If I were king for a day what changes would I make to the home inspection industry to better protect the public?
This is the 2nd in a series of blog posts I am writing about how to better protect the public and improve the real estate industry. After selling many homes and being intimately involved in the process of working with the public in buying and selling residential real estate I have formed some very strong opinions about changes I would love to see in our industry.
As will be a common theme in these articles I would insert more accountability into the process.
For a start I would require that each and every home inspector must be licensed in any state they do business and require a minimum set of standards that each state. Hopefully they will go even tighter. In Hawaii home inspectors are not required to be licensed, have insurance and any experience. For the price of $19.95 to buy some cheap business cards, you too can be a home inspector in Hawaii. If they mess you up, they can just get on a plane and go to another state with the same lack of standards and start all over. Or they can just stay here and keep doing it.
A few more things I would add to the list:
- Require errors and omissions insurance.
- Have a state agency oversee the licensing and complaints. (No license in Hawaii required)
- Require minimum standards to get a license. (Experience, school)
- A license exam to prove they have the required knowledge. (Do they know the building or fire code for example?)
- Add continuing education requirements to renew a license.
- Nationally recognized designations, letting the public and others in the industry know if that inspector has professional development.
- Not allow home inspectors to sell homes, mortgages or home owners insurance.
I would also have a standard industry report form for doing residential inspections and list of items that should be required for a proper inspection.
I know there are association groups within the home inspection industry. I would like to see them be more recognized and more active with the states to better assist in the creation of licensing laws and industry standards.
A gentleman came in my office one day a year or so back and gave me his business card. It was a new home inspection business. He looked real familiar. He used to be the on the local evening news.
He has no inspection of construction experience. He took a training class in another state that sold him a franchise of some type and gave him some software for creating reports. Now I am sure that the teacher in Nevada or wherever he took the two or three day class has no clue about our building or fire codes in Honolulu County. He probably never crawled under a house, stepped on a roof, checked plumbing or electrical and may or may not have insurance. It is not required here.
Can you see why the public needs more protection?
Other King For a Day Posts: