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Gov. Easley Urges Against Facts-Only Home Inspection Reports

Posted November 7, 2007

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— Governor Mike Easley on Wednesday urged the Home Inspector Licensure Board to drop a proposed state mandate that home inspectors give only facts, not their judgments, in their reports to home-buyers.

Home inspections are not required in North Carolina, but they are often recommended for both new and existing construction. The reports can be lengthy, and buyers often focus on the summary page, not the details.

Home inspectors who oppose the mandate claim facts-only reports will make it harder for them to alert home buyers to safety defects in properties.

"Many home inspectors believe that if finalized, the rule will limit the amount and content of their communications with home buyers on genuine safety issues. I concur with their assessment,” Easley said in a letter Wednesday to Home Inspector Licensure Board Members.

The mandate's backers have said it would stop home buyers from trying to squeeze personal opinions out of inspectors and would formalize reports.

The Home Inspector Licensure Board regulates the 1,000-plus home inspectors statewide. The board was scheduled to talk about the mandate Friday. Some home inspectors have promised a protest.

30 Comments

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  • carcrazy2 Nov 8, 2007

    As a Home Inspector, I feel this is a very important issue. What can be more important than safety? Why shouldn't it be emphasized? Why does the Realtor, Builder representative and former Home Inspector on the Licensure board think it should be buried in the informational section of the report? Clearly having a Realtor and Builder on the board is not in the best interest of the public! This will not change unless the public complains!

  • Made In USA Nov 8, 2007

    kstor: Wow! Glad you made your post at me. I read the whole story in a rush this AM as I was readying for work. When i read it again this evening, your post made me realize my assumption needed to make a U-turn. What Easley IS DOING is what I thought he was NOT DOING. Errrr (at myself).

    Thank you Gov. Easley for protecting homebuyers. A facts-only inspection report without elaboration from the inspector would leave the home buyer in the dark. My apologies for mis-reading the story.

  • jkuwalik2 Nov 8, 2007

    The inspector is a professional and has a professional opinion. I feel they should be able to give an opinion as it would be useful in determining whether or not to buy a house.

  • hpr641 Nov 8, 2007

    I don't often agree with Gov. Easley, but I think his comments on this issue should be obvious.

    If I pay an inspector to look at a house I'm thinking of buying, I want not just the facts he uncovers, I want his opinion too. If you're the homeowner, and you decide that the "hoops" you would have to go through to satisfy me and my inspector are too great, then don't go through the hoops - sell your house to someone else (with a different inspector).

  • Scare Crow Nov 8, 2007

    I care nothing for an inspectors "opinion". His opinion and 5 dollars will get you a cup of coffee at most coffee shops. The inspections should be about the facts as it pertains to the "Offer to Purchase". I've seen so many very stupid "details" that could not be proven by the inspector. One inspector wrote "insulation between the floor joist has the presence of mold. The company hired to remove the mold said, after he quit laughing, "all the MUD has been removed". This deal almost went south cause the "inspector" could not tell the difference between MUD and mold. Go figure.........

  • BUCKEYEnNC Nov 8, 2007

    djofraleigh, I think that's a great idea. Even though we already know what we are going to get (5 different results). You may want to add in the experiment for the inspectors to write two reports each. One that would meet the proposed requirement (w/o opinions) and the other that was just factual. I personally want the opinion of a home inspector, just so long as I am informed that it is just an opinion.

    Homebuyers need to be protected when making the single most important purchase they'll likely make.

  • blackdog Nov 8, 2007

    ...an opinion from someone knowledgable about buildings, conditions, and experience would be wanted by the buyer, but not from the seller or the agent/ broker. I have to wonder if this is a ploy by the insurance industry through the board of realators to reduce liability to pay claims...

  • gopanthers Nov 8, 2007

    I just recently bought a brand new home in Youngsville and paid to have it inspected. Thank God I did. They were all really small problems that needed attention (nothing major) and all we're fixed before the close. All I can say is, "I for one" am grateful I was to have this BRAND NEW House inspected before I purchased it. Weather brand new or used have the inspection done. Yes there are warranties but I find that dealing with the problems after the fact is much more difficult to deal with then have it taken care of up front before I move into the house.

  • PaulRevere Nov 8, 2007

    So the Easley man has come out of hiding to encourage someone to give an OPINION on a home inspection?!? Priceless!

  • crparts2 Nov 8, 2007

    kstor33,

    What I mean by "Close the NCHLB to realtors," is that the board was created not so much for consumer protection, but because realtors blame failures to close sales on poor home inspectors/inspections. The real estate industry drove how the board was set up, including the fact that a realtor sits on the board (Note that a realtor is not allowed to sit on the appraiser's board because of conflict of interest! Shouldn't that hold true in this case also?), and continues to drive such things as requiring a summary [which they're still not satisfied with because 1) it still includes things not listed in the real estate contract, and 2) it still includes safety and professional opinions and recommendations.] Realtors want to so minimize and so limit a home inspection report that what their buyer receives is synonomous with a "repair request" that is solely and totally in line with the paragraph in the real estate contract. This is not right.

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