July, 2002

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Level-two Paper Thwarts Unauthorized Sharing


How do you feel when a client cancels an appointment for a home inspection  with the explanation, "My real estate agent gave me a copy of an inspection report prepared for someone who did not buy the house"?

How many times have you received a phone call from an attorney or someone else asking you questions about a home inspection report you performed for a person who did not buy the house?

A few years ago I grew tired of this and added the following to my contract and to the opening paragraph of my report.

"This report is prepared for you exclusively for your use with this transaction only. It is against the law to distribute this report to anyone without both the purchaser's and the copyright holder's consent. This report is a copyrighted document. Reproduction or use of this report for use in other transactions by appraisers, banks, insurance companies, future buyers, third parties, real estate agents/brokers and mortgage companies is prohibited by law, it is also a violation of our contract and cause for immediate denial of all claims. Please advise the owner and their agents (Attorney or real estate agent) if they gain knowledge of the defects listed in this report, they are required by law to disclose the defects to all future potential buyers."

But, it did not solve the problem.

I realized many of the clients who asked me to send a copy of the inspection report to the real estate agent or broker were well intend. I also realized some of the reports I was kind enough to provide were being misused.

After some searching, I found a helpful product - a special paper that can not be copied or faxed. I use this special paper when the client asks that a copy of the report be sent to the real estate agent/broker. The agent is still able to give away this one copy of the report, but only if he or she is willing to part with it.

There are few sources for this special paper. A "Goggle" search for "level two paper" or a phone call to my office will put you in touch with suppliers.