The builder is Ashton Woods, at least that’s the one I just dealt with. No need to keep their name secret.
The buyer should have refused to sign an agreement that limits their access to an inspector in such a way. Anyone buying an Ashton Woods home should refuse to sign the independent property inspection agreement as it unfairly limits their ability to use the inspector of their choice.
The requirement that the inspector have GL insurance is not so egregious, although I highly doubt that they require the same of their own subcontractors and the $1M amount seems high, but not totally outlandish.
What is completely outlandish is the requirement for $1M E&O insurance. E&O is not intended to protect the builder but the inspector. The builder has no valid reason to require such unless Ashton Woods is attempting to shift liability for shoddy construction onto the inspector. Texas requires home inspectors to carry $100K E&O.
The builder is also demanding CABO certification and that the inspector be on a county list for providing third party code inspections for builders (builders get to hire their own building code compliance inspectors from these lists - anyone with a TREC license who is foolish enough can get on one of these lists). There is no valid basis for them to make these demands.
The agreement also demands that the buyer indemnify Ashton Woods for any and all liability or injury claims that arise out of these inspections. If a subcontractor runs over the inspector with a bulldozer, the buyer is liable to defend Ashton Woods. If a roofer falls off the roof while making repairs identified during the course of the inspection, the buyer will be liable for any claims. This clause has no end date. The buyer will be liable forever.
Yes it is still the builder’s house but anyone contemplating buying an Ashton Woods home should refuse to sign any contract that so limits their choice of representation and shifts so much potential liability from the builder to them and their inspector.
I refused to inspect this house due to the E&O requirement from the builder - you should too.