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In a seller’s market, buyers may be tempted to waive an inspection entirely, or hire an inspector to do a walkthrough inspection of their ideal home to point out problems while the buyers take notes.

In a buyer’s market, sellers might think getting a similar inspection will make their listing stand out by disclosing information up front, so buyers will know what to expect.

But consumers should be careful when it comes to hiring inspectors who offer to do walkthrough, abbreviated inspections. Inspectors are required to follow TREC’s Real Estate Inspector Standards of Practice (SOPs) and report their findings to their client on the mandatory inspection report form. These requirements are in place to provide information to consumers on the general condition of a residence, as well as point out any important safety concerns. Walkthrough inspections do not typically follow these requirements and as such, inspectors who perform walkthrough inspections can face disciplinary actions by the Texas Real Estate Commission for conducting them.

In addition, consumers who use these walkthroughs might find they are not acceptable inspection reports for settling disputes with home warranty companies or providing to certain lenders, or don’t give the full picture of a property’s potential issues the way a standard inspection does.

What Are Texas Real Estate Inspectors Required to Do?

Home inspectors licensed in Texas conducting inspections in Texas are required to follow the TREC’s Real Estate Inspector Standards of Practice (SOPs), which are established by TREC rules. The SOPs define the minimum requirements for a real estate inspection performed for a prospective buyer or seller of one to four-family dwelling, or most residential properties. Texas also requires its inspector license holders to provide Texas clients with a completed TREC Property Inspection Report Form (REI 7-6) first, regardless of any additional report the inspector provides.

When do TREC’s SOPs Apply to an Inspection?

These standards apply when a professional inspector or real estate inspector who is licensed by TREC accepts employment to perform a real estate inspection for a prospective buyer or seller of a substantially completed real property in Texas.

Where to Find a TREC-Licensed Inspector

If you are thinking about hiring an inspector, you can use TREC’s License Holder search to narrow your options by location. You can also check whether an inspector has a disciplinary history and see recently completed educational courses.