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Sellers – You Don’t Have to Read Your Buyer’s Inspection Report

Home Inspection

As the seller of a home, do you have to read the buyer’s inspection report if the buyer presents it to you? No, you don’t.

And if you are a seller represented by the Crossland Team, we advise that you don’t look at or read a buyer’s inspection report because we don’t want you getting stuck with someone else’s inspection report, produced by an inspector you don’t know and didn’t hire, and which you’ll then have to staple to the back of your Seller’s Disclosure notice if that buyer flakes out and terminates the deal. Then all your future prospective buyers will read that report, for better or worse, and it’s best to not let that happen.

Not all Realtors subscribe to this “I don’t want to see it” philosophy. We sometimes catch flak for this from buyer agents who want to leverage inspection report items to gain price reductions during inspection periods, and they sometimes become angry when we inform them that our seller doesn’t need to see or want to see buyer’s inspection report.

Why not just look at the report?

Section 7 of the commonly used TAR Seller’s Disclosure Notice asks sellers:

Within the last 4 years, have you (Seller) received any written inspection reports from persons who regularly provide inspections and who are either licensed inspectors or otherwise permitted by law to perform inspections? lf yes, attach copies and complete the following:

Most Seller’s Disclosures say “No” on Section 7. Once you receive your buyer’s inspection report, and if the deal craters, you have to change section 7 to “Yes” and attach the report you received, whether you agree with the findings or not, and no matter what mis-characterizations and false assumptions the report might contain. This opens a huge can of worms and can affect the answers you must provide in other parts of the Seller Disclosure.

Additionally, you are already under contract for an agreed price, as-is, and there is nothing in your Texas sales contract that requires you to make repairs (unless specifically written in the initial contract) or look at buyer’s inspection. Buyer has an Option Period, usually 7 to 10 days, to examine the property and conduct whatever other due diligence buyer deems appropriate. During this Option Period, the ball is entirely in the buyer’s court. If the buyer does not terminate prior to the end of the Option Period, the deal continues unchanged.

In almost every deal, however, buyers come back and seek a price adjustment based on conditions that were not factored into the agreed contract price. These range from small and reasonable adjustments to hysterical and ridiculous demands. It is the manner and style in which these adjustments are calculated, communicated and resolved that reveal huge differences in real estate agents and how we advise clients and conduct negotiations. Is there a “right” way and a “wrong” way to go about this? I believe there is.

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Posted by Steve
6 years ago