For those in favor of licensing

Hi to all,

as a follow up to a couple of licensing polls that I posted a while ago I would like to undestand what inspectors feel are the benefits or not of licensing.

The above poll is a multiple choice selection



I do not see any place for those who do not think Licensing is a good thing to voice their thoughts .
Roy Cooke

They did that in a previous poll Roy. I was so surprised by the high % of inspectors who favored licensing that I thought I’d try to figure out what was so attractive.



That would be an interesting pole to run again if there was some way to know how long those who voted have been in business.
My feeling the Majority of newer home inspectors are in favor and the Majority of older can see the difficulties that come from Licensing are not in favor.

Can some one tell me we have 12 votes and only 6 have looked at this pole ???
and three of these where mine ?

Roy Cooke

Hi Gerry,

Besides the options listed, I also believe that licensing reduces the need and effectiveness of HI associations in that the question from customers will never be… What association do you belong to, but… How long have you been licensed?

Like war… Licensing is not good for people or other living things. :slight_smile:

I somewhat agree Joe, but I was limited to the 10 options that I used, dependent on the results I may post another poll to better define the answers.



I work in SC and NC.

In NC, the fact is this:
Licensing works because they enforce the SOP’s as often as they can.
They revoke the license of many unqualified inspectors, many have been inspecting for decades and were doing over 250 a year and not following the SOP’s.

In SC, they still need to crackdown on the inspectors who do not understand the SOP’s and who think they work for the agents.


In the beginning, I was never a big fan of state licensing. For all the good reasons, and that I don’t believe in government control if control is not necessary.

We have had licensing in this state for about one year now. I don’t believe it increases standards. I don’t believe it decreases the bar (that’s up to the individual home inspector). I don’t believe it limits the competition. I don’t think it increases the competition. And so far, it didn’t raise home inspection fees. It increases overhead costs by requiring insurance, which may or may not be in the home inspectors best interest. It’s like pulling teeth trying to recover from that expense by raising your prices when new inspectors don’t realize what their bottom line will be on April 15. I’m hoping to see insurance costs come down for licensed home inspectors. I’m hoping to see other organizations recognize home inspectors as a legitimate trade. I seem to see less conflict with builders. And realtors understand the home inspection law better than us sometimes! Why, because they read the law and now they know what we are required to do. I have never been called on the carpet by a realtor for something I did/didn’t do, but the realtors have frequently redirected their clients on my behalf without me having to address the complaint. That’s a plus!

The main positive thing that I have seen from licensing (which is yet to be tested) is that there is a standard of practice that is not just put together by some Association that you belong to. It is put together by the state legislature and it is enforceable. Also, the client has a place to complain to if they feel they have been wronged. In my case, my state adopted an old version of ASHI’s SOP which I have been using for many many years already.

Effects of the law:

First, the standard of practice became standardized. You can’t go out and get another home inspector that uses a different standard and use them as a witness in court against another home inspector. Everybody has to do the same minimum inspection requirements.

Second, as long as you do what you’re supposed to do, if someone makes up something that “you should have found” and it is outside the scope of the SOP, then they have no basis for their claim. The majority of problems I have had with client compliance is when a contractor comes in and says “your home inspector should have found that”. Not knowing what a home inspector does. Home inspectors used to adopt their own business practices and the only way they can validate their business practices through trial and error when you get to court.

Third, if the client has grief about what they think you should have done and you can’t resolve it informally, they have an authority to file a complaint with. If their complaint is out in left field (which it usually is) the state can simply advise them that their complaint is outside the scope of inspection. Also, if you should get a lawyer’s compliant about something you allegedly did and they do not file a complaint with the state, the state can be your primary witness in your defense if you did your job correctly in accordance with state law.

I don’t think the law assures anyone’s protection, ensures compliance, increases the standard or changes competition in the field. I don’t think this is the purpose of the law.

Increasing revenues to the state?
The licensing fee barely covers the cost of maintaining records on home inspectors.

As I said, my opinion has not been tested as I have yet to receive a complaint in the last year from an inspection that was completed when the law was in place. This in of itself may be a positive result of the law. In the past 11 years I have had one complaint resolved through mediation, one formal complaint through a lawyer’s office that just went away, two informal letters from clients who also just went away. I used Association the SOP’s to counter all complaints which were resolved. The mediation case went away because when it got to the point of the “standard” used during the inspection, our friend Walter Jowers who writes for the Nashville scene, whose articles are frequently are posted on this bulletin board was making allegations of noncompliance. My attorney’s response was that the standards of practice use during the inspection was what the state has adopted as their state home inspection law SOP. Nothing more was said. That is the closest I’ve come to test the protection I feel the state may provide to home inspectors.

If you screw up, you’re screwed.
You’re now breaking the law if you don’t comply with the SOP. Before, you might just be kicked out of ASHI or NACHI. Can’t you get kicked out of ASHI and still get into NACHI by lieing on your application? Sure. Try that with the state. You won’t be going to NACHI jail!

My biggest beef is that you’re required to carry E&O insurance. My state often allows a bond in lieu of insurance and you can self-insure your business. There is a problem with lawyers going after E&O insurance. This is a bigger problem than state licensing. However, a spin off of licensing will standardize what claims E&O carriers are expected to pay out on. Hopefully, another residual would be that the insurance claims will go down because there’s a standardized business practice in place. If you make an error, they’ll pay your insurance and Jack your rates or kick you out. Much of this type of thing and your out of business due to lack of insurance. If you don’t make an error and someone files suit, it is less likely that the insurer will pay out when you obviously didn’t do anything wrong.

So, that is the benefit of licensing (probably the only one) that I see.

If some one thinks that an inspection contract or association SOP will protect you in court, you’re living with Alice in Wonderland. There’s a bunch of SOP’s and a bunch of inspection contracts out there. The court just picks them apart. When all this gets standardized, it’s up to the state to determine the standard and the court has to deal with the state not the home inspector. If you’re following state law, the Court has got to abide by that law or change it.

just my point of view!

Gerry, Your questions on this poll are very biased toward not favoring Regulation, there was only one question I could answer, any regulation that requires a test at all would “raise the Bar” in most unregulated States.

You didn’t ask if anyone thought regulation would better protect the consumer, or if regulation that made mediation mandatory before a lawsuit could be filed would help protect Inspectors from frivolous lawsuits, or that if inspectors felt that a State SOP would give them more legal protection from lawsuits, or if mandatory insurance of some type would be beneficial to the consumer by stopping the Collect the Money and Run Home Inspectors that become more prevalent every day.

Most of your Polls have been more fairly balanced. What “Law” are you asking about, a Law could be written that would definitely “raise the bar”, protect consumers, and protect Home Inspectors at the same time. Have any been passed so far? Probably not, but one could be.

Roy C. once again brings up the Good Old Boy, how long have you been an Inspector issue, but most people’s Ideas on Licensing have nothing to do with their being Home Inspectors, most who favor regulation, also faveor regulation of other businesses and trades, it has nothing to do with how long they have been home inspectors, unless they are hypocrits and don’t want the same thing that they demand of others.

It’s because it doesn’t. We all know that.

Licensing solves nothing.

For those who feel the questions asked are incorrect then I say do your own pole .
Agree or disagree at least Jerry is trying ,
You can too do a pole and then we can hope you ask the question we like .
Roy Cooke

Lewis, I don’t believe the questions to be bias as they are most a series of positives and negatives, however as someone who is currently supporting legislation in WA I would ask you tp design another poll as a balance to mine

Firstly anyone who has studied the subject will attest regulation has done squat to protect the customer, and inspectors themselves have done nothing tp promote mediation language in any state that I am aware of nor have SOP’s proven to be much of a defence against legal action. Also I reject your “take the money and run” hypothesis as purely argumentative and unsubstansiated, I have never met anyone in this business who has not believed they were doing a good job for teir client

Balance is in the eye of the beholder, and no I am not aware of any current legislation that has done anything for either side of the equation.

That is at best speculative. I look forward to seeing your poll on the issues.




Roy C. once again brings up the Good Old Boy, how long have you been an Inspector issue, but most people’s Ideas on Licensing have nothing to do with their being Home Inspectors, most who favor regulation, also faveor regulation of other businesses and trades, it has nothing to do with how long they have been home inspectors, unless they are hypocrits and don’t want the same thing that they demand of others.

I would be most interested to know is the above your thoughts or do you have reason to think that is correct.
Or is it like my thoughts ( My feeling the Majority ) of my own, as I have no way of knowing for sure who thinks what.
I can only go by what I see posted on this BB.

Roy Cooke

Licensing solves nothing. We do not need government to run our industry. Im for self regulation, we need to create a recovery fund to help protect consumers should a mistake be made.

MOST bills are poorly written and offer no consumer protection. Just my opinion. Why anyone in a non licensed state would push for licensing, I cant understand that.

I cant even imagine how some could think licensing would actually “Lower the bar for inspectors” … lower the bar compared to what if there are no current requirements … :roll:

Hi Rob,

I know of many home inspectors whose level of knowledge and CEU compliance is solely dedicated to their states minimum requirements, conversely I also know of many inspectors in both licensed and unlicensed states who far exceed the mandated minimums to make themselves (a) more employable and (b) less liable. Licensing at best only enforces a minimum standard.



Agreed … similar to a driving license.

I believe those types of inspectors likely did less before any licensing became effective.

I believe those motivated to exceed what any licensing minimums would be are going to do that anyway regardless of licensing.

So that would not be lowering the bar.


Arizona has licensing.

  • The state requires no continuing education. Although every licensed home inspector in Arizona has met the basic minimum standard to get a license and, in the minds of the consumer, is equally qualified and competent to inspect a home…many have never cracked a book since preparing for their initial (and only) test.
  • With the higher qualified/paid inspectors getting ony $275 for a 2000 sq ft house, and no requirement for continued education, try filling a class for CE in Phoenix.:wink:

Your belief has not been substantiated by fact.

In states where the government (instead of the consumer) has determined the basic minimum standard…there is the Soviet Union Syndrome effect where there becomes no incentive to exceed it. The client is led to believe that a license reflects the quality and competency that is required and…frankly…can find no reason to pay for more than that. And why should they?

As an educational vendor in a newly licensed state, you are motivated to turn out as many new inspectors as are willing to sign up for your training program. Each graduate will hit the street - if you trained them properly - with the ability to obtain the same license you have. What will distinguish you from them that will justify, to your client, why they should pay you more?

No, because I have a more general and much harder to obtain PE license. I also have a significant amount of experience and additional training/qualifications … but I also charge more for inspections.

Some people are looking to pay the least amount possible. Licensing doesn’t change that. Licensing usually only helps weed out those less/under qualified who probably shouldn’t be doing inspections anyway, and usually charge very little to get the work. That actually helps raise fees for those more qualified/serious about the profession. That has been the effect in NY with the recent licensing from the local inspectors I know.

The converse has not been substantiated by fact. We are talking about individual opinions on both sides of the fence.

However I would be willing to bet the family ranch that on average countrywide the amount of training hours for HI’s has increased over the years as licensing has become effective in more and more states. ITA could probably verify that.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink: