Paul Roebuck

Founding president, Texas Professional Real Estate Inspectors Association

Texas education director, International Association of Certified Home Inspectors

This is the second in a series of interviews with other professionals who participate in the real estate transaction.

How do you normally interact with real estate agents?

Once the contract is written, the buyers generally get the home inspected within the option period to ensure that they have the ability to terminate if the inspection reveals something unfavorable to the buyers. That’s when we come in. The buyer usually receives a list of inspectors from the real estate agent. However, in today’s world, they may find their own inspector on the internet. Overall, I think the relationship with real estate agents is good. Real estate agents and inspectors work with the clients to meet their needs in the transaction.

What are the most common items that inspectors mark as deficient?

Inspectors follow the Texas Real Estate Commission standards of practice in performing the structural and mechanical inspections. While some items are minor, others are more serious.

The more serious issues may include foundation, roof, plumbing systems, electrical systems, and HVAC systems. One of the most common deficiencies called out on an inspection is the HVAC system, mostly because of problems stemming from a lack of regular maintenance.

Texas Real Estate Commission rules prohibit inspectors from paying referral fees or paying fees to appear on preferred provider lists. Learn about additional restrictions in TREC rules §535.200(e)(3) and §534.148(d).

What issues are inspectors facing?

One of the big concerns for inspectors is the liability involved with the inspection.

What do you wish agents knew about your business?

The best thing agents could do is take classes on inspection topics. If agents could be more knowledgeable on what the TREC standards of practice are for inspectors, it will make the inspection process smoother for all involved.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Tips that would make the inspection process flow smoothly:

  • Make sure that the inspector has access to the house.
  • Alarm systems should be disabled for the inspection.
  • Everything needs to be accessible, such as the electrical panel boards or the attic access.
  • All utilities should be on.
  • No children should be left alone in the home.
  • All pets should be kenneled or removed from the home during inspections.
  • If clients are bringing contractors or family members to the home during the inspection, real estate agents should be present to monitor their activities.