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Do sellers receive a copy of the home inspection? Are home inspections public records? Who gets a copy of the home inspection report? These are common questions in the realm of home buying, and this article aims to provide clarity on these topics.

The buyer, who often requests and pays for the inspection, receives the report. In most home purchases, around 95% of buyers hire a home inspector to scrutinize the house for any issues affecting its value, safety, or habitability. Buyers usually choose an inspector from a list provided by their agent.

The inspection process, including the report, forms a confidential business agreement between the buyer and the home inspector. Sellers are often not part of this agreement despite the property being theirs. In short, if the buyer pays for the inspection, they decide whether to share the report.

This setup ensures that home inspectors can offer an impartial and unbiased assessment of the home for their buyer clients. 

Sellers may only access the inspection report if they contribute to its cost, sometimes through shared closing costs.

What to Expect in a Home Inspection

A thorough home inspection covers various aspects of a property to provide a complete picture of its condition. Here’s a breakdown of what typically gets included:

1. Structural and Exterior Evaluation

Inspectors examine the home’s structural integrity, focusing on the foundation, walls, floors, and roof. They also scrutinize the exterior, including siding, windows, doors, and other external features. The team evaluates landscaping and drainage, which can significantly affect the foundation.

2. Systems Check: Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC

Inspectors thoroughly check the home’s critical systems. They inspect the plumbing for leaks and pressure issues, assess water heaters and faucets, and review the electrical system for safety and compliance, focusing on panels, wires, outlets, and switches. They also ensure the HVAC system operates safely and efficiently.

3. Interior Review and Insulation Evaluation

The inspection team examines the interior for damage or wear, covering walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, stairways, and railings. They evaluate insulation and ventilation, especially in attics and basements, to ensure adequate moisture control and energy efficiency. They check the vent and flue systems for safety and efficiency if the home has a fireplace.

4. Specialized Inspections

Additional services like termite inspections and radon testing are available for buyers requiring more in-depth analysis. These specialized inspections uncover potential issues not visible during a standard inspection.

Such detailed inspections give buyers a clear picture of the property’s condition, helping them make well-informed real estate decisions.

Are Home Inspection Reports Public?

Many sources confirm that home inspection reports are private. Typically, a report copy is sent exclusively to the individual who initiated the inspection and is not published elsewhere.

Why is it Convenient for Only a Buyer to Have a Copy of the Report?

Consider a scenario where you’ve paid for an inspection of a home you’re interested in buying. Still, the report reveals significant issues like a need for roof replacement and water damage. If this information were shared with the seller, their reaction could vary. Some sellers might be willing to negotiate and cover repair costs, eager to sell the property. Others might withdraw from the sale, preferring to live in the home as-is rather than invest in costly repairs.

Should the Buyer Provide the Inspection Report to the Seller?

The decision to share a home inspection report with the seller is at the buyer’s discretion. This applies to all inspections, including new home inspections and termite inspections. If the inspection uncovers a range of problems, discussing these findings with the seller might be beneficial, especially if these issues make you reconsider buying the property.

However, sharing the report may not be necessary if the inspection only reveals minor issues or ones that align with your planned improvements. Ultimately, the choice depends on your judgment and strategy. Keep in mind that Kissee Inspections will send the report directly to you, as you are the one who arranged and financed the inspection.

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