Several other Texas inspectors and I have been working on a draft Public Service Announcement to describe a concern regarding a growing issue here. The plan is to get this published in as many Texas Realtor Association monthly magazines and/or electronic newsletters as possible. If other Texas inspectors would like to participate then they can place their name on the by-line and submit it to their local Realtor association. That way the inspector gets a little local recognition but, more importantly, the public and Realtors are made aware of a potential issue and how to address it. Here’s the draft PSA for review. If other Texas inspectors would like to help get the word out then send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll tell you how to do it.
Looks good Mike. I’d direct them to http://www.trec.state.tx.us/newsandpublic/licenseeLookup/ rather than the TREC home page. Less looking around for them to do. I realize the license look-up is at the top of the home page, but as we know some people might still miss it.
Excellent point Dominic…I’ll do that.
Good job Mike, I signed up for HAR although I haven’t personally witness any unlicensed individuals working out profession. I think this a good topic for Agents to review in any case.
I assume this has been a problem for you in Austin?
Also, I thought registered engineers could perform inspections without license from TREC? No?
John…there’s some level of disagreement regarding the requirement for a PE to have an Inspectors license. TREC has actually provided two conflicting answers (go figure) We are still working that question before finalizing the PSA. The unlicensed activity seems to be more so in North Texas than anywhere else but unless you go looking for it then it can be an elusive thing to discover.
The Foster Inspector Committee from 1996 to 2004 consistently affirmed that engineers could do inspections without a TREC license. Foster also assured that inspectors could render “performance opinions” with specific SoP wording. This was also reaffirmed when Fred Buck was Chairman and myself. Two General Counsels agreed. Mark Mosely and Loretta DeHay. Assistant General Counsel and prior enforcement attorney Devon Bijansky also affirmed. Mr. Meisel is an enforcement attorney. He is not Enforcement head nor do any of his opinions supercede General Counsel. He is also a newbie. Your questions to TREC are a waste of time if they are not addressed directly to the Executive Director and General Counsel. Quit messing with staff whose opinion can be superceded by the big dog. Of course you should also copy the Board of Engineers just to put the agencies on both sides of the table. Bet you a BIG steak dinner engineers can do all they want while they urinate on a TREC inspection report. Inspectors have 10 weeks of school and no apprentice training, engineers years of school and a degree. Inspectors explain electrical theory with ping pong balls and garden hoses; engineers with electrons and ohms law.
Regarding the PSA. No one but an inspector will read it. The public just wants the loan to go through and to get a house. They could care less about arc fault, grounding, rust on a rack tip and safety glass. They want to know “how long will the roof last and what does it cost to replace it”. Both of those items are not required by TREC. The insanity of the inspection industry is that is spends a lot of time telling the consumer how their home compares to new codes and none answering what the consumer wants to know. The typical inspection report is a fricking joke but it serves a primary purpose. It passes property condition liability from the seller and agent to the 10 week wonder.
Now ask yourself this. A person goes to school for 10 weeks. They could be a prior felon and 7th grade drop out. They get a license and charge the consumer money to tell them about GFCI, arc fault, torn screens, 4 inch rails etc ad nausea. Then TREC gives the consumer form OP-I that says the inspector has to tell you all this crap but you don’t have to do anything about it. Now that’s giving the public what they want. Spend money on code comparison advice the majority could care less about then give them an official document that downplays it all.
The business would be a joke if not for the tremendous marketing opportunities it offers in other markets. The future of home inspection is selling other products. No ethics law can stop it.
Yes sir, step right up. Here is your checklist “your home does not meet current codes”, an OP-I that says ignore it all and my pest control / pool cleaning / lawn care / home cleaning services marketing material.
John, thanks for the comments and I don’t disagree with your statements, well most of them. Just to be clear though I want to point out that I have posed no questions to TREC on this subject but rather the opinions from Devon are from prior communications, not from me however, and the opinion from Meisel is from another trade organization’s question they posed to him. I agree 100% with your comment that those opinions can be superseded by the the big dog (or more appropriately, the mama hen) and that’s exactly the position I’ve taken with the others that are helping write the PSA.
Since the PSA is designed to go to local Realtor associations then 99% of the readers are Realtors and agents. Those are the target market. We feel that if TREC will not police the unlicensed/expired licensed inspectors then Realtor/Agents have a duty to make sure they are not condoning illegal activity by recommending unlicensed inspectors.
Here’s the bottom line though…although we may come at it from different angles, the likelihood of any Realtor association publishing the PSA is pretty slim in my opinion. That won’t necessarily stop us from trying however.
Mike, the goal is to remind people to use licensed inspectors. Avoid saying Engineers cannot do it unless your willing to bet real money on it. Not saying our mutual friend would do anything but others may. Make sure your facts are 100%.
I agree with that statement for sure…that’s why I’ve been dragging my feet on this. I’ve had discussions with our mutual friend but it hasn’t led anywhere unfortunately. I’m for leaving the PE comments out of the PSA only because it is controversial and cannot be proven one way or the other without a long drawn out debate thru TREC and the TBPE. Omitting the PE reference is what I’ve been lobbying the other writers for and was one of the reasons for posting the draft here, i.e. to get feedback and comments. This will be settled by Monday.
John…once our mutual friend’s blood pressure came down a little he provided sage guidance that will help resolve this question amongst the PSA drafters.
Great. Sometimes we can be sage or sage brush. In my case, sage brush set afire. You know burning bright for 15 seconds then smoke in the wind.