New Realtor regulation in effect in Washington

Effective January 31, 2009, the following law went into effect.

**WAC 308-124C-050 Home inspector referrals. **Each licensed designated broker will establish a written office policy that includes a procedure for referring home inspectors to buyers or sellers. The policy will address the consumer’s right to freely pick a home inspectors of the buyers’ or seller’s choice and prevent any collusion between the home inspector and a real estate licensee.

If a licensee refers a home inspector to a buyer or seller with whom they have or have had a relationship including, but not limited to, a business or familial relationship, then full disclosure of the relations must be provided in writing prior to the buyer or seller using the services of the home inspector.

Tactics will be changing and evolving. How fun. :shock:

Black bold. This might be handled: “The following list of inspectors is provided as a courtesy for you to research. This is not a complete list or referral. Other inspectors can be found in the phone book or on the internet.” No referral satisfied.

Blue text “a relationship not related to” can be a fly trap. This might be handled by adding to the above “This agent has worked on a past transaction in which these inspectors were a part of however the agent has no professional relationship with the inspectors and cannot vouch for them. This is not an endorsement or referral. You should investigate inspectors to your satisfaction”

A lawyer can spin that up a bit and perhaps shorten it. The point is the law is complied with. The weakness is a typical buyer never reads the legalese or disregards it if they do. Most rely on an agent for guidance and a list of 3 or 4 names is helpful. Any smart agent would make sure the 3 or 4 names match their business practices.

A state in the northeast does not allow agents to refer inspectors at all. (Maryland or Massachusetts?). I am sure there are ways to get around that.

Buyer: Do you know an inspector?
Agent: I am not permitted by the state to refer anyone. Here is a list of every inspector in the State. I have heard of these 3 or 4 but its up to you to investigate them.


Agent: I cannot refer the inspector. I used xyz on my own home.

or or or or

You cannot regulate ethics.

Apparently a past referral is not considered a “business relationship”. The “business or familial relationship” is only if the agent is family or has hired the inspector themselves, not past referrals.

“The term “familial” means a family relationship. If agent is related to the inspector in any way, that relationship must be disclosed.
The term “business relationship” means that agent has done business with the inspector previously, even if unrelated to inspection services. For example, agent may have hired inspector to perform an inspection for agent, agent may have sold property to or for the inspector or agent and inspector may have had some other, unrelated, business dealings between them. The mere fact that agent has referred the inspector to others in the past, or has included the inspector on a list of recommended inspectors, does not constitute a “business relationship” requiring disclosure.

basically means same old same ol.