News Media Catching on to Home Inspector Licensing Scams

I was interviewed for an investigative report being done in the midwest for a television news station and a newspaper.

An investigative reporter who writes for a major Missouri newspaper told me today that his story will be going to print next week.
This has aired in North Carolina. Thanks, Nick, for not being one of the “national associations” who supported the realtors with this scam in North Carolina.

As predicted, the momentum is now in favor of those who continue to believe that licensing is NOT inevitable.

Licensing solves nothing.

Have you heard recent radio advertising from AHIT? It’s been airing in the St.Louis area where there are lic. and non-lic. States.

It basically says that the market in purchasing for-closures has increased the demand for HI’s and the average fee is around $300. Then goes on to say in this tough economy it’s a great way to supplement your income as a part-time inspector doing 2 or 3 inspections a week. In just a few weekends of training you can become a certified HI.

I’ve listened to this bull a lot recently. This iis just as bad, if not worse, than licensing.

Maybe if one newspaper will print a story than the rest will jump on the bandwagon and help expose this fraud. Good job, James.

A gentleman called me to do a ride-along prior to his AHIT training…He was so stoked about being a millionaire inspector. I talked to him for an hour I think and told him I would be glad to have him come along…Just so happened that a home I had scheduled was a forclosure and empty so no time restraints…He was a few minutes late…and did not bring crawl clothes and the crawl was nasty, then the rat infestation in the attic was pretty bad. Needless to say what he thought was going to be his newfound MIL is now selling widgets and NOT Home Inspections. Sometimes I wonder about the integrity of some home inspection schools.

I will say that I myself tried the AHIT course and it was not even close to ITAs. Sue me if ya want…Just my opinion.

I had a guy contact me recently wanting a ride along too. Among other things, I told him he was picking a poor time to get in the HI business.

Very interesting
That business with needing documented visual evidence in all summary items really handcuffs Inspectors.

More conflict of interest by Used House Salesman and Legislators who have a stake in the claim…I hope you really set them straight Jim…!!

I’m actually glad we have a weak but certification program in AZ, I certainly would not want to be going through what you guys in the Midwest are experiencing…it appears to be just about a Full Time Job to protect your livelihood at the hands of corrupt individuals with personal agendas.

I’d be curious as to how serious a media source is about this if its being talked a week or more before its to air.

I’ve participated in OR had right at 65-68 newspaper, TV, magazine pieces or specials done using me for interviews, etc in the past 20 years.

Its been my own experience that a serious investigator or others WOULD NOT be talking this ouitloud all over the web ahead of time. They don’t want to telegraph the story to the other side AND give them time to plan a way out of the hole.

In short the stealth bomber is called stealth for a reason.

Ok Don Quixote, keep tilting. :smiley: You have noticed that very few people read Newspapers anymore, right?

Truth does not need to hidden, Dan.

You have a law imposed upon you in part because instead of speaking out with the facts that you accumulated through surveys of Kansas and Missouri inspectors, you and others decided to keep it hidden until “the right time” which turned out to be much, much too late. The bad guys had already used lies to convince legislators of support behind their efforts while the truth remained in “stealth” and hidden from them.

The investigative reporter for the KC Star was not operating in “stealth”. He was contacting legislators and other key players for the past week who were all calling each other as soon as they spoke to him. He was not under cover or hiding his reporting in any way, shape or form. He has no agenda other than to find and expose the truth. Walking in the darkness and whispering secrets does little to change what we need to have changed, anyway.

Stealth, Dan, is the weapon of Jeff Barnes as he secretly awards himself the number “1” on his license…and then advertises on his website that this is a credential…making him more worthy than you to be hired.

It is the light of the day…the beam of truth…that penetrates these shadows, Dan. Honest men are not afraid to take a stand and let the public know their real position on these issues.

The media, print and electronic, are beginning to listen. We need them to take what others are doing in “stealth” and bring it to the light of day. Let the public see the truth.

That is incorrect.

The word “visual” is not part of the new rule at all.

The new rule says “based upon documented tangible evidence”.

That is nothing new at all really, look up all the definitions of tangible.
We can still report all necessary problems with houses in the summary!

This whole thing is similar to the BS that goes on in large companies. There is incompetence in all areas and each area wants to point out the other peoples incompetence based on a tidbit of information rather than looking at the big picture and the legal definitions.

If they ever got the right people together there could be some SOP and rule changes to make this profession much better. All they have achieved in NC so far is putting in little loopholes for the driveby agent kisser inspectors to use for excuses when the buyer complains about missed items. I think the agents could deal with true inspection reports as long as they saw more consistent performance from inspectors. Did you notice in the video from the NC news station where the politician said inspectors should have liability insurance? Guess what they passed for the new law… No E&O required as long as you have 5k in the bank or a 5k bond. What good is that? The GL they require does nothing to protect the client and I have not heard of any real GL issues such as inspectors tearing up houses etc.

The bottom line is that NC has NOT yet put any law into place that prevents a good honest inspector from issuing a proper report and I don’t think they ever will do something as dishonest as that.

Here in Kansas, we no longer can check all kitchen appliances. We only need to check a representitive number of outlets, switches, windows, doors, etc. Inspections will be basic, 30-minutes, and at $99 each, which what the RE’s want. Then, inspectors will be required to carry different kinds of insurance, so when an issue arises after the buyer moves in, the buyer will be sueing the inspector, whom has insurance that will be extored from the insurance companies by attorneys. Short, cheap inspections, please the buyer, pay the RE agent, sale goes through, agents make money; issue arises, sue the inspector. My fees will not change, and my inspections will be detailed. I will have to compete with these $99 inspectors, or go out of business. These “$99 newbies” will be churned out by local colleges and taught by people who will have inroads with the board for thousands of dollars in educational fees. This is all quite a money making and extortion scheme created by lawmakers who themselves are RE agents. Game over for us, just the beginning for the newbies.

Jim -

The survey had been provided to lawmakers and others - Just not thrown out onto the table where the other group could get their hands on it and destroy it before it had ANY chance to be digested or used.

Some folks shoot all their ammo before the fight starts AND have nothing left once the real fight starts. MAREI & KARCI fought this RAPE off for over 6 years in Missouri and 4 years in Kansas by meeting one-on-one with key legislators and USING other state groups to help.

DON’t remember seeing but 2 or 3 others like us at the meetings EVER.

The combination of special interests and cowardly inspectors afraid to stand up for themselves allowed a bad law to roll over Kansas.

Using the same strategy to fight the law and those who are abusing it for their own gain, as was used to prevent the law, is too ridiculous to even consider.

A bullet that is left in your chamber when the gunfight is over is of no value to anyone.

Mr. Barnes, Mr. Robinson and anyone else who were misled to believe that ALL inspectors are too cowardly to speak out against their abuses of the public trust are learning that they are gravely mistaken.

The law is to take effect in six weeks and no SOP has been written after over a year of meetings. All that has been accomplished is the personal promotions of the Chairman and (former) vice chairman.

The public will learn from the Kansas City Star in about a week…and other media in coming weeks…how they were duped.

If it serves no other purpose than to show Missouri legislators what the MAR/KAR agenda looks like once it is put into action…that is enough.

This comes from the light of day shining on the truth. ***** stealth.

You are very right on 1 aspect. Many inspectors complained BUT when it came time to show up at legislative hearings OR association meetings less than a handful ever showed and raised their voices where it counted.

But Dan,

YOU were the expert with ALL the ammo you needed. Yet, as I recall, you were hedging as to when to unleash everything. Unfortunately, by the time you were ready to expose things, you had already lost the war. Political correctness didnt get you a position with the new faction, and in fact, helped no one.

In my world, the best defense is a great offense. One cannot be in stealth mode where they are so stealthy their voice is but a whisper behind a curtain.

Joe -

We had the ammo AND it was given to the legislators, the media, etc.

The realtors however gave votes AND $$$$$ to the legislators.

The Kansas and Kansas City media were given the ammo. They always had an excuse to NOT play it OR write it, etc. ABOUT 4-6 of our people called, wrote or emailed Governor Sebelius, the AG’s office, the legislators, other associations, the news media, etc on an ongoing basis Some of these hero’s were:

Mike Pritchett (Pres of the Heartland NAHI Chapter; Paul Sabados with NACHI; David Moriconi Secretary / Treasurer of KARCI & NACHI / ASHI member; Mark Adams - NAHI member / Pres of MAREI / Past ASHI Officer; Mike Greenwalt - NAHI / ASHI member & KARCI lobbyist; John Kurtz - Past ASHI Officer / Past NAHI Chapter Pres / Member of KARCI; Paul Romer - Past ASHI National Board Member; My self - NACHI / ASHI / NAHI member / Past President of 2 ASHI Chapter / 3 Times Past National Board Member ASHI.

We had letters from the BBB, the AG’s office of consumer affairs and HADD Pres (Nancy Seats) stating that YES we had complaints BUT they were less than FLORISTS complaints (5-7 over a 3 yr period).

We successfully fought this back for the past 4 years BUT the realtors made a knock down attempt in an election year using $$$$$ & votes.

AND although other guys got on web sites and made a lot of noise WHEN it came time to show up in PERSON at the meetings / We NEVER had more than 4-5 INSPECTORS out there OPPOSING it / SO it was REAL EASY for the realtors lobbyist, the trial attorneys lobbyist, and the PRES of KAREI to CONVINCE the legislators the COMPLAINERS were ONLY 4-6 guys.

END of story.

WE WERE THERE / MOST NOBODY ELSE WAS, or IF THEY were making noise, they alienated SO many people we couldn’t get legislators to work with us OR even hardly pay attention to what we were saying.

BOTTOM LINE / THIS Bill (HB-2260) was bought and paid for by special interests.

And written by attorneys paid by the RE agent associations, and introduced to the legislature by lawmakers who themselves are developers, RE agents, mortgage lenders, etc.

Posted on Sat, Nov. 28, 2009
Some home inspectors say new Kansas law doesn’t pass the test


The Star’s Topeka correspondent


For years, anybody with a stepladder and a flashlight could work as a home inspector in Kansas.

There were no state licenses for inspectors and no state agency to complain to if inspectors failed in their job.

But a new law imposing regulations on Kansas home inspectors has set off a firestorm in the industry. Some inspectors argue that the law will drive good inspectors out of business, hurting the very public the law intends to help.

“I’m worried about my business right now,” said Gary Farnsworth, an Olathe inspector who has deluged lawmakers with requests to reconsider the law. “I don’t want somebody running my business. This gives the (regulatory) board absolute power to control the industry.”

Under the law, inspectors must register with the state and abide by professional standards derived from national inspector associations. They must be trained and meet continuing education requirements. The law also requires inspectors to have insurance and caps liability for inspectors who are sued at $10,000.

Of particular concern to Farnsworth is a provision that allows the licensing board to examine the work records and reports of inspectors under investigation.

Lawmakers who pushed for the new law argue that homebuyers deserve to have protection from inspector negligence. They said most inspectors already abide by the new standards voluntarily. And they note that real estate agents, architects, appraisers and mortgage brokers already are regulated.

“It’s a basic consumer protection,” said Rep. Steve Brunk, a Bel Aire Republican and one of the prime advocates of the legislation. “We felt there needed to be some minimal standards.”

But Farnsworth and some other inspectors are fighting the new rules.

They accuse the man charged with implementing them of abusing his position for personal gain.

Jeff Barnes, a Wichita home inspector, serves as the chairman of the state’s fledgling Home Inspector Registration Board. Barnes said he got involved to ensure whatever regulations the state adopted were fair to inspectors and the public.

Barnes registered himself before any other inspectors and claimed the first registration as his own. His professional Web site proudly declares him to be “Kansas’s 1st Registered Inspector.”

And the registration board’s official address is Barnes’ own address.
All this has raised some eyebrows.

“He’s using his clout to help his own business,” Farnsworth said.

But Barnes said he gave himself the first registration because he was testing the system before registering other inspectors.

“This is a whole new agency,” Barnes said. “We had to test out the process.”
Barnes said that because of budget woes, the state can’t afford an office for the board yet, so he had to use his own address.

But the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors was so concerned about Barnes that its lawyers wrote to Gov. Mark Parkinson, asking him to investigate. A spokeswoman for Parkinson said he would take the request under advisement.

Farnsworth also questions why the new rules are even needed. He thinks real estate agents wanted to shield themselves from liability, so they pressured lawmakers to make home inspectors liable for up to $10,000 for mistakes.

Previously, inspectors could limit their liability to the cost of the inspection.

Brunk, the main advocate of the new law, is a real estate broker.

But Brunk said that the law won’t help his business and that nothing in it prohibits homebuyers from suing anyone — inspectors or agents — if they feel cheated.

If anything, he said, the new law’s cap on inspector liability shields inspectors from potentially devastating lawsuits.
To reach David Klepper, call 785-354-1388 or send e-mail to