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  1. #1
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Attached are draft documents for an updated TX TREC SOP & 7A-0 Report form.

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  2. #2
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    I suppose someone will itemize the differences. I don't see very many that are worth going thru the process to accomplish. Pretty much same ol'. Seems like it might be simpler to amend the current version. - OR leave it alone - I didn't know it was broken.

    Last edited by Richard Stanley; 01-13-2008 at 08:57 AM. Reason: add

  3. #3
    Mike Boyett's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    I suppose someone will itemize the differences.
    No, probably not...it will be up to you to take the initiative to review the proposed SOP and make productive comments. I suggest you direct any pertinent feedback to the sub-committee members or even the full Inspector Committee members. You can also watch Prism Home for updates and other critiques.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Nolan, thanks for the post.

    I do like the absence of the mandatory opinion on foundation performance.

    I'm not sure why they moved the whole house vacuum system to the optional section. If a house has a vacuum system, it is a built-in system. Seems like it should still be a required inspection. Any opinions on this?

    How 'bout that long preamble on the report form. States a lot of the things that are in my pre-inspection contract.

    Eric


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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Eric,

    Don't encourage them by requiring us to inspect vacuum systems.

    I don't inspect them anyway. Same thing goes for intercom systems. I list both on my contract agreement as "Not Inspected" if present.

    Most of the vacant homes don't have the vacuum attachments left on site which mean we'll have to go out and buy those just to make sure the connection sites are operable.


  6. #6
    Mike Boyett's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Eric,
    I was at the December sub-committee meeting when that preamble was discussed. The 'need' for it started a while back at a TREC meeting where the commissioners heard complaints from HI's that the public sometimes has unrealistic expectations of what an inspection should provide. A respected San Antonio inspector attended the Dec sub-committee meeting and had drafted a preamble to explain the inspection process and attempt to manage client's expectations. I argued the same as you that much of that was in my inspection agreement and that is where it belonged. The sub-committee was concerned that since our inspection agreements are not mandated nor promulgated by TREC then all inspectors would have different wording of the preamble and may not include all that needed to be said. I will say the committee toned down the SA inspector's version and, while it is still long, is much better than what I originally heard. Unfortunately, the preamble may cause some discrepancies and contradictions with the SOP. That's where John Cahill (see above link) will help point those out to the sub-committee before they finalize the SOP proposal and send it to full committee.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Rick,

    Yeah, there is almost never an attachment present on vacant places and also I have found that the port connection contacts are not universal on all homes so it makes it that much more difficult.

    Mike,

    The first thing I thought when I read the preamble was that it was to help define the client expectations across the board as defined by the state. I guess it may serve a purpose in that way. I have found that many clients never read anything in the report other than the repair issues. I have also found that many folks don't read my pre-inspection agreement before signing it, even when I tell them it defines the process, which is why I have them initial each page as well as sign the document.

    I typically verbally explain the process as well before I begin. It is interesting to see what the clients expectations are sometimes. Many buyers have no idea at all what the process involves. I once had a client (first time buyer) try to cancel the inspection when I explained to him that it is limited to only what I could see, hear etc . The guy said "Well I can do that!"

    His agent eventually convinced him to have the inspection anyway and he was actually quite happy with the report when he realized how much he would not have "seen".


    Eric


  8. #8
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    ... I have found that many clients never read anything in the report other than the repair issues. I have also found that many folks don't read my pre-inspection agreement before signing it, even when I tell them it defines the process, which is why I have them initial each page as well as sign the document. ... Eric
    Spot on Eric!! In my ~4 years of using PIAs I've had two clients, and only in the past three weeks, who have actually read the agreement and asked me questions about it. One of the clients works as a PM for a major commercial realty management company and commented about how thorough it was and that it touched on everything they use at the direction of their attorneys. He commented very favorably to me about the PIA. It gave me a good feeling at the least.

    As for clients reading the PIA or the REPORT ... I tried using summary pages with the "In Need of Repair" items simply listed under respective categories. I stopped doing that in the past few months as the clients and agents were simply looking at the last few 'summary' pages and nothing else. I had disclaimers all over the summary pages, but that doesn't really mean much. I saw where the client's agents were simply copying/pasting from the summary into their documents asking seller's for repairs.

    Since I've stopped using the summary links ... I've even had a couple agents call me and ask to re-create that as it was too much work to go through the whole report to find the items she/he could use. I diplomatically declined.

    As for this thread .. read carefully the draft SOP and get a copy of the current SOP and compare the two. Make notes of items you have concerns about and send those concerns along to the folks on the IC. Provide feedback. It will be helpful.

    Last edited by Nolan Kienitz; 01-14-2008 at 07:05 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Nolan,

    Yeah, I quit using the summary as well after I heard an agent tell an unwitting buyer that "The summary is all that we care about." It really irritated me. I later pulled the client aside and encouraged them to read the entire report if they really wanted to understand the condition of the house.

    I started a comparison list of the SOPs yesterday. I definitely encourage others to do the same and as Nolan and Mike have said, voice your opinions on the matters at hand. This is our chance to have a voice in how our government directed system directly effects our livelihoods. We should all seize the chance!

    Eric


  10. #10
    John Brown's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    By dropping the foundation opinion requirement, TX inspectors could just go back to doin' blow and go inspections. Maybe dumbing down the SOP is not such a good idea unless you like volume and lots of freeway driving.


    TX E&O like chum in the water?

    Homebuyer consumer legal help if its not the house you bargained for

    Last edited by John Brown; 01-20-2008 at 05:26 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by John Brown View Post
    By dropping the foundation opinion requirement, TX inspectors could just go back to doin' blow and go inspections. Maybe dumbing down the SOP is not such a good idea unless you like volume and lots of freeway driving.
    John,

    I disagree. The inspector will no longer have to put themselves on the chopping block for the foundation based on a visual inspection. A complete evaluation of the foundation that would enable one to give a legitimate opinion on the foundation performance requires doing things other than just looking at it, things that IMO should be left to an engineer or other foundation specialist. The inspector is still required to comment on signs of foundation issues, just like any other issues on other systems of the house and would still have to recommend further evaluation if so warranted.

    As far as "blow and go", even though the foundation can be one of the most costly issues to be repaired, it is not one of the most time consuming part of the inspection, unless it is an older pier and beam, nor is it where I find the most issues in most of my inspections. I will still spend the same amount of time inspecting the foundation as I always have. The majority of homes I inspect do not have foundation issues requiring major repairs. Besides, the SOP is the minimum requirement and I always inspect to a level above the required minimum, as all inspectors should.

    Are you required by the state you live in (I noticed that there is no John Brown licensed in Texas) to give a mandatory opinion on foundation performance?

    Just curious,

    Eric

    Last edited by Eric Shuman; 01-15-2008 at 08:01 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Eric,

    Don't encourage them by requiring us to inspect vacuum systems.

    I don't inspect them anyway. Same thing goes for intercom systems. I list both on my contract agreement as "Not Inspected" if present.

    Most of the vacant homes don't have the vacuum attachments left on site which mean we'll have to go out and buy those just to make sure the connection sites are operable.
    Rick, my trick is to just use a coin (hold on firmly) to touch both the low voltage contacts inside the port. The vac should start just the same as if the attachment is present. Works for me anyway. I never even look for attachments, ain't no way I am dragging out hoses and such. Too much like house work!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Yeah Jim, that's a good trick, I usually use a quarter. Lately though I have come across systems where the contacts are in a different configuration and a coin wouldn't work.

    Last week I inspected a 25 year old condo that had all the vacuum ports but no central vacuum cannister and no evidence of one. It was kind of weird.

    Eric


  14. #14
    John McKenna's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Looks like changes are a coming.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    I see at least one good change, keeps me from having to find an excuse not to trip the lever and then explain to the seller why it is leaking.
    (n) Specific limitations for water heater. The inspector is not required to:
    1. (1)
    operate the temperature and pressure relief valve
    Also, puts it in stone about the outdoor temperature for A/C
    (5) operate equipment when the outdoor temperature is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit


    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  16. #16
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    This is yet another example of those who have too little actual paying inspection business succumbing to their baser urges to put all of their fingers in an already rancid pie. Said another way, no matter how many band aids you apply to the amputee's lower limb you will not produce a functional leg for him to stand on.

    A cursory glance at the very first item in the list of definitions says it all.

    Accessible -- Capable of being seen or exposed; in conditions of low hazard, adequate work space clearances and/or headroom to the inspector; with the removal of a cover or panel as required by this section, use of a ladder or the removal of small items of low value without causing damage to the building structure or finish.

    "Capable of being exposed" could mean a lot. With a hammer and flat bar I can expose damn near anything, except perhaps for functional IQs in the persons who drafted this anathema.

    How hazardous is a "low hazard" condition?

    What exactly are "adequate work space clearances"? Would they be different for people of different sizes and heights?

    How small must an item be to become a "small item"?

    How worthless must something become to be designated as "low value"?

    There are already numerous examples of better definitions available in pertinent publications such as the IRC and NEC. Why must we now become subject to yet another poorly conceived and in-exhaustive glossary of definitions?

    I have offered on numerous occasions to help with the design of an exhaustive and comprehensive glossary of terms for the SOP, to no avail.
    Those to whom dictionaries and other related publications appear not to be "accessible" and operating in less than "adequate work space clearances" appear to have bumped their little heads and now consider having a functional working vocabulary of our profession committed to writing in the SOP to be a "small item" and of "low value".

    I'd offer to meet in person with those responsible for this travesty, but could not with any degree of certainty guarantee that the meeting would present for them a "low hazard" and that our meeting could be conducted "without causing damage to the building structure or finish".

    Aaron



  17. #17
    Mike Boyett's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    I have offered on numerous occasions to help with the design of an exhaustive and comprehensive glossary of terms for the SOP, to no avail.
    Excellent...then you have attended and offered help at the Inspector Committee meetings or at the sub-committee meetings, right? Why did the committee members decline your assistance? Regardless, now is the time to make your opinions known to the sub-committee, before this goes to full committee and the commission. Have you done that?


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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Most of the vacant homes don't have the vacuum attachments left on site which mean we'll have to go out and buy those just to make sure the connection sites are operable.
    Two things work well for testing central vacuum outlets: 1) your trusty Leatherman; 2) metal divot repair tools.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  19. #19
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Boyett View Post
    Excellent...then you have attended and offered help at the Inspector Committee meetings or at the sub-committee meetings, right? Why did the committee members decline your assistance? Regardless, now is the time to make your opinions known to the sub-committee, before this goes to full committee and the commission. Have you done that?
    Boyett:

    From you license number I detect that you haven't been around this business for long. Before you knew what a home inspector was I was trying to deal with the entrenched and imbued in Austin real estate politics. It's an inbred group that refuses to listen to anything they did not pull out of their own asses. And here I'm only referring to the inspectors involved.

    Beyond HIs you have the attorneys and brokers to deal with. It is an uphill battle that cannot be won. I'll let you go in my stead since you seem to be so inclined.

    Aaron


  20. #20
    Mike Boyett's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Miller,
    For the life of me I cannot imagine why they would not want your thoughtful input.


  21. #21
    John Brown's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    My point is that if a TREC inspector doesn't have to offer an opinion as to foundation performance, it reduces the value of the work. A couple of years ago the HVAC folks in TX tried to muscle into the inspection game by trying to say that HIs shouldn't be allowed to check any aspect of a central system. They didn't get very far.

    Respecfully

    JB

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    John,

    I disagree. The inspector will no longer have to put themselves on the chopping block for the foundation based on a visual inspection. A complete evaluation of the foundation that would enable one to give a legitimate opinion on the foundation performance requires doing things other than just looking at it, things that IMO should be left to an engineer or other foundation specialist. The inspector is still required to comment on signs of foundation issues, just like any other issues on other systems of the house and would still have to recommend further evaluation if so warranted.

    As far as "blow and go", even though the foundation can be one of the most costly issues to be repaired, it is not one of the most time consuming part of the inspection, unless it is an older pier and beam, nor is it where I find the most issues in most of my inspections. I will still spend the same amount of time inspecting the foundation as I always have. The majority of homes I inspect do not have foundation issues requiring major repairs. Besides, the SOP is the minimum requirement and I always inspect to a level above the required minimum, as all inspectors should.

    Are you required by the state you live in (I noticed that there is no John Brown licensed in Texas) to give a mandatory opinion on foundation performance?

    Just curious,

    Eric


    Last edited by John Brown; 01-20-2008 at 05:27 PM.

  22. #22
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by John Brown View Post
    You won't find John Brown as having a TREC license. JB
    JB:

    Who is that masked man?

    I do agree with you regarding the foundation assessment issue. Those with vested interests in eliminating the requirement are legion. Beyond those perennial sluts (brokers, agents, engineers, franchisees) that you mentioned lie both the E&O insurance companies and the overwhelming majority of independent inspectors that are just out there to make a buck with the least amount of effort possible.

    But, TREC is what TREC is and will always remain an institution designed to protect the interests of the brokers and their cohorts.

    Aaron


  23. #23
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Guys, remember that the SOP is a minimum standard and does not prevent a quality inspector for going above the minimum. As long as the rules don't mandate dumbing down the report then I don't have much problem with the SOP.
    I am for providing input and have done so to help make the rules more reasonable.
    I have never taken the steps that Aaron has put forth, so it may be a fruitless exercise now, who knows?
    I am more the quiet, abide by the rules and take care of business type of guy.
    Salesmen and politicians make me nervous, so I may not stay and play long... since that seems to be the majority makeup in most state run agencies.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  24. #24
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Jim:

    You've been around long enough to know that TREC will lower the SOP bar and increase inspector liability exposure every time they get the opportunity. If this slow RE market persists, as it seems it may, the bar could get too low to limbo for those of us who do the right thing.

    As for the rest, bending over backward (or forward) to graciously accept what they've got coming from Austin is just par for the (inter)course. Bucket-headed hos.

    Pass the KY,

    Aaron


  25. #25
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    I do so wish that someone else would hurry up and post something here. I really hate having my name listed right above Millionaire Mike's blatant commercial feces offer to teach us to blow the competition . . .

    Aaron


  26. #26
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Nothing to do with Texas but in North Carolina, the licensing board requires a summary section as part of the report. The board has also limited what can appear in the summary section to ONLY Safety, Repair, or Further Investigate. Recommendations or Suggested Upgrades can appear be in the body but not the summary.

    The licensing board has been working for several years to develop a standard Format, but not a standard report. The differennce between Format and Report? A standard format describes the manner in which the information in the report is arranged. For instance some reports are arranged by Rooms vs. Systems.

    A report arranged by rooms would have all the defects found in the bathroom in the Bathroom section. Conversely a Systems based report would have the leaking faucet in Plumbing, the cracked tile in Interiors, the unworking GFCI outlet in Electrical, the cracked window in Exteriors, squealing exhaust fan in Insulation & Ventilation, and the rotted subfloor in Structural.

    The current push underway is to have the Summary section arranged by the 11 systems as defined in the home inspection laws. The body of the report would still be allowed to be arranged by the inspectors preference.

    The other issue under contention is items required to be inspected by the HI licensing board exceeds what the standard real estate contract allows creating repair items that the agent has to explain away.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  27. #27
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    I do so wish that someone else would hurry up and post something here. I really hate having my name listed right above Millionaire Mike's blatant commercial feces offer to teach us to blow the competition . . .

    Aaron

    Aaron,

    Right on there man. He's more in to teaching one how to suck up to the real estate world more than anything. He is mainly pushing CD's now. As long as there is starving "newbies" he'll have a market for himself.

    rick


  28. #28
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Aaron,

    Right on there man. He's more in to teaching one how to suck up to the real estate world more than anything. He is mainly pushing CD's now. As long as there is starving "newbies" he'll have a market for himself.

    rick
    Rick:

    He's truly disgusting; always has been more snake oil purveyor than inspector. I remember well as far back as a decade ago how he would expound at TAREI meetings endlessly on the need for inspectors to raise their fees. All the while he charged rock bottom prices for his little band of no-nothing Gypsies to roam the Metroplex in their ladder-draped minivans preying on the unsuspecting.

    Taken in perspective though, the low expectations that TREC has for entry level inspectors breeds a cadre of something-for-nothings entering the business. That sort of mind set attracts shyster predators like Crow. They deserve one another.

    Here's hoping he sees the light. Even then, there are hundreds like him waiting in the wings . . .

    Aaron


  29. #29
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: TX_TREC Draft SOP & 7A-0 Form

    There are two types who will work for TRCC:

    1. The truly naive and ideological who thinks he can do something to help the homeowner.

    2. The truly degenerate who is bordering on pathological, has no morals and no ethics.

    Number 1 will wake up and be unemployed by TRCC after the very first inspection finds in favor of the homeowner.

    Number 2 will live a productive life in KissAss Land where he belongs.

    Which do you want to be?

    Aaron


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