New in Home Inspections?

Ok, so we’re here with Lee Warren, prospect inspector, and we are going to talk about some new things that are happening. So what’s new with home inspections?

Well, inspections, as everybody knows, everything is getting kind of crazy with the market. It’s been very challenging not only for agents and brokers, but it’s certainly been challenging for inspectors as well, with grades shortening and or going away in some situations, that type stuff.

So it’s making it very interesting. Plus with builders and the shortage of supplies. Windows, lumber prices going through the roof. It’s made a lot of that a big challenge too. But the the big thing that’s kind of coming down the pike is from the Texas Real Estate Commission.

We have a new set of standards of practice coming through and our standard of practice are a minimum set of standards that every inspector has to follow on every single inspection. So it’s the rules that govern everything that we do on home inspection.

Now there’s a lot of things that are being changed, and these changes go into effect on February 1st next year. So we have some time to kind of let the dust settle a little bit.

Most of the changes are only going to be specific to inspectors, and you, as as agents, are probably not going to feel a whole heck of a lot of changes on that.

But there are three three things that I think will probably have an impact on me one on the air conditioning system. Typically, when an inspector tests an air conditioning system, it takes temperature readings.

What’s the temperature going in versus what actually comes out on the other side? And that drop in temperature gives us an idea of the performance of the unit.

Up until this point, there’s never been a set range of numbers that has been deemed acceptable, and every inspectors kind of use a small variation, and this has caused some confusion over the years.

So what we’ve done this this time around is we actually set a specific number and it’s a temperature drop of 15 to 22 degrees is going to be deemed in the acceptable range or performing as intended range.

So you can use that as a standard or we allow the opportunity for the inspector to choose some other definition, their own definition of how it’s performing.

So there’s other industry standards to determine performance of an AC system. We allow the inspector to have that option, but they would have to explain and report. But more specifically, it allows the 15 to 22 as a set range.

The second thing is the Artfole or AFC Breakers. Our faults have been in the code since 2003. The purpose of the Artfole is to detect if anything along the circuit could cause an arc or spark anything causing a fire if it detects it.

It will automatically shut the circuit down, similar to what a GFC does, but slightly different so they did in the code since 2003.

They went into our standards of years back, but caused a lot of confusion. People were having a real hard time educating people properly on what AFC eyes were and older houses with older wiring.

You can’t put AFC breakers on because the wiring just won’t handle it. So you had inspectors that were calling out AFC deficiencies, people trying to retrofit their house, and they couldn’t do it because the old wiring would trip the AFC breakers over and over and over.

Of course, we have to put those back in the standards because they’ve been in the codes for almost 20 years now. But it’s going to be an issue as far as explaining what AFC is to a client, the pros, the cons, especially with older houses.

So there’s going to be an education issue, I think, with that one, but hopefully we can kind of get some information out to people so that they have a better understanding.

But I want to mention it here because as as I mentioned to Shana before, a lot of my colleagues are very, very good at what they do and finding things. But every inspector is a little different on how they explain or convey what they find to a client.

And if they’re not conveying that properly, it can unintentionally scare a client out of something that really isn’t that big of an issue. Kind of like a doctor comes in and right?

So and then the other another change is that the gas supply system. So we used to have a separate section in the report for gas supply systems that got taken out years ago.

We’re actually putting that back in because there was a question and a concern about if there’s a gas leak, where do you put it?

You put it at the appliance, you put it in the plumbing section. So now there will be a specific gas supply section that the inspector will have to mention where the gas, the location of the gas meter, just like we have to mention the location of the water meter.

But just so you know where where that shut off is and if there’s any gas leaks, they’ll go in there now. An inspector may also put a gas leak in the appliance section, but at least there will be one central location for all gas related items to be.

And then the other part of the standards is the new form.

There is a new form coming out what we call the seven Dash six. From an agent’s perspective, you’re not going to see a whole lot of difference in it.

There are some shuffling of a few items in the in the outline. The biggest thing that you might notice is the preamble is completely changed.

It used to be a page and a half of garbled legalese and gobbledygook, but it’s it’s a lot more broken down now, and it’s it’s written in, I think, more relatable language that people can understand and so be very visibly noticeable at the very front of the report that that preamble is different. So I think that’ll help.

Okay. Well, good. So you know, again, it’s really important to have an inspector on your side that is familiar with  what’s going on.

I mean, I would say they all have to, but it’s similar when our contract changes, you know, you have to go through the updates and know what that is so you can educate your client.

So. So that’s really good and you serve on these boards. So you should really. Yeah, I know way more about these things that I don’t want to be.

Yeah, right? Okay, so that’s good. So that’s coming February 1st, February 1st.

The form can be used on a voluntary basis as of September 1st, so some inspectors are using it now. But the mandatory use of the new form and the new standards since February 1st of next year.

Ok, so temperature differential is kind of a thing that you’ll be looking for that a AFC are powerful and something with that is we always see, you know, this will come over to us and a repair amendment.

They want this fix. They want everything updated. So because this is on the report, but that’s pretty much a code standard, right, right now.

And keep in mind the inspection report. The purpose of the inspection report is to inform the buyer about deficiencies in the house as they relate to our current standards and current codes.

We’re not code inspectors, but a lot of what we do is related to code. We’re looking for things that could cause potential safety and health issues in those types of things.

But a lot of buyers will ask me, what should I ask or what? What should I ask for? And you know, that’s that’s not for me to answer, and that’s not for any inspector to answer.

Our job is to tell you exactly what’s going on with the house. The best person to answer what should you ask for and what should you not ask for is going to be who’s going to be the agent?

And I’ve always said that the reason is. You know where you’re at in that negotiating point, for instance, if the seller if you lowball the living daylights out of the seller, obviously not a recent story, but if you lowball the seller and the seller is going to be a lot less likely to make any concessions or any repairs.

If you’re $20000 over and there wasn’t a whole lot of competition for it, they may be more willing to concede certain things.

I don’t as the inspector, I don’t have that information. I’m not privy to that. Your agent is. So if I tell you or you should ask for a, b, c and D and you lowball the living daylights out of that something that seller is going to say, I’m not going to happen or in this market.

So I was going to go. I can turn around and dump that contract and get five other people right behind. Sure. Yeah. So it’s not my place or inspector’s place to say what should or shouldn’t be asked or we’re going to typically look for the health and safety issues, stuff that most sellers are going to realize they’re probably going have to fix no matter who purchase the house.

But typically, you guys are the ones that should really best determine what’s a good thing to ask for. Now you can certainly ask the inspector, you know.

Hey, can you clarify this statement or what? What specifically should I ask for and what not a lot of times people will cut and paste out of the report. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Just kind of depends on the

Scenario, right? And you know, I’ll remind you guys that this inspection is solely for the buyer’s benefit. There’s no pass or fail, and there’s nothing that that obligates the seller to even make a repair. So, you know, we need to keep that in mind.

A lot of times people just will send over a repair amendment and thank the seller is is liable to repair these things and they’re not. So it’s definitely something you should be having a conversation with your client prior to even entering into a contract.

So and doing some due diligence and looking at some of these major mechanicals the HVAC age, the water heaters and just, you know, condition of the home prior, so you can kind of prepare them for what they may be faced with.

So. And another thing I run into in this market is the time for the inspection is any time during the contract. I have an agent tell me that there was no auction period, so the buyer had no right to inspect the property and actually refuse the inspection, which is a breach of contract.

There’s the section, there’s a section in the contract. I believe in the property condition section that states that when you’re under contract, the buyer has the right to inspect any time during the contract. Not just the option, period.

So there are twenty five different alts on just about any contract and whatnot. But if if there’s a situation where you don’t have an option or you couldn’t get the inspection done within the auction period, you still have the right to do that option.

Now what? You’re what you’re faced with, but that, you know, that’s very true and that’s just not reading the contract, which that’s a big no-no here.

Yeah. And and you have to be careful because a lot of inspectors don’t know what’s in the contract. I’m kind of in a unique position where I a broker because I’ve had to know all that information. So when listing agent tells me they have no right to an inspection, they can’t do it.

It makes for an interesting conversation. Yes. Yeah. Well, thank you for that. So that’s what’s new with home inspections, and let’s move on to our next topic. All right.

Episode Links

Texas Real Estate Commission, Artfole , Shana Acquisto , TNT 

Episode Recorded Live on YouTube 9.15.21

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