While I was perusing the ActiveRain Q&A section, I noticed that Kelyn Mills posted the question asking if buyer agents give the Home Inspection Report to sellers. So many responses! Different agents have different opinions (big surprise there) but what was really interesting in this particular thread was how different the laws are (or the agent's interpretation of the laws) in each state.
I can't speak to what happens in other states but I do have a handle on what happens in North Carolina. In our state, while a home inspection is highly recommended it is in most cases not required when someone buys a house. Of course, there may be exceptions such as when a home renovation allowance is included in the loan but for the majority of real estate transactions, a buyer may at their own expense have just about any type of inspection they wish. Since they've paid for it, usually $350 to $700...it is considered the possession of the buyer. The buyer's agent does not own it nor the right to distribute it without the permission of the buyer.
While it is true that many buyers may try to renegotiate repairs or concessions for repairs as a result of seeing their home inspection, just as many do not. Throughout the Offer to Purchase, a buyer is advised that they are buying a house in "as is" condition UNLESS both parties agree to repairs becoming a new part of the contract. In that case, the buyer generates a Due Diligence Request and informs the seller which items discovered in the home inspection are to be addressed as a condition of completing the contract. There is a single line with a check box for yes or no to indicate whether or not the buyer will share the report with the seller.
For me personally, I usually advise my buyer clients that if they are making a request for a repair that we provide only the specific paragraphs from the portion of the inspection dealing with the issue of concern. That has always worked for my buyers. If sadly, the deal doesn't go through then the seller has the opportunity to reimburse the buyer for the report and read the entire report themselves.
It is that simple. In NC at least. I noticed the agents from Arizona and California state that the reports MUST be provided to the seller but they don't say whether or not the buyer MUST have a home inspection done! I don't know since I'm not an attorney or a governing body but both premises seem heavy handed to me.
When buying a house anywhere, the buyers can be looking at spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars conducting their Due Diligence (inspections) which they ARE entitled to do. Thankfully, in NC anyway, the sellers are NOT ENTITLED to receive a copy of home inspections that the buyer has paid for. There are so many working parts to any transaction that buyers are well advised to find a good Buyer's Agent to help them navigate through the intricacies of a real estate transaction. Want my number? lol.