What if the inspection report reveals something bad?
When a buyer puts an offer in on your home, they typically ask for an option period in which to perform a home inspection. When complete, the inspector will hand the buyer an inspection report detailing all of the major systems of the home and what condition they are in. Sometimes, this results in the buyer backing out of the deal based on things they have read in the report. Obviously they found some things they didn’t like in the inspection report – what if those things are items that the you as the seller know nothing about?
As a seller in Texas, you must disclose all known issues with your home via the Seller’s Disclosure Notice. What happens if the buyer that backed out of the deal has their agent forward you (or your real estate agent) a copy of the inspection report? Do you have to disclose items found inside? Do you have to disclose them if you refuse to read the report?
Regardless of whether you read the report or not, because that inspection report has been sent to you (or your agent), you are now responsible for disclosing any material defects within the report. That’s right – even if you don’t read the report! As always, your best advice is to disclose everything. Take note as well, it doesn’t matter if you or your agent received the inspection report (delivery to your agent is considered delivery to you in the state of Texas). All new buyers should be given a copy of your Seller’s Disclosure Notice and the inspection report that was provided by the former buyer. You should also re-do your Seller’s Disclosure Notice as Sections 4 and 7 are now affected by your receipt of an inspection report.
As with most legal matters, ignorance is no excuse, so be sure to always disclose known material defects, no matter how you learned of them.