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The Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee (TREIC) met October 18 and reviewed a new tool to aid in filling out the Property Inspection Report Form, a new form that will inform TREC when a real estate inspector relationship is terminated, and items for the 88th Texas Legislature.

Public Comment on “Walk and Talk” Inspections

The committee received a public comment on an article from earlier this year that says inspectors cannot do “walk and talks”—a practice where an inspector charges a flat fee to a client to provide basic observations of a property within an allotted time-period, usually 30 minutes to an hour. It is not an authentic inspection and there is no inspection report provided to the client. The committee unanimously agreed and reaffirmed that this type of inspection is not allowed under TREC rules and can be subject to a TREC complaint and disciplinary action.

Discussion of Payment at Closing

The committee discussed concerns related to inspectors who accept payment at closing being pressured to produce a favorable report to ensure payment. Inspectors must follow the Real Estate Standards of Practice and would be in violation of TREC rules to allow compensation to influence the outcome of their reports.

Proposed Amendments to Section 535.223, Standard Inspection Report Form

The committee recommends the Commission propose amendments to Section 535.223 during its November 7 meeting. The revisions clarify that when multiple boxes are checked for a particular item on the Property Inspection Report Form (REI 7-6), the inspector must also explain the reason for checking multiple boxes. The proposed amendments also remove single-system inspections from the list of exemptions—meaning the requirements in Section 535.223 would apply to those inspections.

New Property Inspection Report Form Instructions

Staff presented a draft of a new REI 7-6 Instruction Sheet, which provides guidance on properly filling in the Property Inspection Report Form (REI 7-6). This information sheet is intended to be a useful tool but will not be required to be used or attached to the report form. The draft will be reviewed again at the next committee meeting.

Proposed Notice of Apprentice/Real Estate Inspector Termination Form

Brokers have long had a termination form to inform TREC when a sales agent relationship is terminated. The proposed new Notice of Apprentice/Real Estate Inspector Termination Form would be used by inspectors to terminate a trainee or real estate inspector relationship. The form would also include a line for the sponsoring inspector to fill in the inspector’s DBA, so TREC staff can remove that information from the terminated inspector’s records. This form will be presented at the November TREC Meeting.

Committee Agrees to Move Forward with Proposed Legislation to Repeal Inspector Recovery

Fund Since 2009, inspectors have been required to carry liability insurance, resulting in the Inspector Recovery Fund being underutilized. The last claim paid from the fund was in 2017. A bill filed during 87th Texas Legislature repealed this fund but did not pass. The committee agreed the fund should be repealed, and inspectors who have paid into the fund prior to its official repeal will receive a credit on their renewals, which if the bill passes, could begin in late 2026.

Proposal to Require 8-Hour Pre-Licensing Course for Inspectors

The committee voted 5-3 to propose to the Commission to require pre-licensing education on the Standards of Practice for apprentice inspectors. This would require a legislative change and will be part of a continued discussion at future committee meetings with a potential recommendation for the 2025 Texas legislative session.

Where to Find Meeting Materials

Watch a video recording of the meeting and download meeting materials on the meeting page.

Upcoming Meeting Information

The Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee’s next meeting is January 17, 2023, at 10 a.m. in Austin, or you can watch the livestream. In accordance with normal Commission practice, any meeting materials will be available on the TREC website before the meeting. To participate by providing public comment during the meeting, contact by 5 p.m. CT on January 13 along with the agenda item number you wish to speak on. If you are unable to attend the meeting live, you can email your public comments instead.