Washington State Real Estate Agents and Brokers -- Licensing Questionnaire

By
Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

It is time to ask realtors in Washington state a couple important questions. Within the home inspection industry there is speculation as to how real estate professionals will handle referrals after the new home inspector licensing laws take effect on September 1, 2009.

I would like to receive feedback from Washington state realtors and brokers who are at Active Rain. I have written on this topic, and how the soon to be licensing will be implemented, in a previous post.

I have two questions that I would like your feedback on.

1. In your offices, are you aware that the rules regarding home inspectors will change on September 1, 2009 and are your offices formulating new policies on inspector referrals?

2. The law gives some inspectors, depending on when they got into the field, through June of next year to acquire additional education and field training. In the meantime, they may legally work but they will not be licensed nor will they show as licensed. How will your office deal with the group of inspectors who may be legally working for another ten months but they are not licensed?

Thanks for participating and please leave your responses in the comments below. Your answers will provide insight. I think these are questions that many inspectors are wondering about. 

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

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  1. Charles Buell 08/10/2009 12:12 PM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Washington Whatcom County Bellingham
Groups:
Bellingham WA Business
Puget Sound - WA Real Estate
Tags:
washington home inspector licensing
king of the house
whatcom county home inspector
ferndale home inspector

Comments 30 New Comment

Rainer
108,807
Stephen Stanczyk
Home Inspector - Puyallup WA
Safe Haven Home Inspections

Kevin,

In regards to your two inspectors.  #1 is a fool.  If he had that much time and experience in his profession, he would have been aware of things that affected him and his livelihood, and he would have gotten his license by Sept 1.  Why would he voluntarily put himself in the position to be required to take the 120 class (that he could probably teach) and 40 hours of field training (that he could teach)  at the cost of thousands of dollars?  If he is that unaware, I wouldn't want him doing my inspection.

As for #2, those that build and remodel homes with "construction experience" are the ones that keep us home inspectors in business.  While construction knowledge is a plus, how many carpenters know about electricity or hvac or plumbing?  I would take an inspector that just came out of school and actually got to learn about items before I took someone that worked around another trade with no knowledge at all.  Who is to say that the person with "construction knowledge" was actually doing it correctly in the first place?

Any Realtor that puts his license and livelihood on the line just to keep refering an unlicensed inspector, even though they may do a good job, is nuts.  I have a retired 30 years journeyman plumber that I have recommended since I have been in the business.  When he retired, he let his license lapse.  He just wanted some side jobs for extra cash.  I called him and said I was sorry but that I would not be able to refer him any longer unless he had an active license.  Anyone that puts their career and profession on the line simply to refer another person, is suspect and I would be finding another to take their place.

September 06, 2009 11:05 PM
Ambassador
1,041,039
Charles Buell
Seattle Home Inspector
Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

Stephen, well put

September 06, 2009 11:13 PM
Rainmaker
1,172,496
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Stephen,

Based on what I am seeing, after September 1, there are two categories coming forth in the real estate field.

1. Those realtors and firms who have been unaware of the new law but are now becoming familiar with it and are formulating policies.

2. Those firms that know about the law and mandate, broker edict, that all inspectors referred must be licensed because they do not want to sort out who is legal and who is not in that other category. I think it might be harder for that "July" group to get business than was initially expected.

Also, I can say that there are a surprising number of inspectors who could have been grandfathered who did not get their paperwork and testing done in time. I have, as a board member, had calls from some of them.

September 06, 2009 11:16 PM
Rainer
108,807
Stephen Stanczyk
Home Inspector - Puyallup WA
Safe Haven Home Inspections

I really hadn't paid much attention to the relationship between Broker and Realtor.  Hopefully some Agents or Brokers will chip in here on this subject.

Agents have their own license but they operate under the Firms license with someone assigned as Designated Broker, who must have a Broker's License..... if I remember correctly.

I can't think of a Firm or a Broker that is going to put their license at risk by allowing someone in their employ to continue acts of "Unprofessional Conduct" as defined by RCW 18.235.130  (9).

Once Rhonda starts answering her phone again, we will find out about when enforcement will start in regards to this issue as well as the advertising issue.

September 07, 2009 01:28 AM
Rainmaker
1,172,496
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Anyone is welcome to comment at my blog, as evidenced by previous posts above. However, I am turning over a new leaf. This comes after some discussion with the powers that be here at Active Rain.

From this point forward, any party who accuses, insults or otherwise attacks people -- including government officials, private parties or others who comment at my posts -- of unethical, illegal or nefarious acts may not leave such comments at my blog. When they do, they will be deleted.

There are parties online who are flamers. They enjoy strafing and starting fires. They have no regard for the truth and they have no regard for others. Such parties need to mind their manners and base their comments in fact not wild right-wing, or left-wing (not sure which) delusions and fact-less rhetoric.

September 07, 2009 09:53 AM
Rainmaker
1,172,496

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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Additional Information

Steven L. Smith, King of the House Home Inspection, provides information for real estate buyers, sellers and real estate industry professionals. Blog posts emphasize issues commonly found in Bellingham, WA and Whatcom County. Smith is Washington State Licensed Home Inspector #207, a state licensed structural pest inspector, ASHI certified inspector #252760 and one of the most experienced inspectors in the northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest. Steven L. Smith is lead instructor of home inspection at Bellingham Technical College and teaches classes for Washington State University and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Steve was a two-term member of the state licensing board.