Lee Warren (NMLS 0536180) – Prospect Inspectors,  CCAR Affiliate Committee Member 

After an inspection is performed, often times the inspector will go over the findings with the potential buyer to let them know about all of the deficiencies that the inspector observed during the course of the inspection.

By rule, the inspector must have the report sent to the client no later than 72 hours after the inspection, unless otherwise agreed to in writing. In most cases, the agent or broker who represents the buyer would like a copy of the inspection report sent to them as well. The inspector is only allowed to send the report to the client, as they are the ones who own the report.

If the buyer’s agent would like a copy of the report, the buyer must give their permission in order for the inspector to do so. It is a good idea to inform the buyer to ask the inspector to send them a copy of the inspection report at the time of the inspection. This will help ensure that the inspector obtains the permission from the buyer to do so, and that the agent gets the report at the same time the buyer does.

In most situations, it is a good idea for the buyer to allow the inspector to send the agent the report. However, there are some situations where that may not be a good idea. One situation in particular is when the agent represents the buyer and seller. It would be best, in that scenario, for the buyer to send the report to the agent themselves, if they choose to do so.

The issue is that if an agent represents a buyer and a seller, they are not allowed to give advice to either party in the transaction. Further, if the agent gets a copy of the report, they are now aware of material defects in the property.  Being that they also represent the seller, that information should be conveyed to them as well. If the seller is aware of the material defects to a property, then they should modify the Seller’s Disclosure to reflect the known issues.