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Is this "Fair"?

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Les    7

Tony,

I read couple hundred different inspections per year from many different inspectors. I would be quite interested in reading the two inspections you got on that house.

If you want, email them to me. lvanals@aol.com

Thanks

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kurt    0

BS. We can raise the bar with education. Regulatory bodies are too stupid to do it.

It ain't easy, but it can be done...and someone will eventually do it. Mark my words.

Marc

Oh...the inspiring fervor and eagerness of youth!

There are so many externalities that play on this thing we do. I don't believe there's going to be any significant difference in how it all plays out, at least not in my lifetime.

I'm with Charlie. Real change is local, and it spreads out from there. Top down change, especially when it effects stakeholders spread out across the spectrum of an economic group with strong ties in legislatures, is rare or nonexistent.

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Les    7

just a little anecdote from my youth. I spent 20-30hrs per week for two and half years working on regulation for this state. Spent more than five figures in real deal cash. served on several national committees for many years. Result was not measurable. I didn't fail, just did not win.

Do not underestimate how complex and convoluted this business really is. I am amazed how regional it has become whilst the rest of the world seems to become one. Real estate salespeople are not your friends, even if you are married to one!

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RK52    4
On 9/28/2016 at 5:27 AM, Marc said:

By writing a pre-licensing course that is an assembly of CE courses, then submit it to the Board for approval.

 

It's an enormous project and there's no reward for all of that work until it's nearly finished. That's why I can't get my butt moving on it. Still trying, currently on a Manual of Style that will be the foundation for a major CE on report writing. It's already in my head, just have to write it down.

 

Marc

Your Manual of Style... how's that coming along?

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Marc    9
2 hours ago, RK52 said:

Your Manual of Style... how's that coming along?

I've since decided I'm not going to contribute to the profession in my state until the state's legislature finally does something about the influence of agents on the buyer's choice of home inspector.  As a businessman, I'm plumb sick of struggling for 14 years trying to reach buyers when agents have the upper hand and promote HIs that mimic competent inspectors but spew out benign reports.  A lack of a decent yardstick on inspector expertise and the lack of a mandate for professionals to disclose an influence as a COI are two factors that lay the groundwork for this influence that agents use to protect their commission.

So, the Manual of Style is on hold for now.  It's details are still very clear in my mind.  It's a very simple framework, embracing some of the most basic tenants of our profession that I've learned here.

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RK52    4

I ran into an agent that pretty much said that I would work for her. Had to smile and say that the client pays, and pays for a product of a certain quality and accuracy.

The look I got back wasn't pretty.

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Marc    9
Quote

You do know that you were hired by ME for the buyer (whom I am representing) not the seller right?

This was from an agent this past July.  As always, buyer paid for the inspection but agent picked out the inspector.  She didn't know me then, now she does.  Agents don't like my reports.

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Erby    4

If licensing were such a great thing, we would not be complaining about all those state licensed drivers out there on the roads.

 

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inspector57    2

We were one of the first states with licensing (over 25 years now) but I can't see that it sets a very high bar for beginners and as far as I can tell rarely prohibits the unqualified from retaining their license. It does mandate some continuing education but since licensing is regulated by the TREC, an agency run by realtors, it does not really promote excellence since that might kill deals. Licensing would do absolutely nothing to prevent the situation of the OP.

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Marc    9
11 minutes ago, Jim Katen said:

Licensing (of drivers, home inspectors, hairdressers, etc) doesn't ensure competence, it provides a means of accountability. 

Accountability?  Who's being held accountable by regulatory licensing? No one.  More than one Board member here has said during an open meeting that soliciting agents for referrals wasn't a conflict of interest.  More recently, a couple more said, in a regularly scheduled meeting that was in progress and being recorded by a real-time court reporter, that there was no conflict of interest attached to inspectors who turn salesman in the middle of an inspection to sell a mold inspection.  What became of these outrageous utterances? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

There is no accountability in state level-regulatory Boards.  They do whatever they want to do, because the legislatures that created them are too busy with more important matters.  We've had these agencies since our first president.  They were called 'Departments' then.

Pardon my rant.

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Jim Katen    13

It means that the regulatory body keeps account of you: can keep track of you, fine you, or take away your license. 

Whether it does so with wisdom is an entirely different discussion. The point of licensing is to keep track of the licensee, not to ensure the licensee's competence. It's exactly the same with a driver's license. 

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John Kogel    3

The BC, Canada license fee is one of the highest in the world, $500/year, and there is a list of requirements I won't get in to.

When licensing was introduced, 3 associations were deemed to be kosher and you had to be a member and attend their CE, so many hours /yr, and pass some kind of initiation test, as simple as the infamous online exam, or the harder exams sanctioned by CAHPI or the other guys. There are new requirements now, and the fees keep climbing.

Licensing eliminated a few fly-by-nighters, like the guys that cleaned windows and gutters between inspections. But there are always a few guys that are in the pockets of the agents, and they have licenses and insurance like everyone else.

Edited by John Kogel
ASTT, the other guys. amazing Science Tech and Trade.

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Marc    9
1 hour ago, John Kogel said:

The BC, Canada license fee is one of the highest in the world, $500/year, and there is a list of requirements I won't get in to.

When licensing was introduced, 3 associations were deemed to be kosher and you had to be a member and attend their CE, so many hours /yr, and pass some kind of initiation test, as simple as the infamous online exam, or the harder exams sanctioned by CAHPI or the other guys. There are new requirements now, and the fees keep climbing.

Licensing eliminated a few fly-by-nighters, like the guys that cleaned windows and gutters between inspections. But there are always a few guys that are in the pockets of the agents, and they have licenses and insurance like everyone else.

For every inspector that's deliberately in the pocket of an agent, there are twenty more that are unknowingly promoted by an agent because of the benign reports that they are known by agents to produce.  Of the agents that promote certain inspectors, few if any, honestly believe that they are deceiving the buyer.  The judgement of these agents is warped by their interest in their commission and unsuspecting buyers are left abandoned to the influence of this warped judgement by regulations that fail to illuminate and mandate disclosure of this cloaked conflict of interest.  The result is two-fold: a class of inept and careless inspectors whose business success is propelled to the top of the profession by the influence of agents, mistakenly believing themselves the best of inspectors; and buyers who unknowingly suffer great financial damage by reports that miss major issues.

Good regulation should not allow an Agent to influence a client's choice of inspector when an improvement in the  quality of the inspector's service leads to just as much greater harm provided the agent as greater help provided the client.  The difficulty is comprehending this simple and obvious conflict of interest is the reason why it has flourished for so long and has become so pervasive.

Edited by Marc

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John Kogel    3

Ok, there's part of the preface to the book you will write. :-)

There is the other extreme to consider, where the inspector with no real world building experience writes an alarming report while describing minor issues.

Some clients are clueless and gullible, while some have trouble reading. A house I inspected 10 years ago still has a chimney leaning out towards the neighbor's place. The house has changed hands again, but no work was done that I can see.

As Brothers Kurt and Les have said, it's a complex issue.

BTW, in the business world, "Fair' is a 4 letter word that starts with 'F'.:-)

 

 

 

Edited by John Kogel

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As Jim L. (inspector57) mentioned our "beloved" TREC (HAH!) one of their recent new rulings is a mandate to the brokers/agents and their websites that a link to TREC for specific documents we have to present to clients has to be a 12-point font. They missed adding that mandate to the section of the rules that impacts inspectors, but we will also have it on the next go-round.

What is funny is the 12-point font notation as if it is ink on paper. I don't think TREC realizes that sizing can be a touch different online and especially with the mobile devices.

Of course there are many other things they are changing (always changing), but this one caught my eye as a bit of a humor and stupidity.

 

Edited by Nolan Kienitz

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Marc    9

Sometimes I wish I were a Texan for a while so I could try my hand at influencing inspectors and the Texas legislature in bringing about parity between agents and inspectors.

I was in DFW not long ago.  Maybe I'll reach out to you again next time.

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Marc    9

A quote from an ASHI ad that just arrived in my inbox:

Quote

How many times have you been on an inspection and have come across something organic? Was it mold? Moisture damage? Something else? Were you able to make any additional money from it? 

When an inspector finds something during the course of an inspection and immediately turns salesman to try to use it to sell another service, he's no longer the inspector the buyer paid for.  He's a salesman now.  His obligation to objectively report what he's found is displaced in favor of the additional dollars he stands to earn if his pitch succeeds.  His report on the discovered issue is displaced by a pitch that will facilitate the sale.  The inspector gets a chance to increase his sale amount and the unsuspecting buyer faces the risk of becoming royally screwed.

Edited by Marc
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On 9/16/2017 at 9:18 PM, Marc said:

Sometimes I wish I were a Texan for a while so I could try my hand at influencing inspectors and the Texas legislature in bringing about parity between agents and inspectors.

I was in DFW not long ago.  Maybe I'll reach out to you again next time.

No way in Hades will you or anyone else be able to change minds at TREC and the legislature.

The Inspectors Advisory Committee (supposedly on the inspectors side) is definitely NOT on the inspector's side and they just do the bidding of the TREC Commissioners and TREC and the realtor's lobby is in bed with the legislators.

Sad ... so very sad ... but it has not changed one iota in my 16+ years inspecting here in Texas.

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Marc    9
5 minutes ago, Nolan Kienitz said:

No way in Hades will you or anyone else be able to change minds at TREC and the legislature.

The Inspectors Advisory Committee (supposedly on the inspectors side) is definitely NOT on the inspector's side and they just do the bidding of the TREC Commissioners and TREC and the realtor's lobby is in bed with the legislators.

Sad ... so very sad ... but it has not changed one iota in my 16+ years inspecting here in Texas.

Well....It's been said that I'm a hard-headed son-of-a-gun.

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12 hours ago, Marc said:

Well....It's been said that I'm a hard-headed son-of-a-gun.

I well understand. I am also very strong-willed and went toe-to-toe with TREC many times over the years. Many of my inspector friends have done the same ... but their political connections and lobby is beyond the reach for us inspectors.

 

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RK52    4
On 9/17/2017 at 5:42 AM, Marc said:

  His obligation to objectively report what he's found is displaced in favor of the additional dollars he stands to earn

Objective. <====<<< becomes a noun at some point.....

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RK52    4
15 hours ago, Nolan Kienitz said:

I well understand. I am also very strong-willed and went toe-to-toe with TREC many times over the years. Many of my inspector friends have done the same ... but their political connections and lobby is beyond the reach for us inspectors.

 

Is there a ballot initiative in Texas? It'd be nice if you could "lobby" the voters directly and bypass the powers that be.

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16 hours ago, RK52 said:

Is there a ballot initiative in Texas? It'd be nice if you could "lobby" the voters directly and bypass the powers that be.

In the scheme of things home inspectors in Texas are small potatoes. The "zoids" and their state and national organization have all the control and power.

The 'voters' (IE: homebuyers) don't want to get caught up in such petty things with TREC at the state level and the legislature. They only deal with an inspector when they buy their home (if then) and they follow along (in most cases) who their 'zoid' sends them to.

Such an effort would also take time and money ... none of which comes easily for the small inspector community in Texas.

Most of us who have dug in and fought over the years are now at the "winding down" stage of inspecting and are mostly just tired of the continuing b.s. from TREC and the legislature and the 'zoid' organizations.

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