(WA. Legislation) Email from Larry Stamp of the WHILAG

James is in a Washington Thread, when he should be paying attention to his own State, he said he was suprised, I told him more a month or so ago that there was a Bill coming in Missouri, but he knew better.

I have to take you off ignore every now and then so that you can run up you post numbers to make sure I don’t lose my bet.

I knew you were doing that.:roll:

I’m watching my numbers.:twisted:

Lewis, the bill, as far as I can tell, does not say anything about the NHIE. It is my understanding that Washington is looking at having its own test. A state run test will put the fee for the test in the state coffers, not ASHI or whoever runs their test now. Generally, state tests also cost less to take, by a substantial amount.

Nick, I’ve asked Bushart for the numbers you guys use to prove what you say about regulation increasing BECAUSE of regulation, so far I haven’t seen any. Neither Idaho or Washington is regulated yet the number of HI’s more than double each year, what did you announce today, 28 new members to NACHI in a single day, how many new HI’s just had business cards printed today saying they are Home Inspectors.

You say that licensing makes crappy licensed inspectors indistinguishable from good inspectors, doesn’t the minimum test required to be a Certified NACHI Inspector do practically the same thing, and hasn’t NACHI spawned dozens of newbie producing schools, I’m not knocking NACHI or many of the schools that have been started, but how many of those schools are recognized by all 50 or even the majority of the States.

Licensing may keep few out, but no licensing lets everybody in, you used to live in Sandpoint so you know how Idaho General Contractors worked, no regulation, no responsibility, do a crappy job, take people’s money and move when trouble comes, come back to another town a year later and do it all over again. That’s happening now with Home Inspectors in both Idaho and Washington. Inspectors miss big items like foundations that don’t even touch the house frame for more than 12 feet, then when the buyers find out about the repairs needed, the HI has no money, no assets, and no insurance, the buyer is stuck with 10’s of thousand in repairs and the HI, might move to another town and do the same thing again.

The one thing this Bill has is a place for clients to lodge a complaint, where do they do that now? If the State, or the HI board certifies HI schools that are worthless, then that is the fault of the State, not the Bill, we’re getting the worthless schools anyway.

Three years ago when you searched the Internet for Home Inspectors in North Idaho and the Spokane area using NACHI and ASHI websites there were less than 20, now there are around a 100, not counting all the Independents who don’t appear in the searches. There are more HI’s every year, they don’t appear because a State becomes regulated, they appear because they believe they can make big bucks without working, licensing or regulation doesn’t attract them.

No credential distinguishes any Home Inspector, their Inspections do that, the competition is still there. Regulation gives the industry a method, if enforced, of weeding out the unqualified and incompetent inspectors who damage the reputation of all Home Inspectors. That’s the competition Bushart worries about me wanting to eliminate.

I’d like to see those numbers and how regulation relates to the tripling of HI numbers, just because the number of HI’s in a newly regulated State tripled after regulation doesn’t prove anything, especially when the numbers in unregualted States did the same or more.

I can live with the Bill being proposed in Washington, at least this year’s version, who knows what next year’s will be if this one is defeated. I’ll spend some time this year attempting to get this one passed, partly so that I won’t need to waste any more time in the future fighting a worse version.

No Licensing let’s everbody in and keeps no one out.

I was using the NHIE as an example because it is a test used for admission to a lagre HI Association and it is used by several States as a test for HI Qualification, and test the State comes up with will be no more of restriction to becoming or staying in business as a Home Inspector and so would not be considered unfair.

I mentioned in a letter to Spanel that they shuld look into the costs of creating a Washington test and the costs of administering the test, compared to just having all apllicants pay for their own NHIE test at the proctored sites available. It’s true that State Tests are usually less expensive, but then the State always says they lose money on them, it was just a suggestion for when they get down to determining the real costs of running the HI licensing program.

ASHI may have written the NHIE, I don’t know if they did, but as far as I know the test is ran by The Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors, which claims to be independent, and it is offered in several locations, I do see they raised the exam fee to $225.

What ever test they come up with will not be considered an unreasonable obstacle to becoming or practicing as a HI in Washington.


To answer your question… no. NACHI’s free online exam alone, since September 2006, has alerted 8,564 http://exams.nachi.org/oe/stats.php inspector wannabees that there is more to this business than they think and many of them decided wisely to reconsider entering our profession. Our free online exam does more for the overall quality of our profession than anything else. Licensing on the otherhand not only puts wannabees into our industry and entices schools to pop up and put dump even more wannabees into our industry, but also gives them the very same state credential that veterans like you have: “licensed.” And even worse, some of the REALTORs who correctly recommend you because of the experience you have will now, fearful of negligent referral claims, point to the list of state licensed inspectors instead. Your last name starts with the letter “C” so you should be close to the top of what I predict will be a list of over 1,000 names.

You are moving from a situation (free market) where the best inspectors get most of the work (to the consumer’s benefit), a situation where it is difficult to succeed as an inspector…to… a situation (licensed) where the worst inspectors get much of the work (to the consumer’s detriment), a situation where it is very easy (pass the NHIE) to be an inspector.

Licensing… anti veteran inspector, anti excellence, anti consumer.


that’s all just hype, the NACHI Exam is a good indicator of basic HI knowledge, and NACHI offers the opportunity to make every Inspector better. but the test is only a requirement to join NACHI, nothing prevents anyone who has failed the test to just say it’s BS and go ahead and print buisness cards and be Come a Home Inspecor. Doesn’t being NACHI Certified lead clients to believe that all NACHI INspectors are equal, whne we know that’s not true? Your NACHI Exam Statistics whould change drastically if you charged people $225 to take the test, you’d find that only those who believed they could pass the test would take it, and those taking it and failing just out of curiosity wouldn’t.

As far as referrals, even if the Realtors refer clients to the licensee list, HI’s will only be competing in their loscal market areas, and like in other licensed trades, the good Inspectors will still do the best, customers will still look at experience just as they do now, or maybe don’t do now. Most Clients are very suprised when they are told that HI’s are not licensed and are not required to meet any standards to inspect their $300,000 Home.

The good inspectors will still get the most business, there is no way for poor inspectorsto be exposed in an unregulated system, no place for the cosnumer to make a complaint other than to an Attorney or an Insurance Company, and then unless the Inspector is drug into court, there is no public record, or at least not records readily availabe, of any Inspector misconduct or incompetence.

As far as the NHIE, I mention that because as far as I know that is the only nationally recognized exam used by many States to qualify applicants, the NACHI Proctored exam would work, or possibly one developed by the State, passing the exam doesn’t make a good inspector.

Nothing in the Washington proposals will eliminate or prevent anyone from becoming a Home Inspectorm the requirements in fact are similiar to the requirements to become a Full NACHI Member, 100 Inspection, passing an exam, a certain lever of education, but not all NACHI Inspectors are equal are they, and even in our local areas we refer Inspections only to Inspector we believe do a superior job, Nachi or not.

You keep referring to how easy it is to meet requirements, like passing the NHIE, to become a Home Inspector, but what requirements are there in an unregulated State to becoming one, isn’t that even easier there than passing the NHIE.

I don’t see Oregon or Nevada being over run by Newbies becoming HOme Inspectors because of licensing, I don’t know about AZ, but it seems the most complaints about AZ regulation come from Missouri and Florida, as far as the schools that you say will pop up every where, that’s happening now in unregulated States, if the State sets requirements for the schools and will only accept training from certified schools as proof of education, then that would either improve the schools or eliminate the fly by night quick buck education vendors.

Polls of your own members show that most approve of some type of regulation NIck, you guys are fighting a losing battle, you can influence the Opinions of Home Inspectors, but proponents of Regulation can influence the public, ask some Washington Inspectors about Tim Eyman and how public opinion in Washington works.

Got to run, I have an inspection in the Mighty Town of Mullan Idaho at noon, we have a couple of inches of new snow here, knowing Mullan they probaly have 6 inches on top of the foot or so they already had. I hate SNOW.

Competence (and so therefore competence testing) means little to consumers for 2 reasons: First: Most inspections are performed by competent inspectors in the free market. If a consumer chooses a cheap incompetent inspector… I don’t pity that consumer. Second, most consumer complaints about inspectors are invalid, but even the valid complaints have nothing to do with inspector competence. They have to do with what Claude calls inspector complacency (something a competence test doesn’t reveal).

Anyway, what this means to consumers is that the overall advantage of having licensing which doesn’t protect consumers from inspector complacency anyway… is FAR OUTWEIGHED by the overall disadvantage of having a thousand mediocre licensed inspectors who are probably even more complacent and being replaced by ranks of licensed newbies pouring out of the schools that are going to pop up on every corner, starving out the existing great inspectors and diluting their markets by being just as licensed making it more difficult for consumers to weed out the good from the bad and making it more difficult for the good inspectors to survive. How is this good for consumers? It isn’t. It is a dirty trick being played on them and I’ll have no personal hand in it.


Excellent post. :slight_smile:

Nick the using your exact words and just exchanging the words license/ing with NACHI says the same thing.
Inspectors being complacent has nothing whatsoever to do with belonging to an association or being licensed.

I would like to introduce a Third factor:

Competent home inspectors who rely upon real estate salespeople for their business who … consciously or unconciously… fear “killing a deal” and future referrals. Some states have recognized this and outlawed it.

So if this legislation is enacted in Washington, maybe it might be a good time to become a CMI http://www.certifiedmasterinspector.org/ to set us veteran inspectors apart from the inspectors that can really only say they are licensed…just a thought :slight_smile:


You are somewhat correct but forgot about education. The average number of CE hours taken by NACHI members is greater in non-licensed states than licensed states, and IMHO more diverse and advanced too. You can kind of guess why. Licensing has a negative effect on quality education but drastically increases attendance at state approved intro courses for newbies getting their licenses.

How is this good for consumers overall? It isn’t.

Harold… are you a mind reader or what? :wink:

Having sampled what passes for HI education and CEU’s from local purveyors and the best ITA has to offer, I was not as enamored as you with the quality of the product. The best source of HI education for me so far has been here on the NACHI board from fellow HI’s, the E Guru :wink: and Gerry’s online courses.

Now having just said that, perhaps NACHI legislation is the only way to go.:smiley:

So does anyone have any more news about what is happening with this?

What does the NACHI Test prove then? Arethere are thousands of complacent Nachi inspectors who are all equally qualigied? Or are some better than others, do some have more experience.

How can your show that the 8564 people who failed the Nachie Exam didn’t just go on with their plans to be HOme Inspectors, in unregualted States there is nothing to stop them from doing so.

Inspector complacency os a sign of incompetence, and my bet would be that it occurs more often in very experienced Inspectors who know everything than in new inspectors afraid of what they don’t know…

These schools popping up on every corner, are those the ones I get messages about in my email from NACHI vendors all the time, “take my course, pass the NACHI Exam”, it’s ammazing how few are recognized by the majority of the States. You can have a thousand BS schools pop up, but if the State does not recognize the training as valid or if the don’t certify the school, then it will soon disappear.

The number of Home Inspectors are growing every where, regulation has nothing to do with that, following your logic that licensing makes all inspectors appear equal, couldn’t the same be said where no one was licensed, the guy with 20 years expience and the guy with 20 days experience would appear just as equal regardless of licensing.

While conducting an Inspection have you ever told a husband and wife, your clients, that in this State Home Inspectors are not required to be licensed, when you do, take a picture it would be a good example of the famous “Look of Concern”.

The majority of the complaints I see about HI regulation on the NACHI Message Board come from people in unregulated States, I don’t see a lot of complaints from my neighboring States of Oregon, Nevada, or even Arizona, why aren’t inspectors there complaining as much about the regulaiton as those from Missouri and other unregulated States, I don’t see a lot of bitching from Inspectors in Illinois, New York etc, there are things people don’t like about their State regulations, but it’s almost always the same people from unregulated States that do the most crying

What is it now, 32 regulated States, Washington and Montana will make 34, Regulation is coming, it may be delayed for a year or so, but it’s on the way

The more Inspectors that enter the business, and the greater the number of Homes that are inspected will lead to regulation every where.

That’s kind of like NACHI which seems to have been getting along without any written rules governing things like the ESOP Committee, it probably worked fine when the numbers of members were low, but now with 10,000 members there is a much greater chance of personal conflicts and ethical complaints, NACHI Needs some rules that everyone can read.


You failed to mention the Wells and Water Sampling/Water Quality seminar. Where were you when it came to a city near you?

Lewis writes:

B.S. schools that can’t make it in the free market by offering great courses that inspectors want to voluntarily attend, instead make it because the state forces inspectors to attend their 101 courses… to the detriment of the consumer.

This is analogous to the:

B.S. inspectors that can’t make it in the free market by offering and marketing a great service, instead make it by getting on a list with licensed inspectors, then eating their lunch… to the detriment of the consumer.

If you need the state to survive… you already suck.

Someone from ASHI in Tampa needs to explain it better… I can’t.