows who is paying and as suggested previously herein, there are ways to frame the wording of certain elements of the report to put the property in best or worst light, depending upon the position taken in the sale.
If you are a buyer and do not ask for a report to be done, saving money this way is not advised. The buyer needs to know what's up with the property, and the seller needs the report, for the sake of making legal and material disclosures under the contract about the property so there is no backlash when defects such as mold are discovered and undisclosed, which is ground zero for litigation.

Originally posted by J Scott:
When I sell houses, I would never consider doing repairs unless I were to see the actual inspection report.

If the buyers don't ask for repairs, I have no need to see the report.

Really that simple.

I think it's really that simple too. If the buyer has an issue, there would be no repairs and no negotiating without seeing the report. I don't care about if it doesn't affect me.

I think that the report is the most important aspect for evaluating the nature of the purchase, residential or commercial.

I have to be honest. As a buyer who has a pretty good idea of what's going on in a house, I find inspection reports useless. 90% of what the inspector puts in that report is intuitively obvious. I'd had inspections with pictures of hands stuck through missing screens. Really, I can't see that? Once in a while, they have pointed out something I might have missed. But I've also had them miss significant issues.

Now, if you're a buyer who doesn't know much about construction, or just wants another pair of eyes, sure, go ahead. But you can't bank on the inspectors report actually telling you everything that's wrong. If you read them, they always include a disclaimer that takes away any liability on their part for anything they miss.

Also, specific types of inspections are different. I did no inspection on the last house I bought. But I was skeptical about the state of the furnace. So, I had a furnace guy come give me an evaluation of the furnace. I'm actually almost certain I was able to get that house because of an inspection by a previous buyer. One of the hose bibs was cracked outside the valve. Here in CO, these are always long, and the actual valve seat is deep inside the house. This one had been left over the winter with a hose full of water. The valve was cracked after the seat but before the outlet. So, turn on the valve and water starts gushing into the wall. I'm sure that scared off the previous buyer, when is was, in reality, a simple repair.

And commercial is an entirely different matter.

As a seller, I have no problem giving concessions for requested repairs, if they make sense. If the seller says "I want these three fixes", and I know those are reasonable and that closes the deal, I'll do them. Buyers ALWAYS want something in this regard, so its just part of the deal.

Jon makes some valid points here regarding the usefulness of an inspection report even though the topic is if you should or should not share the report. That said, I have also had seller inspection reports with items pointed out on them, then pulled in specialists to dig deeper into the reported item and used that to negotiate pricing.

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