So the deal fell through for the buyer who had the home inspection done. The seller is using the report to fix things and showing the new potential buyers the report and what he fixed. Is this ok?
Unless you have something in your PIA that states the YOU own the report, it is just time to move on.
You did not contract with the seller, so not much to worry about there.
Onward and upward, Ryan!
Tell us why you feel it’s a problem.
What are you going to do, sue the seller? what are the damages?
It always amazes me when buyers share the inspection report with a seller. I guess that is more common other places but I haven’t seen it here. Here realtors typically write what the buyer wants addressed into the contract as an Inspection Resolution. And then the seller can say yay or nay to the list, but when all parties agree they all sign, same as the contract.
Just curious. Not my report. It’s a situation my friend is asking about. He’s the seller.
Yes it’s okay.
Many state real estate contracts give the seller the right to request the inspection report if a buyer backs out.
Using it as a template for making repairs and notifying potential buyers of this is par for the course.
I have had that same issue at times, most agents will cut and paste part of the inspection to give to the seller agent. But I have several that are lazy and send the whole report. I don’t believe that is the correct way to do it, but not much I can do about it.
It’s important to remember that a home inspection is a snapshot of conditions on the day of the inspection. As long as any potential future buyer understands this, your report serves as a marketing tool for you and nothing else. However, if any agent or a seller deliberately try to claim that everything is okay with the house (because they fixed what was in the old report) and a new, up-to-date, home inspection is not necessary, then that would be very unethical and perhaps even illegal.
The risk is that the report is obsolete, conditions may have changed, and the buyer, who is now depending on your report to be accurate and buys the house based on it’s contents without talking to you in order to understand report limitations, has discovered that something happened after the date of the inspection. It’s going to be expensive to fix, he’s really pissed off and is suing everyone in sight, ESPECIALLY the inspector upon whose report he depended. Yeah, win that one in court but anytime you go to court costs money. My suggestions is to put the ownership statement, limitations, and disclaimer right on the front cover, down at the bottom.
Buyer’s agents sending HI reports to the seller, (in addition to their relatives, friends, priest, and contractors) is standard practice in these parts. I’ve seen sellers sue HIs (see some threads on this forum) but I haven’t seen anyone else downstream of the inspection sue the HI, (not that you could ever rule that out, but the risk is remote). So, rather than loose sleep over it, I don’t.
A few weeks ago, someone called me about a well test that I had done for the seller on a house they were trying to buy. They asked me if I “stand by the report.” Since I was sitting, I could brain storm for a few seconds. The seller had me test the well in preparation for selling. Obviously, I was aware that he would tell a prospective buyer that the well was “good” based on the test I had done. If the buyer subsequently had an issue with the well, then they would go to the seller who would go to me, so, the buck would stop with me.
So, I told them that, “That well report is for the seller and is a statement about the status of the well and water as of the date of that report. So, yes, I stand by that report, but since it was for the seller, they should get their own well test done by their own well tester.” I’ll bet they didn’t which is amusing, since this was a million plus dollar house, but that is the way some folks are.
Same thing happened to me Ryan. I was equally upset. Then found out the seller was moving into the new house behind me, so went over and said welcome, but WTH. They got the report from my client, who decided 1 week before closing that he wasn’t ready to be a first time home buyer, so backed out of the deal. Sellers then simply left the report on the table with a note that said “Recent home inspection, all items corrected as indicated”. They were just trying to sell the house quickly since they had just moved into the new home.
As others have said, we have no contractual relationship with a new buyer who comes along and uses the report, you do not have to defend your report to them…only to your original client. Not much you can do about it being reused.
I don’t really care what my client does with the report, I am not bound to any 3rd party.
If I were a buyer, I would not “give” a seller my report for free.
Buyers often think a loaded report is a powerful negotiation tool, but it is not in a sellers market (which we have here in Atlanta). Here in Atlanta, that seller would scoop up that report, make a few DIY fixes and move on to the next buyer in line.
He was given a gift. Good for him, seriously.
Things like this have better chance of generating warm referrals than all the cool-kid gimmicks combined.
Anytime you hand over anything you produce to another person, you really have no control over what they do with it like it or not.
Look at it this way, if you were a musical artist and you get a record deal and Joe blow buys a copy of your album. What’s to stop them from copying a few tracks onto a DVD R/W along with some others and uses that disc while DJ-ing at a frat kegger. Do you the artist get the royalties from the party? Nope.