The use of a home inspection on behalf of a seller has become a very valuable tool for expediting the real estate transaction and for helping the seller to limit the liability from the disclosure process. However, there are some important steps to be taken to insure the process works.
Background of Sellers Disclosure
As background, Hawaii Revised Statute 508D-9 provides language that allows a seller to rely upon the disclosures provided by a home inspector. In doing so, the seller may be held harmless from negligence in the disclosure to the extent of the home inspector’s report.
Link to HRS 508D-9 language. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol12_Ch0501-0588/HRS0508D/HRS_0508D-0009.htm
Home Inspector Report
However, the home inspector must not limit his report and his liability for errors or omissions to only the seller. The inspector must “acknowledge” that the report is to be used by prospective buyers and that the inspector will be liable to these buyers just as if the buyer were the direct client. And some home inspectors require the buyer to sign the contract for services or Scope of Inspection form for the liability to be extended to them.
Many agents have a preliminary inspection to discover what, if any, issues would arise from a home inspection report. This allows the seller to perform repairs in advance using their own contractors or performing these repairs themselves. The agent then has a follow up inspection showing the degree to with repairs have been made. By having the house in good repair, the subsequent offers will have far fewer conditions, and a higher probability of closing.
Advantage of Sellers Home Inspection for Part Time Resident
This process of having a Seller’s Inspection works extremely well in Hawaii where often the seller may not live full time in the property, and may not have the knowledge or the language skills to successfully perform the required seller’s disclosures.