Seller's Agent says must have copy of report for disclosure...

I say, not so fast!

The Sellers Agent says she has to disclose the inspection report that I did for a potential buyer on a deal that fell through after the inspection. I told her that I am not aware of any rule that requires my buyer to give the seller his bargained for report.

In all honesty I’ve never provided a copy of an inspection to a third party without the inspection purchasers authorization to do so but TREC rules change frequently and I’m wondering if anyone is aware of anything that may have changed in this regard.

My client did not want me to provide a copy to the Seller (understandably so). Below is my response to the Agent:


I spoke with Mr. XXXXXXX regarding your request for a copy of the home inspection report that I completed on the XXXXX property for him recently. His instruction to me was that he would provide a copy of the report to a third party should he decide it is necessary.

I am sorry that I cannot provide the report to you as you have requested at this time. I hope that you understand that my responsibility lies with the purchaser of the service that I provide and that I cannot release the report without their consent.


John A. Onofrey
Top 2 Bottom Inspections

Not heard of any changes.
I think your email is dead on.
Makes you wonder why the seller’s agent could not get a copy from the buyer’s agent?

John, I agree with Richard. Here is my understanding…the TREC promulgated Disclosure form does not address Inspection Reports.

But, TAR also publishes their own version of the Disclosure form that can be used and it does address including inspection reports:

But, in no case, does it require the inspector to provide a copy of that report to the Seller. Tell him to obtain that from the Buyer, if at all, he’s not required to include it since he was not the client. Now, if he previously received it from the Buyer or the Buyer’s agent then, yes, he must include it. But in that case he wouldn’t be asking you for it.

Sellers Disclosure 090111.pdf (67.8 KB)

John -

I get the same comments all the time from RE Agents.

Bottom line is YOU nor I are part of the buyers contract with seller.

If buyer wants seller or Agents to get, he can give it to them.

John, I agree with what’s been said and your email is good.

I don’t even give it to the buyer’s agent unless the buyer specifically requests me to do so.

Let them know that TREC does not permit you to disclose results without prior written permission from your client.

From the Professional Conduct and Ethics section of the TREC rules for Home Inspectors

You have no duty to provide anything. You do have the right (and duty) of client privilege. The seller disclosure form, at last look, asks if an inspection has been made in the last 4 years and when it was made, it does not say include a copy. Even if by some mistake someone wrote in a contract that inspector is provide a copy it is not enforceable. You are not a signatory party to a contract and have no duty or responsibility to anyone other than yourself. If you provide a copy you are a “volunteer” and as Mr. Joe quips…“volunteers don’t get paid”.

I personally think it is foolish for a seller to get a copy of a report as they have to disclose it for 4 years (or if a closing takes place sooner). You have a 50-70 page report with photos of bad things and think that’s going to help sell it? I would think that is poor and sort of negligent advice on the agents part without informing the seller of the consequences on accepting any report. Why doesn’t the seller hire an inspector before he sells to help in his disclosure? Why can’t the inspection be made BEFORE THE CONTRACT to see if the buyer even wants to make an offer? (don’t hold your breath)

And then on the bright side, a seller would most likely help critique your report that killed the deal on his (perfect home with no seller disclosure defects) when you really didn’t ask for it (ha-ha).

TREC 535.220(e)(7)

535.220. Professional Conduct and Ethics.
[Adopted March 6, 1992; amended August 31, 2004 and August 28, 2006]

(e) An inspector shall comply with the following requirements.

(7**) Inspectors shall not disclose inspection results or client information** without prior approval from the client.

Based on the above you can’t even tell someone your clients name without their permission.

You don’t have to accept permission from anyone to make a business policy or decision other than to follow TREC rules. If you do, then it should be in writing as verbal is worthless.

Every sheet of paper in my report has a copyright. I don’t give up copyright. If I did there would be no reason to copyright in the first place. It’s written for use in the public domain via a “Kindle”.

If you provide information without the client approval you could be run through the blender with dull blades by the client and enforcement.

Your client said “NO” and good for them. They weren’t bullied around and neither should you.

Correction: It’s not written for use in the public domain via a “Kindle”.

Section 7 of the TREC Form No. OP-H SELLER’S DISCLOSURE OF PROPERTY CONDITION does not appear to make any reference to previous inspection reports. While there may be some older forms still in use that do make such references the current law ( does not appear to. In light of this, it is my opinion that seller’s are not required to divulge this information. Even if they were, only a totally incompetent listing agent would allow their client to take receipt of such a report. As for reports, copyright accrues even without stating so on the report. The report belongs to you and the person who purchased it and to no one else.

I had an agent ask for copies of 2 reports. One for a home after it closed and one for a home that did not sell. Funny, the second one had an inspection 2 weeks prior to mine and it did not sell but they did not furnish a copy of the report to me or the buyer.

Both clients said “NO”.