TREC Inspector Committee meeting

I attended the inspector committee meeting in Austin.

Key points

1 - The discussion about insurance interpretation was sent back to the Commissioners for guidance and instruction. Inspector Committee felt there was not enough information for them to make this decision. I believe the motion was to send it to TREC Commissioners and Sunset this April.

The timeline to date regarding the insurance question is

IC meeting 1 - Staff proposes the rule to inspector committee. They approve it.
Commish meet 1 - Staff proposes Rule to Commissioners. They approve it.
IC meet 2 - Oddly, the inspector committee met before public comment period was up. Several persons expressed concern and asked for a retraction of approval. IC agreed.
Commish meet 2 - Rule could have been adopted but IC retracted endorsement. Commish sent it back to IC for more discussion.
IC meet 3 today - I sent an email that discussed conflicts of interest and liability limits the day before. TREC and IC met in private executive meeting. They came out and motion was made that IC did not have enough information to make the decision and sent it back to Commish AND Sunset review in April

2 - Some talk about Nick, Porch etc. Mostly negative but it was clear no one could describe the program accurately. TREC lawyers spoke eloquently suggesting support for free commerce on this matter. Sounded to me that Nick did his homework with the lawyers. I think the program would benefit from a more clear explanation. I will write it and present it if you like Nick; you have editorial rights.

The funny moment was when TREC staffer went to a closet and pulled out a huge 5’ x 4’ NO HANDGUN posting. Everyone laughed. It was like looking at a big movie screen from the front row. After I got through laughing I verified that the sign also applied to the staff that I certainly angered. :wink:

The meeting will be online in a few days I will update you with the link.

Do it. I don’t want to say anything bad about anyone in particular but it is pretty clear from this event and a similar one in New Jersey that the ASHI logo has become our industry’s symbol of “stupid.” Whenever I see the ASHI logo, the first thing that enters my mind is… buffoon.

Thanks John

There were about 15 to 20 inspectors and a school at the meeting. I did not perceive comments to come from trade association perspectives but rather random individual concerns. One person told the room to be patient and let the program develop but I do not recall his name. TREC lawyers (Worman / Slagle) were excellent. They listened and provided accurate responses.

The obvious problem was the lack of proper description of the relationship between Porch (support services, software, contractor referrals), data protection, re-selling or providing free pre-inspections. I can understand the fear of how this can change the business. I will provide my opinion in my upcoming article. This is actually an opportunity.

LoL. Disregarding any political endorsement or criticism . . . we are gonna take Twitter away from Trump and Nick.

Back to you in a week with an article.

Well, it took some time for me to study the Porch program and do my normal activities. Following is my take on it.

On January 22, 2018 the Texas Real Estate Commission Inspector Advisory Committee met. On their agenda was:

Discussion and possible action regarding 22 TAC 535.220, including the inspector’s relationship with and duties to the inspector’s client.
A letter was submitted that presented concern over confidentiality of consumer data and reselling property condition data. It discussed InterNACHI and

The topic was discussed with a bit of pro and con amongst the inspector committee and visitors. TREC staff listened and explained some of the TREC Rules that allow this. The discussion was concluded with one person suggesting “wait and see what happens, the business plan is developing.” A motion was not made and the topic concluded.

Because the commentary was fragmented and incomplete I decided to get more information on this for myself. I researched the topic and offer the following for consideration.

The idea of utilizing property condition information through the home inspection is not new. Many big names have tried this since 2000. I knew of it happening on a local level in Dallas in 1988. Marketing the inspection service has been challenging. The dynamics of the real estate process resulted in the real estate agent being a primary means of getting an inspection referral. However, as do Internet and smart phone users change the world, so does the continued development home inspection marketing.

Who is InterNACHI?

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) is a U.S. based, non-profit professional association for home inspectors. Founded in 1990 by Nick Gromicko and headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, InterNACHI is the largest home inspection association in the world. InterNACHI rose to significant prominence by utilizing the power of the internet to offer free education to home inspectors.
InterNACHI introduces the NEW FREE Listing Inspection
InterNACHI is introducing the free listing inspection program. The home inspector markets the listing inspection to real estate agents by explaining the significant marketing benefits it brings to that agent and the seller. Here is how it works:

1 – InterNACHI pays the inspector to provide the inspection to the homeowner.
2 – There is an inspection agreement in place between InterNACHI and the inspector and another between InterNACHI and the homeowner. This gives the inspector permission to inspect the home and provide the report to InterNACHI. The homeowner is not the inspector’s client, InterNACHI is.
3 – InterNACHI works with the real estate agent and various internet sites to display the availability of the report to the general public. Today’s internet savvy buyers are researching homes on their own. If they find a home they might like they can download the report. The fact that they paid a small fee verifies they are valid potential customers and provides an opportunity to generate a sales lead to the real estate agent. This is why real estate agents will love this program. It generates the lead of a viable buyer to them.
4 – Smart buyers realize the value of home inspection. The report and download agreement will explain the importance of getting another inspection done expressly for the buyer. That could be the inspector who did the first inspection! Also, keep in mind the inspector worked for InterNACHI and not someone downloading the report.
5 – The inspector’s liability is very small because InterNACHI is not likely to sue one of its members. The seller has an agreement with InterNACHI that further protects the inspector. Lastly, anyone who downloads the report has an agreement with InterNACHI that also protects the inspector. This program is a big plus for home inspectors and the public. Finally, a report can be produced that does not focus solely on risk management. Better information can now flow to the seller and buyer.

The future

In January 2018, many noted internet innovators began predicting that traditional real estate brokerage would undergo a radical change in the next 10 years. Brokerage firms, as we know them, will disappear or restructure. Real estate agents will be looking for a way to find direct leads. The Listing Inspection sold by InterNACHI is just that type of lead! Why? Because young people buying homes rely on internet apps more than ever before. Seriously, an app is required to speak to almost anyone.

Also in the works are changes for the home inspection. The data home inspection collects has value to the home buyer, remodeling companies, lenders, insurance providers, hardware stores etc. Collecting this data with consumer consent is a non-stoppable force that will happen. There is a path to marketing inspections a new way and it cannot be stopped! However, do not be dismayed, there is also ample room for inspectors to keep doing marketing the same old way. Inspectors who adapt to both systems will have a lot of work and reduced liability.

Who is Porch? is a website that connects home improvement and repair contractors and those offering moving concierge services to homeowners in need. It was founded in 2012 and is in Seattle. Its founder is Matt Ehrlichman, USA Today’s 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year.

Visit the Porch website and you will immediately recognize their plan. The information on their home page is one of the most common questions I get asked. Today’s younger home buyers are not asking “how to fix it” but “who will fix it”. They ask that question of the one person they have come to trust more than the many contractor review services . . their inspector! The challenge for Porch is to gain the inspectors trust and that requires exemplary follow through with their service. offers an opportunity to inspectors. For that reason, Nick Gromicko, founder of InterNACHI purchased an interest in in 2017. I have been informed by Mr. Gromicko that he is going to transfer ownership of that to stock to the Certified Master Inspector Program. Nicks goal is to expand home inspection opportunities to the members of InterNACHI.

There is a home inspector service company called Inspector Support Network (ISN). They provide many services including inspector scheduling. purchased an interest in ISN recently. The integration of data between ISN and is an important step in offering better services for today’s home buyers. As inspectors, we are concerned about the integrity of data. The key element to focus on is whether the public is providing their data in an open environment with a reliable opt-out procedure in place. If the inspector believes those steps are not in place then it is easy to offer services that avoid the data exchange.

The 90 day Buy Back

Continually introducing and trying new ideas, InterNACHI began offering a “90 Day Buy Back” program to its members. The idea is simple. If an InterNACHI inspector fails to discover a material defect, while working to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice, InterNACHI will buy the home back from the unhappy buyer within 90 days. The “Buy Back” offer is an amazing pro-active positive approach to helping unhappy buyers. It smashes the false perception of some regulators that errors and omissions insurance was created to help consumers.

Porch and InterNACHI entered into an agreement that provides the “Buy Back” offer for free. If your client provides express written permission for to contact them with marketing offers then pays for the “Buy Back” offer. If your client does not want to participate they can refuse it. The program requires the home buyer to sign an agreement for to contact them.

There are additional incentives for the client and inspector. They can be found in the website.

There may be rare occasions where a client gets upset with If that happens and InterNACHI have an agreement to make the client happy. Neither or InterNACHI desire to have the inspector be disparaged.


Property condition data collection and marketing opportunities have been discussed for many years and tried by some. Eventually, a few gears will fall into place and a working model will result. A demand for listing inspection will increase. A demand for buyer inspections will continue.

The thing I like about the program is that inspectors can pick and choose what they want to do. They can provide a listing inspection, offer an InterNACHI “Buy Back”, utilize ISN or benefit from offers. If you are concerned sit back a watch a bit. There will always be a demand for good inspectors. I am older and almost retired. My advice to younger inspectors is to study and adapt to new ideas while always keeping the quality of your job and the client at the forefront.