So your buyer has finished their home inspection, you have the report in hand, and you’re preparing to send the repair amendment to the listing agent. All of a sudden, though, you get a message from the listing agent asking you not to send the report. 

Why would they ask this? It’s out of a mistaken belief that if they (and, by extension, their seller) don’t see the report, they won’t have to disclose any issues revealed by that report. 

This is completely false. Even though the TREC Seller’s Disclosure doesn’t require a seller to disclose that inspections have been done, it does require the seller to reveal any known issues. Specifically, the seller must reveal any issues even if they don’t know what they are, or else they’ll be held liable for acting in a spirit of nondisclosure. 

“There’s no escape from liability when a listing agent and their seller are aware of issues but pretend those issues don’t exist because they haven’t seen the inspection report.”

The seller’s agent can also be held liable in this situation—not only by TREC laws, but also the Realtor Code of Ethics and, probably, MLS rules. This is why I always encourage listing agents to use the TAR Seller’s Disclosure and provide this to their clients. It asks whether any inspections have been done within the last four years and asks that copies be provided to prospective buyers. The best practice is to upload all the previous inspection reports to the MLS. 

The bottom line is there’s no escape from liability when a listing agent and their seller are aware of issues but pretend those issues don’t exist because they haven’t seen the inspection report. This will only create more liability for both parties, so protect your buyer and always send the inspection report to the listing agent no matter what they say. 

I help agents stay out of real estate jail and take their business to the next level, so if you have any questions about this or any other topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.