Considering Re-Selling an Inspection Report

Normally, I wouldn’t even ask however…

A buyer hired us to inspect a property after which they opted out of the real estate contract. The seller, having not seen the inspection report, requested to purchased the report. Upon serious consideration I recalled my own inspection contract includes the phrase, The inspection is being conducted for the exclusive benefit of THE CLIENT, in this case the former buyer.

Additional information - Both Realtors have sent me many referrals; the buyer did not indicate (to me) why they opted out of the contract; the buyer asked no questions about the extensive list of defects; I offered to inspect the property again for the seller at a discount; I can make easier money just sending a re-published version of the original data.

To sell or not to sell?

Other than all the standard replies you will likely get… IMO, it is unethical and a breach of contract with your original client. Unless your contract had an ‘Expiration date’, it lives for an eternity or until the Courts or Statute of Limitations in your State says so.
DON’T DO IT!!

6 Likes

New inspection for every time a report goes out.

3 Likes

Maybe they can get a copy from the buyer or buyer’s agent.

2 Likes

I would agree with Chris’s statement. Tell them to ask the previous buyer/agent for a copy and/or ask them to have the previous buyer send you a release saying you can share it with the seller. Or you could contact your former client directly and ask for the release. Selling the same report to a new client seems unethical to me.

I had a previous client call me and ask if he could sell my report to someone else because he was backing out of the contract but someone else was interested in the property and had inquired about the report. I told him it was his property (the report) and he could do with it what he wanted but that he should inform the new buyer that I have no liability beyond my original client. He sold it for half my inspection fee and then hired me again to inspect a new property. It was a win-win in my book.

5 Likes

Short cuts bite you in the shorts.

Refer them to the original “selling agent” to contact the original client to negotiate a sale of the report or perform a new inspection. That’s my two cents. (do not provide them with your original client contact information)

2 Likes

Only time i ever did anytjing like this (20 years ago) it ended poorly.

2 Likes

I would prefer it if they keep me out of it altogether.

4 Likes

Do your client a solid and tell her/him they can sell it to the homeowner but that your liability doesn’t travel with the report. They will likely hire you for the next one then.

5 Likes

Nothing wrong with providing your client some direction. I would just be hesitant to “broker” the deal by connecting parties.

2 Likes

I personally wouldn’t ever re-sell a report. It’s actually the client’s property and not mine to sell to anyone else.

I would tell the sellers that I’d happily perform a pre-sale inspection for them.

2 Likes

Yep, I would just send a quick message saying the homeowner would like to purchase the report and that they should connect if interested in selling it. It actually makes you look super-ethical because your client is going to realize you could have easily just sold a copy of the report to the homeowner.

4 Likes

Good info here in Ian’s podcast with Joe Ferry. WHO OWNS THE HOME INSPECTION REPORT?
Joe Ferry “The Home Inspector Lawyer” on Home Inspection Law - Inspector Toolbelt Home Inspection Software App

2 Likes

I am not a lawyer. However I find this interesting.

I am not sure you would be off the hook from a liability standpoint. Does selling your report to the seller develop a relationship where you now have “duty” to the seller? And, do you have duty to the seller without the protection of the inspection agreement?

From the article.

Yeah, well, that that subsequent buyer has no claim against the original home inspector, because the original home inspector does not owe a duty to that subsequent buyer, and that subsequent buyer has no basis for relying on a home inspection that was conducted by someone else. So generally speaking, as you know, from a negligence standpoint, in negligence, you have to prove four things, you have to prove that there was a duty owed to the plaintiff. Secondly, you have to prove that that duty was breached somehow. And thirdly, you got to prove that the breach of the duty was the cause of damages. So you need duty, breach causation and damages.

From a home buyer’s point of view, the buyer who paid for the report should be the one to sell it to the seller. What if the inspector just gave the seller a copy? After all he was already paid for it.

I would go back to your other suggestion to the request. New report, new agreement with the seller for a discounted price. Saves you a lot of headaches.

1 Like

Good questions Brian, but well beyond my expertise. I think a good lawyer could make an argument with that statement.

I am with others on this and not resell the report to anyone… Period!!!
Besides this is an opportunity for a paid sellers inspection $$$$

1 Like

the way it seems to work here is if the buyer backs out of a deal after an inspection , He has to provide a copy of the report to the seller to get his earnest money back…most sellers don’t ask for the report due to disclosure issues…

5 Likes

Zactly!..

2 Likes

That’s the ‘old school’ way, but the last 10-15 years since the bubble burst, realtors have been manipulating the way things happen to protect their paychecks! Sellers have been informed that it’s in their best interests to just give the earnest money back without conditions, as they will save tons of money from not having to disclose anything “they are not aware of”!

1 Like