The initial buyer’s inspector contacted the seller and stated that neither the seller nor the seller’s broker can provide a copy of the inspection report to a buyer who has not paid for the report. Is the seller or the seller’s broker ever prohibited from providing a copy of an inspection report to a subsequent purchaser?

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  • The initial buyer’s inspector contacted the seller and stated that neither the seller nor the seller’s broker can provide a copy of the inspection report to a buyer who has not paid for the report. Is the seller or the seller’s broker ever prohibited from providing a copy of an inspection report to a subsequent purchaser?

A seller or seller’s broker is only prohibited from sharing a copy of an inspection report with a subsequent buyer if the seller or the seller’s broker is the client of the inspector (i.e., the seller or the seller’s broker ordered the inspection) and the seller or seller’s broker signed an agreement prohibiting the seller or broker from sharing the report. While an inspector is obliged to answer only to the inspector’s client and is under no obligation to speak with any other person about the content of the inspector’s report, the inspector’s report should stand on its own. The inspector’s opinion as to the condition of the property as of the date specified in a report does not change based upon who reads the report. Most inspectors know that a client will use the inspection report to negotiate repairs in a transaction and that the client may need to provide a copy of the report to the other party. This is the nature of the industry that gives rise to the demand for the inspector’s business. Most inspectors do not require that their clients sign confidentiality agreements prohibiting the client from sharing the report with others. Even if an inspector has a client sign a confidentiality agreement that limits the client’s right to copy and distribute the report, that agreement is binding only upon the client and not upon any other person who may receive a copy of the report.

Source: TAR

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