Please help a bit of a lost person

I am seriously showing my stupidity here, but I need some help with a basic question.

I have been taught how to do inspections, and have done some ride alongs as well as many hours of different issues with inspections. I am continuing to learn and know that I will never stop…but in my schooling I was never taught about the door.

Now even though that sounds simple enough, I am just in a quandary on this and really want the experts with recommendations.

To gain access in Texas I know you need to contact the seller to schedule the appointment to enter the home. That seems simple enough, just need to locate the software for the MLS listing. Now am I to understand that all of Texas uses the “SupraKey” system?

I am only subscribed to InterNACHI and dont know of another service that would be recommended to join to get the tools to gain access to homes and lockboxes. I dont have enough inspections under my belt to join TAREI and just want some good direction.

I know that this is kind of petty, but right now I seem to be shelling out alot of money for insurance, business cards, fliers, etc and just dont have lots of money for real estate associations that I am not sure would be able to help me if I were to go 100 miles away for an inspection…how would I get in :slight_smile:

Anyways, if anyone can assist me it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Again


When it comes to scheduling, I deal with the client, unless their agent has contacted me on their behalf. I always let the buyer’s agent handle coordination with the listing agent. Others may handle it differently, but this keeps it simple for me.

Availability and capability of Supra keys for inspectors vary by market area. In Houston I must be a member of HAR (send them money, buy their magazine and put up with lots of junk email from their vendors) so that I can send money to Supra to get the key (combined is about $500+/- annually). In my area, I can open lockboxes without CBS codes.

Supra keys are not registered across market areas. I can’t take my HAR Supra key and use it to open a house in the Austin marketing area. Some market areas, I believe do not issue Supra keys to inspectors while others require them to obtain a CBS code to be able to open a listing lockbox.

You will need to contact your local Association of Realtors to learn what your options, restrictions and cost will be.

Nobody knows all this stuff starting out and we’ve all been there ourselves. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on the board even if they draw an occasional harsh response.

Questions that you don’t want accessible to the general public, you should make on one of the members only forums.

You need to find out what inspectors in your area do. Where I work most of the time realtirs still use lock boxes and some have the keys in the office or in the fire pit in the back yard. When I got started I didn’t have a supra and let the buyers agent take care of getting the info on getting in. There were times the seller agent had to let me in, I figured the buyer hired me and the realtor could get me in. I now have a supra but the cost is stupid, personally I think the system needs overhauled inspectors don’t need all the Junk that pertains to realtors. Now I may schedule everything alot depends on the agent. Hope this helps

Im close to your area call me anytime and I will help you with your questions you have. Your welcome to ride along any day.
Bryan Moree

Michael, my first year in business I did not use the SUPRA and had either the seller’s or buyer’s REA come open the doors for me.
It worked well enough to start bringing in the money with a couple hiccups when nobody showed up to open the doors. Fortunately at the time I didn’t have a second appointment…
Try contacting . Ask them if they allow certain affiliate members (home inspectors) to have SUPRA privileges.
I’m sure someone from Arlington will chime in and give you better info.
As far as TAREI, you do not need a certain number of inspections under your belt, all you need is to send a copy of a recent inspection report with your application and the monies. Call Andrea Bernard 512-370-1977 for more info

Michael, I did rely on the agents to open doors when I started also, but believe me getting a Supra is worth it. You don’t have to even call realtors most of the time for anything.

Join any association to get the Supra. There are several around. Also get set up with CSS - Centralized Showing Service, if you haven’t already. They alert the Seller/listing agent of the inspection and give you any security info.

Paying Realtor boards to get a key that lets you into the home is essentially doing the Realtors job for them. When YOU open the door you inherit a larger degree of care and custody. If you let the buyer, their relatives, friends, contractors, engineers etc in while you are there you become responsible for their actions. When you leave the inspection you are responsible for anyone you leave in the home. There are some well done emails that some inspectors send to the listing agent. They acknowledge the listing agent represents the approval of the seller on the following matters and if not to advise.

  • The buyer, contractors, friends, etc etc may be coming to the inspection. The inspector will grant them access to the home with the understanding that the seller holds the inspector harmless for any of their actions. The inspector does not monitor or supervise them. If this is not acceptable simply tell us your access limitations and the inspector will comply. If supervision is desired we recommend the listing agent provide access and stay the duration of the inspection then assure the home is secured before locking it.
  • We do not enter homes on active security systems. We simply do not want to know the code.
  • Pets should be contained or taken off site. If the seller chooses to leave pets on site the seller agrees to hold the inspector harmless for any pet responsibility including their containment. Seller agrees to be responsible for injury the pet may cause to anyone at the home.
  • Make areas such as xyz accessible.
  • Assure utilities are on. The inspector charges to cancel an inspection or make return trips.

In a nutshell we put some of this back on the listing agent.

I also video tape my shut down process. Locked doors windows, pets, stats etc. It makes for a very thorough shut down that costs little to store on a hard drive. Crummy quality but demonstrates diligent effort.

I’ve been video-ing my shut down process for at least 2 yrs now on homes where I am basically the one who locks the door. I haven’t needed to produce a recording yet, but I’ve got them ready in case I do. :slight_smile:

John, do you get any response when you send an email to the listing agent? I don’t always talk to them. I use to send a similar email (about dogs, utilities, etc…). Not a single one was ever replied to.

I showed up to one inspection and listing agent told me the seller her made her be present due to my email. She was not really upset about it.

Had one more where seller wanted me to be responsible for damages resulting from operating items. I refused the inspection. Just not worth it. Heck if I get a prospect ask too many questions during the interview I politely refuse the inspection. I am so old now its just low hanging fruit for me. I turn down about 2 or 3 jobs a month. Last week was an 1897 6000 foot historical home. Nah, done that, been there. Too much work. Rather do a 10 year old home and take a nap.

Had a bank call for my insurance due to a vacant home flooding a week after I left. I asked the cause and they said running faucet with drain stop installed (kitchen). I posted my video on youtube and pointed out where my video passes the kit sink and drain stop is on counter. Never heard from them again. As a matter of routine I leave removable drain stops on the counter and not in the sink.

This business has evolved to become a burden to all. I still take on the jobs for people I like and for profitable rates.