As a home inspector, I have already brought to your attention the manner in which the Missouri Association of Realtors has attempted to gain control over my profession, in the interest of “closing more deals”, by creating a state level home inspector licensing board that they can control through their very strong Jefferson City lobby.
Again, as last year, the Missouri Association of Realtors has been able to influence their favorite Missouri Representative, Mike Parson of Bolivar, to advance their cause. He claims that a home inspector once missed the fact that a washing machine did not work at the house his daughter purchased…and has yet to understand that home inspectors inspect houses, not washing machines. But that’s another story.
This time I want to tell you about some of the honest and reputable real estate salespeople that I have had the pleasure to recently meet who are equally concerned and upset by Parson’s proposed bill.
They are concerned that, in a very desperate real estate market that we are in…where sellers are being forced to keep their house’s on the market for over a year while properties are decreasing in value…that Parson’s bill will hurt sellers and their agents.
They fear going publicly against the very powerful Missouri Association of Realtors who continues, they say, to direct them to call congress and lobby hard for the bills that MAR supports….but they report a growing number of real estate salespeople who absolutely refuse to support licensing home inspectors in a state that does not license contractors or builders.
According to them, Parson’s bill establishes a very minimum standard for a home inspector to get a state license….a little bit of schooling and a test. Not much…just enough to put them under the thumb of a licensing board controlled by the MAR. Still, according to these agents, when a state licensed home inspector requires an expensive repair or replacement prior to a house being sold….how can the seller present any alternative or argument using unlicensed contractors, no matter how many years they may have in the business?
Secondly, these agents report that they have been told by every home inspector they currently use that - once licensed by the state - these home inspectors will have no choice but to report every single defect, no matter how minor it may be, in their reports in order to protect themselves and their licenses. The agents fear that this, combined with the fact that the state licensed home inspector will have the “last word” on his report since the state’s electricians, plumbers, heating and air specialists and other contractors and builders have no state licenses between them, will do even more harm to an already depressed real estate industry.
So, there you have it.
In a matter of days, Parson promises that his annual show of support to the Missouri Association of Realtors (in the form of a home inspection licensing bill) will be filed. More tax money down the tubes as this representative, whose many years in the state congress has accomplished very little for the state or his district, continues to assuage a very happy and very rich lobby.
Consumers don’t want a home inspection licensing bill, for they want to have their home inspector remain the one party who remains objective and has nothing to gain from the sale (and who is not under the thumb of the salespeople who do).
Home Inspectors don’t want a home inspection licensing bill, for they want to remain independent of the Missouri Association of Realtors and continue to perform for Missouri consumers at an unprecedented level of satisfaction. Florists have more complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and Attorney General’s office than home inspectors do.
And, now, the real estate salespeople…some of who originally thought it might help them to have home inspectors licensed, are reviewing the draft of the bill and loudly proclaiming that they do not want to see it become law.
Help us to help Missourians continue to have the best access to the best home inspectors and call your state representative and let him know you oppose the bill to be presented by Missouri Association of Realtors through their own sales agent, Mike Parson.
James H. Bushart
President of Missouri Chapter of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors