Licensing Helps HIs/Yes or No?

\:D/ Thanks David, you have an interesting past - I was raised with the notion that education wasn’t necessary, only hard work. I proved my parents wrong (worked hard, not smart.) I sincerely congratulate you on your accomplishments given your upbring! =D> =D> =D>
:cool: I hope not to oppose licensing as much as I oppose ridiculous criteria
(proof of working with a licensed HI. NACHI or ASHI Standards are black and white, easily understood when read - it is not rocket science:mrgreen: !)
=; If we are licensed by a State haven’t we eliminated a need for testing by NACHI? Was NACHI testing needed in the early years because many or most States did not require testing? Does the AMA (American Management Association and American Medical Association) require passing its own tests to be a member - not the first of these two, don’t know about the second?
=D>The first does a great job of putting out to its members the latest methodology concerning leadership, management and the like - truly devoted to educating and promoting the growth of it members. I prefer this sort of membership organization.
](,) Your (David) bottom line to me is licensing is inevitable, get over it or get out of the way.’ Of course, you are right - it’s life in America.
:idea: As you have brought my thought to a different level I now believe that my REAL dissatisfaction is with all of the association’s (like NACHI & ASHI) that have not ensured that licensing requirements did NOT go the way of special interest.
:neutral: Is it okay to fail here? Most established HI’s will have a hearty YES to this question - was that why you (all members) supported NACHI/ASHI in the early years (to conceive ways to protect your territory?)
:—) Maybe the root of the problem is that organizations as NACHI & ASHI don’t come out and say “WE DON’T WANT NEW HOME INSPECTORS” and then explain how you will be REQUIRED to work for about $0.00 for a year or two while you earn our acceptance, and when you’re done you must move your family somewhere else so as not to compete.
:shock: :mrgreen: (One former inspector in Washington was forced out of the business because after working for near $0.00, at his own expense, and completing training, his HI trainer (an ASHI member & maybe NACHI member) demanded a percentage of his returns for the next year or two, because he wouldn’t be qualified if it weren’t for him. Then set a lawyer after this new inspector.:vomit: :vomit: :vomit:)
Has NACHI failed its “ETHICAL” obligation? Is its goal to first promote the success of independent HI’s & then to the wellbeing of the industry? Would that be ETHICAL if it meant denying honest, capable individuals from entering or remaining in the business?
:idea:That said, I have just realized that I may not be the kind of person that NACHI needs or wants. ](
,) Yet, because of NACHI I have received business that I would not have had under the current state of the industry. :wink:
jbushart: thanks for putting up the thread=D>. (sorry about the overuse of symbols!)
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Tried to make it easier for all to read . Roy

User Name: dthomas2
Location: Spokane, Wa
Posts: 83

Re: Licensing Helps HIs/Yes or No?
\:D/ Thanks David, you have an interesting past -
I was raised with the notion that education wasn’t
necessary, only hard work.
I proved my parents wrong (worked hard, not smart.)
I sincerely congratulate you on your accomplishments given your upbring! =D> =D> =D>
:cool: I hope not to oppose licensing as much as I oppose ridiculous criteria
(proof of working with a licensed HI. NACHI or ASHI Standards are black and white,easily understood when read -
it is not rocket science:mrgreen: !)
=; If we are licensed by a State haven’t we eliminated a need for testing by NACHI?
Was NACHI testing needed in the early years because many or most States did not require testing?
Does the AMA (American Management Association and American Medical Association)
require passing its own tests to be a member - not the first of these two, don’t know about the second?
=D>The first does a great job of putting out to its members the latest methodology concerning leadership,
management and the like - truly devoted to educating and promoting the growth of it members.
I prefer this sort of membership organization.
](,) Your (David) bottom line to me is licensing is inevitable, get over it or get out of the way.’
Of course, you are right - it’s life in America.
:idea: As you have brought my thought to a different level I now believe that my REAL dissatisfaction
is with all of the association’s (like NACHI & ASHI) that have not ensured that licensing requirements did
NOT go the way of special interest.
:neutral: Is it okay to fail here? Most established HI’s will have a hearty YES to this question -
was that why you (all members) supported NACHI/ASHI in the early years
(to conceive ways to protect your territory?)
:—) Maybe the root of the problem is that organizations as NACHI & ASHI
don’t come out and say “WE DON’T WANT NEW HOME INSPECTORS”
and then explain how you will be REQUIRED to work for about $0.00
for a year or two while you earn our acceptance, and when you’re done
you must move your family somewhere else so as not to compete.
:shock: :mrgreen: (One former inspector in Washington was forced out of the business
because after working for near $0.00, at his own expense, and completing training,
his HI trainer (an ASHI member & maybe NACHI member)
demanded a percentage of his returns for the next year or two,
because he wouldn’t be qualified if it weren’t for him.
Then set a lawyer after this new inspector.:vomit: :vomit: :vomit:)
Has NACHI failed its “ETHICAL” obligation? Is its goal to first promote the success
of independent HI’s & then to the wellbeing of the industry?
Would that be ETHICAL if it meant denying honest, capable individuals
from entering or remaining in the business?
:idea:That said, I have just realized that I may not be the kind of person that NACHI
needs or wants. ](
,) Yet, because of NACHI I have received business that I would not have
had under the current state of the industry. :wink:
jbushart: thanks for putting up the thread=D>.

yes on the licensing to a point , point being if their are national standards for the testing,allowing the inspectors to take the test and the licenes could be used in all states.

Vague generalizations and flowery expressions.
What States are you referring too? California, and New York for instance would tend to be more letigious than the Midwest, with or without licensing.
Why do Real Estate Agents have such cheap E&O?

What makes you think that those numbers would change? Why would being licensed make people more likely to report you to the BBB?
Don’t you think the general public perceives a licensed individual as a professional? No matter what you call yourself, some people need to have verification that someone says you’re OK besides you.
Professional organizations help, but even belonging to one or another puts us at odds with each other.
Say what you will about contractors, builders, and real estate agents, but the public views them as professionals because of their licensing.

I am gathering from your posts that you see licensing as some kind of a marketing tool.

Is this illusion of professionalism, in your opinion, in the best interest of the public?

Definition: PROFESSIONAL 1. **of profession: **relating to or belonging to a profession

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professional people 2. **following occupation as paid job: **engaged in an occupation as a paid job rather than as a hobby

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professional tennis player 3. **businesslike: **conforming to the standards of skill, competence, or character normally expected of a properly qualified and experienced person in a work environment

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professional attitude 4. **very competent: **showing a high degree of skill or competence

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did a very professional job 5. **doing something habitually: **habitually, and usually annoyingly, indulging in a particular activity

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a professional complainer

Can I get one of them license’s to be a “Professional Complainer?”:cool:

Many things appear to be criteria to be considered a “Professional.”

(I’m Dennis Thomas and I approved this message)

Another interesting thing that I think is coming out of this conversation is how people at both extreme ends of the spectrum think that licensing helps their business.

The “newby” sees licensing as the Great Equalizor. No longer does he have to compete against seasoned experts, ASHI bias, or some other competitive edge that others hold against him. with licensing, he becomes one of many licensed inspectors - starting business in an equal playing field.

The “old hat” sees licensing as the hatchet that will eliminate the unqualified inspector, allowing him to increase his fees and secure his position in the market with a license.

So far, in the states that have turned control of their profession over to the government, neither has come to fruition. As several have pointed out, the “minimum basic standard” became the norm - and a flood of “minimum basic standards” flood the market - lowering fees and the bar.

Would anyone from a licensed state care to comment on these observations?

Let me see if I got this right…

  1. We as home inspectors look to the State government to make our profession legitimate so we ask them to enact some kind of licensing requirements with legislation written by people who have no earthly idea what a home inspector is or does. “Please make us be professional and accountable because we can not be trusted as a professional to do it ourselves”. Establish for us some kind of “standard” because these associations can’t be trusted either because they are simply marketing vehicles who constantly at odds with each other.

  2. State says "Okay, here you go. You will conduct yourselves like professionals. You can’t do this but you can do this. Now, give us money each year and we will give you a piece of paper that says "You are somebody who has met a minimal arbitrary standard that YOU gave us in the first place. (Remember, they don’t know anything so they look to home inspectors and these very same associations who can’t be trusted to give them some guidelines for “standards”)

  3. Now, go out and find some kind of Continuing Education resources to meet these arbitrary annual requirements. Doesn 't matter if you just sit in class and learn nothing but your attendance is proof enough for us. We the State are not going to tell you what you need curriculum wise, we leave that up to you. Just get the hours. Oh by the way, we will set up some kind of board to police you guys because you’ve already told us you can’t be trusted, but YOU all get to pay for the expenses of setting up and maintaining this board.

  4. So who do we look to for providing this continuing education. Why, it is those same “untrustworthy” and nefarious associations and vendors we are trying to break away from. After all, once we get “licensing” we don’t need them anymore.

  5. Every HI bill Ive ever seen eventually, somewhere in the body of text, comes back to depending on and referencing existing Consumer Protection Laws already in place, for the customers ONLY avenue for redress. You screw up, the customer will hire a lawyer and sue you. They can do that now without any longwinded mamby-pamby HI law. If Realtors were barred from making recommendations for home inspectors, the market forces would run off all the half baked inspectors. It would be that simple. People would have to find their own inspectors without any undue influences from people with a vested interest in hiring someone untrained, unskilled and like them, only looking to make a fast buck. BTW, all of this can be and has been done without “licensing”.

Sorry I do not like this we ( We as home inspectors look to the State government to make our profession legitimate so we ask them to enact some kind of licensing )
I do not think it is the experienced Home Inspector who want this .
It Is many of those who newer and Agents who just love the newer Home Inspector as they are not as astute in seeing all the concerns in the home .
Most Agents we have to understand have only one thing on their mind get the final paper signed .
They want every thing as simple as possible .
They just love to save their clients money by getting the cheapest Home Inspector they can for the reason close the sale immediately.
This is how it has worked in my area for years the agent wants the cheapest not the best.
We have three HIs who make a reasonable living and
12 HOW LOW CAN YOU GO.
Roy Cooke

Roy,
Then you and I are in total agreement on this. The “we” was done with tongue in cheek. Sounds like you have the same situation we have here. It must be univeral.

Andy, after 28 years of doing home inspections, expert witness and training - nothing I said is vague generalizations. Its facts of life. As you and I both know, in Missouri & Kansas there is no mandatory state wide building code, no mandatory state wide code inspections, no mandatory state wide licensing of builders, contractors, remodelers, etc. In 3/4 of the state if you want to be a roofer, foundation contractor, framer, builder - you just go.

Even in the areas that require residential licensed builders (Johnson County Kansas for example), the requirement is passing the open book ICC exam (under 85 questions) AND no proof you even know how to build a house, etc BUT they’re licensed. What I’m saying is simple to the guys that don’t know better is really simple …

Licensing does almost next to nothing for us other than give us another government group to stick their nose in your underwear. It doesn’t lower complaints, eliminate low-ballers or knot heads or 60 minute inspectors. It doesn’t mean realtors, lenders, builders or the general public looks at you with any higher regards or respect. In their eyes you’re still just that old home handyman / Home Inspector (but licensed now) - AND - the realtor, lender, buyer, seller, etc still says you’re dumber than snot because you said this … and the professional builder, plumber, roofer said that …!

Good Luck !!

Yep

Thats what licensing get you!

Amen Dan!

Dan, I work primarily in a rural area. No one out here cares what kind of house gets built except me, and a handful of other inspectors who work in the area. To add insult to injury, most of the buyers don’t see the value of a home inspection. Their uncle/dad/brother is a roadworker/farmer/painter and he can take a look at the house for them. As the city folks come out here, the real estate agents have had to adjust to dealing with a new kind of buyer, and to dealing with me. Five years ago, I was basically in the same position you were in 28 yrs. ago. I’m the primary Inspector for several of the rural agents, I’ve also lost an entire office over killing the Broker’s wife’s deal.
As for government regulation, I think the government in general should mind their own business, building roads, etc. No one in the government is intelligent enough to regulate:
businesses,
people’s smoking rights on private property,
people’s sexual preference,
manage eminent domain,
or a laundry list of other things.

I was just playing devil’s advocate to get you to give a more specific answer. I thought it would get you fired up. I think that it’s funny that anyone with an alternate view is considered a “newbie”, or an uninformed inspector. I’m new here, and haven’t been involved in a good argument yet, this one will have to suffice for now.
Thanks for your views, maybe we’ll meet up someday.

Not here. All it does is lift money out of my pocket and trivializes my memberships. In an unlicensed state, I’d be distinguished by my memberships. “The other guy is cheaper and **licensed **so I don’t see a difference”. I’ll explain the differences but customers often assume that the licensing laws are strict and enforced.:roll:

To All,

What a great conversation - good comments, interesting and insightful opinion.

At this point, we see nearly 75% of the 54 who voted believe HI Licensing helps us - of the near 600 who have viewed this thread (but may not have read any of it). I would like to know if any of those “yes” voters read any of the conversations prior to their vote? And, was anyone persuaded one way or the other?

Could any of us be moved to the other side by some of those “yes” voters? (It appears we placed ourselfs out on an island here as most all posts here believe government doesn’t need to be generating more work for themselves by supervising our profession…)

Is there a good argument for “yes.” Nick posted a thought (maybe ‘fact’,) a few days ago - don’t remember where - that moved me to the yes side. Then, on this thread Nick’s info was discredited, and I am back on the “No” side. Flip-Flopper? Well, I try to go with the facts or in lu of facts, the most reasonable argument.

Have all HI organizations put their heads together to come up with a North America Home Inspection Standard? I could look but thought one of you may have already. I believe ONE “Standard,” like the “NEC”, etc., is a worthwhile goal and if it exists isn’t it enough for a State to mandate compliance to the North America Standard? I think so. I imagine it is too late for states who already have licensing in place.

As we dissenters have found each other, can we identify and articulate one goal, maybe two, that we can agree upon and work to persuade NACHI to actively support? Worth the effort?

I’m on the fence, I said yes, but it could be no. But I believe it varies by area.

The main reason (my opinion) I think it weeds out some of the disfunctional HI’s is because then you are required to have E & O insurance if your state requires a license. (If that’s not true, please let me know).

If the “cheapo’s” now are required to have E&O because of the licensing, they will have (if they are smart) to raise rates to pay that $2-3k a year, plus their licensing fee’s,etc…

Here in Atlanta, with what I have experienced so far, if you’re targeting realtors for your marketing, more than half of them won’t even let you place brochures or cards in the office if you don’t have E&O.

Out of curiousity, in a 50 mile radius of your location, how many HI’s do you think are currently practicing?

Some food for thought. Just maybe those who do not believe that E & O protects anyone other than the Home Inspector (believe it or not the Realtor can still be sued by the client just for recommending a certain HI as well as a myriad of other reasons)…may be a little more conscientious and do a more thorough job precisely because they don’t carry the E & O or because like some of us prefer to be self insured rather than fill the pockets of the Insurance companies. All it takes it one claim and the insurance company will more than likely either raise your rates or cancel your policy. Then it becomes virtually impossible for you to get another policy issued with another company. If you live in a State where E &O is mandatory you are out of business. Having done it both ways, the first or one of the first questions on the application is “Have you ever been denied insurance or had a policy cancelled?” One of the other always present questions is “Have you ever had a claim filed against you or your company?” As someone stated earlier…What do you want or think licensing can/will do for you? Historically, it does not do ANY of the things most think it will do. It almost always boils down to simply another level of unnecessary bureaucracy put into to place. It almost never protects the consumer, the inspector, the general public. Having been involved in fighting licensing for over a decade now, I can tell you it almost always involves someone else getting wealthy at the expense of others. Always follow the money because it always leads back to the source of those wanting licensing. The argument always sounds good on the surface but once you throw back the covers you find the real reasons.

=D> Bravo!

I don’t know Brian - a phonebook (internet) shows 15 to 20 companies, and how many total inspectors? - I’m not sure how one would find them.

Pricing is an issue. I under-priced my first one or two - that’s fair. After that, I hope to not bring the wage down because it is expensive to run even a one man company. But “Price Fixing” is not legal - so if this is the intent of licensing we’re over the edge of “completely honest.” “Jack-in-the-Box” or “Sonic” offer a cheap product, yet the “Outback Steakhouse” is doing very well, so too is “Starbucks.” I have found some people, i don’t know what percentage, want to pay the most for what they purchase - someone has to be there for them. Perhaps we need to look at HI the same. If you can’t attract clientele at a price you can make a living at the reason may be that you aren’t as good as others in the HI business. So, lower your standard of living and your price. Price should delineate the best from the worst, not licensing - right? I don’t buy the cheapest of anything - never! I do shop Wal-Mart but will not buy a tool there again.
Let competition deside who stays - not licensing (still, the NACHI tests or similar I feel are good for everyone.)

Brian -

Only a handful of states require E&O for inspectors. None of the states I’ve ever lived in have required E&O insurance to get a license for realtors, contractors, builders, electricians, appraisers, nor do they require mal-practice insurance for doctors, lawyers, etc.

Last year I talked to a legislator that was a member of the state judiciary committee and I asked him his thoughts about mandatory E&O insurance for any regulated profession - his answer was if you’re for it you’re either trying to eliminate the competition or dumber than a box of rocks.

Andy -

Most guys I see or talk to across the country in favor of licensing are either: (1) new and naively think it will bring credibility to them; (2) old dogs having a hard time holding ground and hoping licensing will eliminate some of the competition - especially if they can make it very costly (fence me in - fence you out); (3) people that train HI’s for almost 100% of their revenue (if licensed - every new swinging weewee will have to go to HI school, so more bucks for them than if its optional as now); and finally (4) our great white father HI Association that seems to think if they can push us all into regulation AND hopefully get their Stds in play AND their 3rd party Test shoved in maybe they can stack the state HI Board and gain more control.