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  1. #1
    Anthony Hubbert's Avatar
    Anthony Hubbert Guest

    Question Paying for MLS key or not?

    I have a question in reference to MLS lockbox. I am a licensed HI in Texas, why do inspectors pay a Real Estate Association for MLS key/ membership dues, when we don't have a license to sell homes?
    This is my understanding of the MLS,
    1- It's for real estate agents to show different houses for sale to buyers, and also to gain access to other houses being listed for other agents.
    2- We as the inspector need access to the house for the inspection purpose only. And by the way, a convenience for the real estate agent not to show up at the inspection for her buyer.

    I have had buyers schedule a home inspection with me and I would tell them "the agent has to come and let me into the house for the inspection".

    After the agent finds out I do not have a MLS key. Her response is "Are you a licensed home inspector?

    Why do agents think that, in order to be a HI in the state of Texas. You are required to have a MLS key in order to do inspections?

    What are your comments, Should I pay for the MLS key or continue making the agents come out to the house?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    I'm sure the Texas guys can chime in and will fill you in on this Anthony. But if most HIs in Texas have the key access and you do not, you may lose business as a result.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  3. #3
    Elliot Franson's Avatar
    Elliot Franson Guest

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    why do inspectors pay a Real Estate Association for MLS key/ membership dues, when we don't have a license to sell homes?
    Mr. Hubbert: Because Texas realtors are exceptionally lazy, notoriously tardy, and in charge of licensing HIs.

    What are your comments, Should I pay for the MLS key or continue making the agents come out to the house?
    Mr. Hubbert: Only if you wish to remain in business.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Mr. Hubbert,

    If you plan on depositing funds into your business account, I would suggest you consider having a Supre key.

    Its a simple plan.

    rick


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Sounds like Texas realtors have too much control.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    It is a Supra Key

    No you are not required to have one but everyone else does have one. The Realtor is an idiot for asking if you are a licensed Texas home inspector just because you do not have one.

    It is actually a good thing. The Realtors already have to much control over who the inspector may be. Take some of that control away from them by getting a key. No matter what the ethics are you will be bad mouthed throughout that Realtors office because you do not have a key.

    Ethically inspectors are not suppose to bad mouth other inspectors (yeah, right) and Realtors are not suppose to badmouth other Realtors or inspectors (yeah, right).

    It is called being black balled. If you put anything into a report that one Relator feels should not be in there, like helpful suggestions, you will be black balled because the word will be spread around.

    A Realtor should not be asking you if your are a Texas Licensed Inspector. The Realtor, if they have a question, should look it up. The Realtor is not hiring you. The client is hiring you for that wonderful list of concerns that you compiled from inspecting someone elses home.

    Get a Supra Key. You will save yourself a tremendous amount of hassle.


  7. #7
    Elliot Franson's Avatar
    Elliot Franson Guest

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Sounds like Texas realtors have too much control.
    Mr. Ostrowski: Yes. It starts with ARELLO , then we have NAR , TAR , oh and let's not forget NAHB , TAB , and the TML , which not coincidentally includes BOAT .

    Not to put too fine a point on it, each of these organizations is staunchly pro-Republican.


  8. #8
    Anthony Hubbert's Avatar
    Anthony Hubbert Guest

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    This is my reason for not getting a MLS key:
    1- They don't respect what we do as inspectors. They think it easy to crawl around under houses, going into 130 degree attics, getting on roof tops, dealing with mold in the house, dealing with dangerous spiders, dealing with electricity, and after dealing with all that to get a $150.00
    2- They want to regulate our pricing. If you are too expensive, they want you to lower your prices. (and they are not paying for the inspection!!)
    3- If they schedule an inspection for a buyer out-of-town, It takes an act of Congress to get your money for the inspection. And by the way, they have the inspection report in hand.
    4- They want you to get the MLS key, when some house don't even have lockboxes on them. Because, some brokers go to Home Depot and buy combination lock boxes. (but we dont see the association making it mandatory to use lockboxes)

    I can give so many situation about the MLS key, that you would see why I feel the way I feel about purchasing one.

    My take on this is, If the system has been wrong for years and acceptable. When will somebody say" Let's stop the agent from regulating us when we already have TREC doing that?

    I really think that if they look at how much money these associations are making, It would raise a red flag.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    If everyone else in your area has one, you better get one too.

    I tried it here in Knoxville for almost a year and found it was a serious waste of time and money. No one knew what a CBS code was, and if they did manage to give me one, it was never right. Well, ONE time it was right.

    IF the system worked here, and more home inspectors had them, then I would get one. But as it is, I have better things to do with my money. I also have no problems getting the Realtors to come and open up the houses either.


  10. #10
    Elliot Franson's Avatar
    Elliot Franson Guest

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    My take on this is, If the system has been wrong for years
    Mr. Hubbert: Yes it has, and until the madmen (Republicans) in Austin are systematically replaced with different ones nothing will change. In the mean time why shoot yourself in the foot? Get a Supra Key or starve.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Hubbert View Post
    My take on this is, If the system has been wrong for years and acceptable. When will somebody say" Let's stop the agent from regulating us when we already have TREC doing that?
    Cause TREC is the agent! Always has been. We just deposit funds occasionally into their accounts when we renew our licenses and MLS type dues.


  12. #12
    Elliot Franson's Avatar
    Elliot Franson Guest

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Cause TREC is the agent! Always has been. We just deposit funds occasionally into their accounts when we renew our licenses and MLS type dues.
    Mr. Hurst: Yes, they are called taxes. Pay for play. Government sanctioned grifting.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    I was going to get an E Key but when they told me I would have to pay $150.00 to apply for membership and then a monthly fee on top of annual membership dues I left. All of my inspection orders are emailed or faxed and I have proof that I am supposed to be in the house if the agent can not meet me there. Most agents (586) that I work with don't mind meeting me because I set up to be there when th HI and Appraiser are there. If it is not possible to meet me I have a full set of "BUMP KEYS" and simply use them to get in to do my WDIR and RADON test.


  14. #14
    William Brady's Avatar
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    In some states my included unless you are a Borker and belong to an Association of Realtors as a Broker not an Affiliate you can not get lock box access. They restrict the SUPRA Key to Brokers only. Good I guess after hearing this info. But if I had to I would not hesitate.


  15. #15
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Martin View Post
    I was going to get an E Key but when they told me I would have to pay $150.00 to apply for membership and then a monthly fee on top of annual membership dues I left. All of my inspection orders are emailed or faxed and I have proof that I am supposed to be in the house if the agent can not meet me there. Most agents (586) that I work with don't mind meeting me because I set up to be there when th HI and Appraiser are there. If it is not possible to meet me I have a full set of "BUMP KEYS" and simply use them to get in to do my WDIR and RADON test.
    586 agents that you work with.......As in what do you mean, "work with?" As in you have 586 Realtors that refer you? Or you just keep in contact with 586 Realtors and hope to get referred?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Ted,

    He's only doing WDI's and radon inspections, so that many agents would not be unusual to have as a referral base.

    When I was in the PC biz, I probably had that many agent contacts if not more but when I moved into the HI biz well that all changed. You know why I'm sure.

    I can remember doing WDI's at 55.-75.00 and could knock out 10 of them a day back in the 80's and early 90's. That was some serious pocket change back then. I had several offices that I could just walk into that I had a request box on the wall that would have addresses of those needing WDI inspections. I'd go knock them out, bill the title companies, and empty my mailbox once of week of the checks. It was a goldmine back then, and then the HI's started doing the WDI's along with their inspection and that killed that sweet deal.

    rick


  17. #17
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    Winston-Salem, NC
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    I am in a service called Listing Book. It is similar to the MLS. The realtors I mentioned list me as a preferred provider on the service. They set up buyers and sellers so they can view my home page and I get more business there than any other form of marketing I have done in the 38 years I have been doing this. I do WDIRs and Radon. By the way Radon has actually increased a great deal even though the number of houses sold has decreased. The NC real estate commission put the Radon test on their sales contract a couple of years ago and I have been educating realtors on Radon. Most of the realtors who caLL me are strongly recommending a Radon test. I have set up two mitagations this week and I except a lot more in the near future. The real estate business has fallen off a lot and I have started marketing my tri annual pest control service at the time of inspection. I have put on several accounts this year and will balance out the lost revenue plus the service is continious so I have a residual income from it. This has been made possible by my grandson coming into the business this year. He takes care of the Pest Control while I still concentrate on the WDIRs and Radon. He and I do the Radon mitagation together although I will probably hire a tech in the near future.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Can someone tell me the process of obtaining a supra key in TX (houston)? Of course if there is a cheapest way to do so, I would like that but I am guessing there is only one way.
    Also what are the prices that come along with having it?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Martin View Post
    If it is not possible to meet me I have a full set of "BUMP KEYS" and simply use them to get in to do my WDIR and RADON test.



    I certainly would not advertise that fact. Do you really "jimmy" someone's door to gain entry?


  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post


    I certainly would not advertise that fact. Do you really "jimmy" someone's door to gain entry?
    Bump keys work by damaging the lock........and no I would never. No key of some kind...no entry.


  21. #21
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by TcDuhon View Post
    Can someone tell me the process of obtaining a supra key in TX (houston)? Of course if there is a cheapest way to do so, I would like that but I am guessing there is only one way.
    Also what are the prices that come along with having it?
    Tom,

    I see that you are a new inspector in Texas. I am surprised that your education classes did not cover such a business-related item. If they didn't then I also would seriously wonder what else they didn't cover. That is a whole different conversation.

    Anyway ... I'm sure you are aware (I hope) that HAR (Houston Association of Realtors) is the overall realtor's organization for the Houston and surrounding Metro area.

    You have to go to the HAR website and pull down the affiliate application, fill it out, send it in along with all the necessary fees for "associate membership" in HAR as well as the fees for the Supra Key and then you will have same.

    Houston Real Estate - Houston Homes, Houston Home Value and Houston Relocation

    All prices will be spelled out on the HAR website.

    There is an HAR office in The Woodlands and that might be the closest one to you in Kingwood.

    Some of your questions surprise me, especially with you being an inspector. It is part of an inspector's job to dig, observe, learn and report. Why would you not have the same intuitive approach to find out necessary items to run your business with?

    Last edited by Nolan Kienitz; 08-28-2010 at 09:04 PM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
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    houston
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    35

    Default Re: Paying for MLS key or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    Tom,

    I see that you are a new inspector in Texas. I am surprised that your education classes did not cover such a business-related item. If they didn't then I also would seriously wonder what else they didn't cover. That is a whole different conversation.

    Anyway ... I'm sure you are aware (I hope) that HAR (Houston Association of Realtors) is the overall realtor's organization for the Houston and surrounding Metro area.

    You have to go to the HAR website and pull down the affiliate application, fill it out, send it in along with all the necessary fees for "associate membership" in HAR as well as the fees for the Supra Key and then you will have same.

    Houston Real Estate - Houston Homes, Houston Home Value and Houston Relocation

    All prices will be spelled out on the HAR website.

    There is an HAR office in The Woodlands and that might be the closest one to you in Kingwood.

    Some of your questions surprise me, especially with you being an inspector. It is part of an inspector's job to dig, observe, learn and report. Why would you not have the same intuitive approach to find out necessary items to run your business with?
    thanks for the info.... my courses were online and didn't give me any kind of info like this. It was a really cheap course and if I could go back I would have taken another one but thats water under the bridge. I understand what you are saying but isn't asking all these questions to yall being intuitive and digging for answers that I need from people in the same field???? that why I ask all these questions? Peeps on this board seem to be very knowledgable and I want to get diff perspectives.
    I have been working with a well respected home inspector in Houston (TREC#in the 300's) for the past 2+ years (after the education), so I know my stuff when it comes to the actually inspections. I am still learning somewhat when it comes to the business side.

    I knew you had to go thru HAR to get the supra key I really just asked the question to see if anyone knew of a diff way to get one and to get the real price of owning a Supra key .... plus I just got licensed 2 months ago. Most of my questions were prior to that...

    Last edited by TcDuhon; 08-29-2010 at 08:25 AM.

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