New Texas Rule: Forms


Adopts an amendment to §535.223, concerning standard inspection report forms. The amendment deletes a provision that exempts home inspectors from the requirement to use the promulgated Inspection Report Form for inspections for which a relocation company or a seller’s employers requires use of a different form. Thus licensed home inspectors will be required to use the Inspection Report for such inspections.

The amendment was recommended by the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee, an advisory committee of nine professional inspectors appointed by TREC.

Effective Date: 03/19/2007


Thanks for the heads up! Not to be a rebel but I certainly wonder if TREC has also made these known to the relocation companies or seller’s employers? Of course I am being facetious!! As a result now the Inspector will more than likely be required to complete both report forms to make the relocation company happy and be within the legal requirements by TREC.

Will you be attending the next NACHI NT meeting? The work performed by John Cahill, and other Inspector Committee members, with regards to the SOP rewrite has been changed by new Inspector Committee members. The new members are rallying for a very prescriptive SOP. John Cahill will be at the meeting to discuss the new initiatives and changes occurring.

Who is the Texas Real Estate Inspectors Commission at this time???

A list of the current committee members can be found at:

Brian Murphy, Dallas
Curtis Carr, Beaumont
Vernon Davis, Waco
Billy Meyerdirk, Austin
Phil Stojanik, Houston
Larry Foster, Austin
Fred Wilcox, Houston
Brad Phillips, Temple
Me, Round Rock


Russell…who’s gonna be the new chairman? How do you guys pick the chairman? Whoever draws short straw? :smiley: I think it needs to be either you or Phil.

Chair is elected by majority vote.

Thanks for your endorsement, but I don’t want the job. I’m burned-out on politics and the new SoP is doomed to be a professional embarrassment.

Curtis or Phil would both be good choices. Heck, I even like Billy or Vernon.

I will bet you ANYTHING Larry winds up there eventually.

Is there a draft of the SOP available for comment? I could not make the NT NACHI meeting last night.

Ron, with TREC not accepting the proposed SOP last August and ‘sending it back to committee’ then there doesn’t appear to be a proposed SOP draft any longer. See for a succinct status of that draft SOP :slight_smile: . My guess is that the Inspectors Committee will table any proposed changes for an extended period of time and either do nothing or completely re-write the proposed SOP changes.

Russell, I doubted that you would have desired the chair. Curtis would be a fine choice, I don’t know Vernon well enough to have an opinion on him. I couldn’t support Billy because of his adamant belief that all inspectors should be required to have E&O. I will not take that bet regarding Larry…I agree, he’ll be the chairman.

Thanks Michael. It sounded like from Russell’s comment that there was something specific that he was referring to. I guess he was just foretelling the future. :roll:

Yeah, also Russel’s comment re: “Forward into the past” is a reference to fact that Larry served on the committee during the early formative years and the current Ethics & SOP were developed during his prior tenure I think. Also, if I’m not mistaken the three new committee members, Larry, Brad and Fred come as a matched set, if you know what I mean.

I see. Thanks.

I don’t mean to hijack this thread but wanted to keep it focused on Texas HI issues. Here’s a blurb from the latest issue of Texas Realtor Focus magazine:

Prior inspection reports
*Q: Is the seller or the seller’s broker prohibited from providing a copy of an inspection report to a subsequent purchaser? An inspector that we sometimes use says that neither the seller nor the seller’s broker can provide a copy of an inspection report to a buyer who has not paid for the inspection report. *
A: An inspector is obliged to answer only to the inspector’s client and is under no obligation to speak with any other person about the content of the inspector’s report. But the inspector’s opinion as to the condition of the property as of the date specified in a report does not change based upon who reads the report. The inspector’s report should stand on its own. Most inspectors know that a client will use the inspection report to negotiate repairs in a transaction and that the client may need to provide a copy of the report to the other party. This is the nature of the industry that gives rise to the demand for the inspector’s business. Most inspectors do not require that their clients sign confidentiality agreements prohibiting the client from sharing the report with others. Even if an inspector has a client sign a confidentiality agreement that limits the client’s right to copy and distribute the report, that agreement is binding only upon the client and not upon any other person who may receive a copy of the report. Therefore, a seller is only prohibited from sharing a copy of an inspection report with a buyer if the seller is the client of the inspector (i.e., the seller ordered the inspection) and the seller signed an agreement prohibiting the seller from sharing the report.
A broker or seller who receives an inspection report is charged with knowledge of the information in the report. If an inspection report reveals material defects, the seller and the broker are obliged to disclose those defects. Therefore, the question is not whether the seller and broker must disclose the defects, but rather how the seller and broker will disclose the defects. The seller and broker may choose to disclose the defects orally, but that may be imprudent since no record of the disclosure would exist; summarize the defects in some written communication to the subsequent purchaser, but that may create a risk that some important information may be edited out; or provide a copy of the report to the subsequent purchaser along with the seller’s disclosure notice, thereby providing all of the information the seller and broker have with regard to any know defects.
The TAR Seller’s Disclosure Notice (TAR 1406) asks the seller to identify and attach copies of previous inspection reports. This notice cautions the buyer against relying on previous reports as a reflection of the current condition of property and suggests that the buyer employ an inspector of the buyer’s choice.

OK SoP in a nutshell:

Texas has attempted a uniquely prescriptive (how to) SoP. It’s ridiculously detailed on some items (dishwasher, air conditioning) and bizarrely general on others (roofing, stairs, foundation). It is a study in inconsistency and poor technical writing. It is also 7800 words, whereas every other SoP is 2500 or less.

Once you know the document, you can hang ANY inspector (including me) with it while simultaneously flying a 747 through the most important requirements. In expert work you can dissemble it so quickly a judge will laugh it off.

Faced with revision, we determined that it was decidedly less insane to simply define “inspect” and “deficiency” very carefully, then list required items for inspection, pretty much like every other extant SoP does. This took two years of research and politickin. The result was a really nice document. The commissioners were slapping us on the back and promising quick adoption.

A month later it was blown out of the water by objections raised through the General Counsel privately to the commission. (If you believe they obey the open meetings law I have coastal property in Amarillo for you.)

Anyway, the project was severely derailed with a last-minute commission motion that we adopt a commentary, address code and include safety. None of which will ever actually happen. Eventually there will be a longer version of the document we currently have, hopefully with less stupid errors but doomed to inconsistent requirements and inadequate maintenance.

If you can’t spot the mark at this card game – YOU ARE IT! :wink:

(Personally, I can’t wait to get out of this sham)


Russell, first of all I’d like to sincerely thank you, John and the rest of the committee members for all of the hard work you guys put into the proposed SOP revision. It was obviously a huge undertaking. That said, please don’t take any of the following as anything other than just trying to fully understand the big picture. One, the committee was well aware of the need for a commentary almost from day one of the re-write of the SOP. The committee clearly knew that document or a good start on that document was needed to sway several of the committee members to support the proposed SOP and to also take to TREC along with the proposed SOP. It was almost a year ago, right here on the NACHI board, that some even volunteered to begin drafting that commentary document. I’m sure politics played a part in nothing occurring along those lines. Second, the concern that the proposed SOP removed all ‘safety’ related items was also well known before taking the proposed SOP to TREC. I’m of the opinion that if the committee had seen clear to re-insert a couple of those safety items, i.e. GFCI, that the GC concern would have not been as strong. Why did the GC even become concerned in the first place? Wait, I think I know the answer to that one.

I ain’t touching that question, but wonder if you really know the answer. It gets sickeningly ‘Peyton Place’.

The commentary as a concept came from enforcement periodically asking us for website FAQ information. BUT as soon as the GC insisted that any commentary be adopted BY RULE, it was dead. That would never work. Read the preamble of any code commentary. For example, the preface of IRC says in bold print:

The Commentary is advisory only

You really want 20,000 words of new rules? You really believe a commentary by a biannual committee should be updated through 6 months of commission review and public posting? That is what adoption by rule means.

And BTW, notice TREC has not asked a single FAQ question since I pointed out that the answers were de facto a working commentary which was not adopted by rule. It’s been two years now.

It is truly dead, but we didn’t kill it.

The concerns of the GC had nothing to do with safety, she was coached into saying that. It is a killer political shibboleth though. Heck, it apparently worked on you:

  • WHERE is the “safety” in the current SoP that was allegedly removed???
  • GFCI was always included in the proposed standard.

Start a new thread and I’ll happily shred any safety SoP argument you can advance without breaking a sweat. It’s not like we didn’t think about this a LOT…


First of all, just to be clear, I **am **on your side you know. I’m not throwing stones at you guys, just playing devil’s advocate some.

Yes, like I said, I’m pretty sure someone put the negative bug in the GC’s ear about not supporting the proposed SOP. I’m also pretty sure I know who that was.

Absolutely not, I would not want that! I understand the process.

Why do you say that? One of several issues raised at the TREC meeting by the commissioners when the proposed SOP was presented was the belief (real or mistaken) that the proposed SOP eliminated all safety related items. Nothing was presented at that meeting to clarify or rectify that issue. Maybe that wasn’t the time or place to do that. Oh wait, yes it was.

That’s not the point. The point is that the committee knew of the most significant issues against the proposed SOP yet seemed ill prepared to address them when the time came to do that.

I know the committee spent untold hours working the SOP revisions and that you thought about it a LOT. From the outside looking in, it appeared the proposed SOP revision was strongly supported by 2 committee members, somewhat supported by 5 members and opposed by 2 members. The two or maybe more opposing members and the two or three interested public audience members were effective in derailing the proposal. Now, if like you say, GC was adamant that a commentary be adopted by rule then that, in and of itself, would have squashed the SOP proposal since a commentary has not even been started.

Well, I remember Cahill standing up and saying “Baloney”, that hazard identification was removed in 2000 by the same people objecting now and referring to our presentation at the prior meeting. Apparently I was the only one listening by then.

They were addressed pretty carefully at the midsummer commission meeting and in e-mail to commissioners. We did a 30 minute powerpoint presentation that addressed every issue in this thread head-on. Plus we had prepared a web page flash presentation on the subject. Jokl, Leal, Jordan and Chairman Walton all promised us it would pass. It was sweetness and light.

A month later, when it came time for final posting they wouldn’t look us in the eye. There was no deliberation at that meeting. Commission support had disappeared faster than a bottle of Ripple under the interstate. GC and Jokl wrote the motion and Burleson read it. Poof it was over.

Interestingly, the one commissioner who had been toughest on us (Flores) voted against the motion.

The commission is really very knowledgeable about HI. :roll: One grilled me because we had a limitation that inspection does not include code. I simply showed her that our existing SoP said exactly the same thing. She frowned and asked “well what about those holes through the roof?” I have no idea what she was talking about.

Maybe 2 minutes before the last vote, the chairman asked, “Who is TAREI?” Yep, these are the people who oversee more than 50 pages of detailed regulations determining your fate.

Talk to any old-timer in the national groups - Texas is the negative example they learn from. TAR owns us and one of the prominent players in this whole thing is the one who sold us out. It’s so hard to make a decent living in Texas HI, nobody has enough time to care, much less do anything about it.

Actually there were 5 in strong support, 2 on the fence and 2 hold-outs. The hold-outs were motivated by personal considerations. One personally hated our chairman and the other is a protege of you-know-who. Eventually those two went to war with each other and TAREI went looking for a new president-elect. After that she called and apologized.

It was two ex-members. TWO. One who will lord over us all and one who has the GC’s ear. Their legacy is a deal with the devil and has hurt a LOT of inspectors. But inspectors are sheep and sheep don’t pick their shepherds.

Actually, there was no commission deliberation on the new appointments and one of them is disliked by everybody but the GC. So that means the GC is actually herding this flock. That should scare the hell out of everybody.

She did and it was. The intent of a commentary was to have a living record which dealt with difficult interpretive issues as they arose. Other states do that, but I have no idea how it could be composed in advance.

I admire your civic-minded observation. Keep watching - they will never deliver any of the things we were criticized for not having. Regulatory politics is easy for people who are willing to assert outrageous things. You can say anything in front of the commission - NOBODY actually checks facts. We just did lots of work, told the truth and got pummeled for it.

In these pony-league politics it is obviously much easier to obstruct and delay than to improve or innovate. We couldn’t rally supporters to every commission meeting, but the opposition got to choose when to strike at their convenience. 'Tis the way of the world.

At least now I am kind of an expert on national SoP’s after our review work. There are THIRTY in current use. Cahill and I collected them all and I have annotated the major ones. Presented at a national conference last month and have an article coming out next month. I can make most inspectors swallow their gum. :mrgreen:


Aha! There’s the piece of the puzzle that I wasn’t aware of as I didn’t attend that mid-summer TREC meeting. That makes me feel very differently about how the final outcome came about. I see now that the committee had indeed addressed the issues surrounding the proposal. It certainly makes more sense now as to why so little was done at the Sept TREC meeting to defend the proposal…that defense had essentially already been done. Thanks for clearing that part up for me.

I’ll send the presentation to you.