Missouri Legislation Update

I was told earlier today by an attorney that the Missouri Association of Realtors (MAR) has gotten a friendly legislator to file another Bill this week.

I have NOT seen it but I’m told its really COOL. Somehow it is to PREVENT a Realtor from suffering any liability in a RE Transaction if they REFER someone else (like home inspector, etc) and things go bad and crap hits the fan AND people get sued, etc.

It might be easier if the Realtors just not refer anybody. Just like the MAR lobbyist, Sam Licklier, said in one of his newsletters, we should just hand the buyer a telephone book and let him choose his own home inspector.

I am sure Bushart has a library full of news articles about agent and mortgage company fraud in Missouri. I sent a lot to him via email. They all should be read aloud in front of the Missouri congress. Nursing home fires, home builder defects, etc. etc. Challenge the lawmakers pushing these laws to find a news article about home inspector failure.

Offer to do a free pre-sale inspection on their own home. I gave all Kansas commerce committee members a free inspection on their own homes to teach them what a real home inspection entails. Not one call.

MO-HB 220 Specifies that a real estate licensee will be immune from liability for statements made by certain expert professionals (engineers, land surveyors, geologists, environmental hazard experts, wood- destroying inspection and control experts, termite inspectors, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, or other home inspection experts) unless the expert was selected by and engaged solely by the licensee. - Meeting at legislature was 01/26/11

This bill will be heard on Wednesday. It is thought this is a sister to the realtors home inspector licensing bill (HB-122). It is felt they will testify that this is needed because of other professions and that Missouri doesn’t have licensing of home inspectors - setting up the stage for any home inspector licensing bills that the realtors will file.

Heres a Link to the bill OR cut and paste in your browser: http://www.house.mo.gov/billsummary.aspx?bill=HB220&year=2011&code=R](http://www.house.mo.gov/billsummary.aspx?bill=HB220&year=2011&code=R)

Golly this politic stuff is so cool …

They must then, not be immune from statements made by the sellers of the properties that the agents represent. Disclosure statements are rarely true, and should be the full responsibility of the agent involved, and subject to litigation by any party involved the transaction of the sale of the property.

It is pretty obvious that the MAR is using its clout and campaign funding to lawmakers to push these laws into play, all to the benefit of themselves, and not any future home buyer of Missouri.

IMHO, it seems that the MAR and its members are actually pushing themselves out of business, and after home buyers realize the implications, will no longer hire RE’s and use instead their own real estate attorney. With the proliferation of the internet and the services of banks and lenders, the services of agents are really no longer needed. Thousands of dollars in commission fees will be saved by the home owners and home buyers. The agents themselves, should use caution; their industry may be long gone in the future. If they keep pushing, buyers and banks will push back, and fail to no longer use their services.

Try this out for food for thought…

The bills introduced in Missouri HB 122 and HB-220 will help exempt realtors from MOST liability in the sale of a house.
“Gosh don’t blame me, I didn’t know an airplane was supposed to have brakes or wings / I’m just the airplane salesman. I shouldn’t have any liability because I steered you into buying a dud OR using a mechanic to check it that was blind OR has no training AND never finds any problems (which helps me sell more airplanes)”.

[FONT=Arial][/FONT] The carrot being given to Missouri Legislators to help them justify this blatant rip-off, is that if the legislators pass the bill to help act as a “Bullet Proof Shield” for the real estate community - the Realtor Boards around the state will ASK their agents to NOT recommend a specific individual in professions like - engineers, home inspectors, termite inspectors, mortgage brokers, contractors, ETC, but they could ONLY give out broad lists of names.

But we all know how that works. The agent hands out a list of Home Inspectors OR gives the buyers the local YELLOW PAGES, for example; the buyer then asks who they should hire. The agent’s response will likely be - I can’t CHOOSE or RECOMMEND any SPECIFIC inspector for you, BUT many agents in my office say Inspector A (one-eyed Louie), or Inspector C (20 Minute Billy) is really good and points to where they want to steer the buyer to.

Where do you think the buyer then gravitates to …… All along the agent is still directing the buyer to the inspector, engineer, contractor that the agent often knows is soft OR cheap. But in a law suite the agent and broker can say **WE DID NOT SPECIFICALLY RECOMMEND ANY INSPECTOR. **Can you prove that my agent did. **CASE CLOSED, **no liability for the commissioned house salesmen or women

[FONT=Arial][/FONT] The professions specifically named in HB-220 to PROTECT real estate licensees from ARE: home inspectors, termite inspectors, engineers, environmental hazard experts, mortgage brokers, wood- destroying inspection and control experts, land surveyors, geologists, or other home inspection type experts (like maybe chimney sweeps, foundation contractors, roof contractors, etc).

The HB-220 also states that: “A recommendation alone by a licensee of the person making the statements or the ordering of a report or inspection alone will not constitute selecting or engaging a [FONT=Arial]Person”. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Figure out what that really does for real estate agents.[/FONT]
So BOTTOM LINE if something goes wrong in the transaction: the seller lied **OR **did not disclose known defects OR skillfully hides them; the real estate agent knows there are problems because the seller told them OR they had a previous deal FLIP because of things a previous inspection revealed BUT the agent or seller don’t disclose them. Now the **NEW **buyer gets into the house and 6 months or 11 months later the problems start showing up / WHAT does the NEW owner do – Try and chase down the seller who now lives in Idaho **OR **sue his RE Agent that subtly steered him into this lemon, NO now they take the **EASY **path AND sue the inspector(s) BECAUSE the commissioned house sales persons might have ALSO written a bill to license them AND gotten them liable for 3,4, or 5 years AND might have mandated E&O insurance or similar ………. Whatever!

Gosh in this economy with business off by 35%-40% and trying to hang on by my fingertips, I love the Realtors politics … It gives my blood pressure such a challenge.

I do not find it at all surprising that an organized crime syndicate, such as the Missouri Association of Realtors is IMO, would use its money to buy political influence that would financially benefit those who participate in its criminal activity.

What does baffle me is that any Missouri home inspector would actually be surprised by this.

Particularly, those who themselves pay dues to the MAR — cash that eventually make its way to the State Capitol to lobby for laws that help them and other criminal organizations rob and kill innocent people — should be fully aware of how that money is spent.

A couple of years ago, my son got burned on an auto purchase. He never did get a car fax, and went to trade in the car, and the dealer would not take it, because it was in a previous accident according to the car fax.

Think of a home inspection as a “car fax” for a home. Some car dealers offer the service, but do not mention the service they offer. Only when the buyer wants the report, will they get one. Smaller dealers do not even offer a “car fax”, and just sell cars as is, and at lower prices. Some offer short warranties, some do not.

Are auto dealers licensed? Who is to blame if the car’s transmission fails two months after purchase?

IMO, more liability should be placed on the agents, not less. They have a fiduciary duty to provide the best for their clients. With this new bill, they will not. The NAR should move in on this fiasco. Perhaps Joe Ferry could shed some more light on this one, and what the NAR really stands for.

Did anybody hear where HB-220 is at? I figured MAR would have it pushed through by now.

Proposed Effective Date: 8/28/2011
LR Number: 853L.01I
Last Action: 2/09/2011 - HCS Voted Do Pass - Consent (H)
Bill String: HB 220
Next Hearing: Hearing not scheduled
Calendar: Bill currently not on a calendar

I’ve read the bill, read the comments regarding the bill, had a long phone call from Dan explaining the bill…and I still don’t see anything wrong with it.

With their annual attempts to shift the burden of their liability on to us…and failing in that effort year after year…I can see why they would try some other means to avoid being accountable to those that they sell houses to.

This bill has nothing at all to do with us.

Inspectors who want to have business relationships with used house salesmen still can. This bill says that if the salesman are not the one to select the home inspector, he is not liable for what the inspector does.

Big deal.

Since used house salesmen rarely select home inspectors, this is a moot point. They can still recommend whoever they want to and they can still (as they do, now) point to a name on a long list of inspectors and suggest that he be called, first. This bill does not change anything.

The criminal organization that they have formed and use to buy political influence (aka the “Missouri Association of Realtors”) and that allows them to financially gain from harming and endangering others - is very powerful. Who cares what these people do as long as it doesn’t involve us? Let them spend their PAC money to pass laws like this and to fight against laws that would stop them from speeding through school zones on their cell phones, building codes that would save lives and other things that help them profit from causing harm to others.

It’s less money they have to screw with us.

I’m not afraid to kick the teeth out of any used house salesman’s attempt to affect my business and the way I conduct it. I just don’t see this as something worth a second thought. If they want to sit around and jerk each other off while wearing boxing gloves or eat their own dead…it doesn’t interest me, at all.