2008 Missouri HI Bill Has Been "Filed"

I was informed a few moments ago by Missouri Representative Sally Faith ® that a bill written by Mike Parson ® calling for the licensing of home inspectors in Missouri has been “filed” and is “in committee”.

She had requested from me, earlier this evening, an “alternative bill” to facilitate a “compromise”. I informed her that the only logical alternative to unnecessary legislation…is no legislation.

The bill is not presently reflected on the list of active bills before the House, but I presume it will be, soon.

The game is afoot.

I think that a bill needs to be written that will protect the consumer by not allowing real estate agents, brokers, or an agent of from referring home inspectors that are not certified by an home inspection organization recognized by the Missouri Housing Commission. Here is a copy of a speech I gave at the Missouri Housing Industry Alliance (started and ran by Realtors) meeting last year:

I want to know if MAR can help me understand something?
The way I understand it the Missouri Association of Realtors is for licensing of home inspectors to protect the consumer.
Why not start now?
Of the lists of home inspectors I have seen MAR members hand to their clients (and I have seen a lot of these lists). Some of these inspectors are not even certified to preform home inspections. These referred inspectors do not take part in any on-going professional education, do not follow any standards of practice, and they do not prescribe to any code of ethics.
Consumers expect and deserve that the list of home inspectors they receive from their Realtor belong to a national certifying organization that is recognized by the state of Missouri as so. These organizations at the current time are NACHI, NAHI, and ASHI.
Actually I find that consumers are shocked that they were referred by their Realtor an inspector who is not certified to preform home inspections.
If I test mold for a client and the mold comes back from the lab as being considered toxic, the mold organization that I belong to requires me to only refer certified mold remediation companies. The reason why they insist on me doing this is to protect me, the consumer and uphold the organization’s good standing. No matter how many people are on my mold remediator list, if they are not certified I can be held liable because I know if the remediator does not attend the on-going training, follow a professional standards of practice, and abide by a code of ethics; I am putting my client in harm’s way.
Realtors providing a list of only certified home inspectors will prefill their clients’ expectations by reducing buyer’s remorse while eliminating issues of potential liability to agents and their brokers.

The leaders of MAR at the meeting response was “We have no control over our members” One leader actually denied that his brokage had a list. I held myself back from breaking him the bad news that I kow for a fact that his office manger has a list on her computer. I have seen it myself.
All certified home inspectors are listed on their organization’s website. All the brokers have to do is to update their referal list every few months. It would only take a few minutes to do so.

A bill so written and passed as law can, the following session, be modified to include: “…except when the consumer cannot find their own inspector and asks the agent for help…”.

The following year, it is further modified to include: “…and except when the agent feels that the client can benefit from a referred inspector…”

and so on, and so on, as the very powerful Missouri Assoc of Realtors lobby sees fit.

Once a bill becomes law, it is a run-a-way truck that can be modified by anyone with the money to lobby for a change…and nothing can be done to stop it.

Keeping the bill from becoming a law is the only defense.

There is no way we are going to keep Realtors from handing out lists of inspectors. That list needs to consist of certified inspectors. I looked at my competion in my area last year only about 30% was certified by a national organization recognized by the state of Missouri. MAR’s disregard for the consumer needs to stop. If MAR is not going to look out for the poor unexpected consumer, than we should by requiring all home inspectors that they refer be certified.

HI licensing bills are not designed to, nor do any of them have the ability to protect a single consumer.

These bills are not about the consumer. If they were, it would be consumer groups (not real estate salesmen) pushing for them.

A very good point. Consumer Beware!

The Bill has been written. Then it gets reviewed by research OR by state legal departments. Then they get filed. Then they get assigned committees.

The writer is on the Committee that hears this particular Bill.

Lets assume it will be filed by the end of this week or week #1 in February

Lets also assume MAR has been holding leadership meetings all year around the state - many of which have been focused on getting HI’s licensed.

Lets also assume the MAR have held meetings with Legislators where they have brought realtors from all over the state to meet legislators and tell them horror stories about how BIG BAD HI’s have hurt them by not being legislated.

I attended a breakfast meeting in Kansas City the realtors threw AND they invited key legislators. They talked about how this was an election year; how they were the largest voting block of associations in the state; how they were looking for candidates to support with votes and contributions; etc.

Then they laid out their 2 main legislative goals for 2008. Licensing HI’s was #1 on their list.

This is going on in Missouri and in Kansas.

One huge group trying to get another very small profession regulated.

If this was Microsoft, someone would be calling the Feds screaming

“Restraint of Trade” or something similar

Going out, today, to selected areas of Missouri:

Very good letter.

Its a good letter. One thing I constantly see in college classes I teach up here is that the AVERAGE consumer sees licensing of ANYTHING as a plus.

They just seem to automatically believe that they will now have protection from something (they’re not really sure what exactly). Most just don’t believe its not always in their best interests.