Sunday, July 5, 2009

Florida Legislature Repairs Home Inspection

The very first deal I put together was disassembled by a home inspector. I won't go into who he was. My buyer had put in a deal on a home in Summerbrook. It was a lovely home and they ordered a home inspection via a practitioner referred by her Father who was a real estate broker in Georgia. Mrs. buyer went to be present at the home inspection. She was an attractive lady and this had a special appeal to this home inspector who I later learned considered himself a ladies man. He spoke to her off the cuff telling here that he would not buy this home because it was stucco. Nevermind that the Seller had a stucco inspection in place that declared the home free of defects. He did not place anything on his report relative to the stucco being deficient. He merely verbalized the damaging proclamation to my buyer. The damage was done and she insisted on terminating the offer. I had shown them about 20 homes and filled out all the paperwork.

Moreover, I had just recently become licensed as a salesperson. To review that process: 63 hours in a formal class, passing a 100 question end of class exam, Taking a very difficult DBPR license exam and then 45 hours of formal post-license class time and passing of another 100 question exam. Total cost of that endeavor, roughly $1000.00.

This home inspector had just killed my deal so I looked into what sort of licensure he had pursued to get into a position of deal destruction. Imagine my surprise to learn that his position required no licensure at all. NOTTA !!! Yet he and others of his ilk play very prominently into a real estate transaction and carry immense influence. The fact that my 2 year grand-daughter and her neighbor could become home inspectors the day after they decided to do so blew my mind. As I write this post home inspectors, in Florida, still require zero licensing requirements.

I had just recently been streeted through a buyout of our division by another company. Prior to that I had lobbied the Florida legislature off and on for 30 years. I had friends in the legislature and made mention of this inequity to some of them. Simultaneously a colleague in my same division had decided to become a home inspector in North Carolina. This is what it required to become such and had been so for many years: 100 hours of class room time; a one year apprentice-ship under a licensee, performing 100 home inspections; passing a fairly difficult state exam.

I was told by one of my acquaintances that a home inspection/mold remediation bill was soon to be on the books. Senate Bill 2234 was passed by the '06 legislature and becomes law 7/1/2010. It will require licensure of home inspectors and mold remediators. They will be required to sit through 120 hours of class time; carry certain minimums in liability insurance and 14 hours of continuing education prior to each licensing renewal. Unfortunateley, those home inspectors who have been in the business for so many years can be grand-fathered into licensure.

When I decided that I wanted to become a real estate broker this is what was required: One year of salesperson servitude under a licensed Broker; 72 hours of class room instruction; passing the class test; passing the DBPR hard, hard state exam; 60 hours of post-license class time and passing that exam. Add it all up and I had 240 hours of classroom instruction and the stress of 4 very difficult formal exams and one year of servitude.

This post is not about trashing home inpsectors. There are some very competent practitioners here in Florida. Some are certified by state and national certification associations. That is not, however, licensure. If I have to jump through the difficult hurdles required to become a real estate broker, then please require that those who can kill my deal, at a minimum, be licensed.

The Florida legislature bought that argument and a little less than a year from now the playing field will be leveled somewhat. Now all we need is for the market to rebound. That is a whole different subject to post on. I do that bi-weekly under The Tallahassee Market on my website at


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Georgia Home Inspector

Stucco Repair Services said...

A very informative post.

Home owners should know these things. It is so sad that many home inspectors now are ignorant of the things that they should well know. Great post!