The House Detective by Barry Stone, Certified Home Inspector
Dear Barry: The people who were buying our home hired a home inspector. We were told about a few of the problems the inspector found, but no one gave us a copy of the report. The sale of the property was not completed, and we’re wondering what we should disclose to future buyers. Should we tell them about the recent inspection or just let them get an inspection of their own? Jenise
Dear Jenise: As sellers, you must disclose all conditions of which you are aware, regardless of where the information was obtained. If it was learned by way of a buyer’s home inspection, disclosure is still required. However, since you never received a copy of the report, your disclosures could be termed as “alleged defects”, rather than confirmed ones, unless they are obvious and apparent.
To further protect yourselves from disclosure liability, you should recommend in your disclosure statement that the buyers obtain a home inspection by a qualified inspector. A stronger step in this direction would be to hire your own home inspector and to use the inspection report as a supplement to your own disclosure statement. Your own inspector can confirm or deny the findings of the previous inspection report.