Texas Real Estate Home Inspector: What's Included in an Inspection?

Texas Real Estate Home Inspector: What's Included in an Inspection?

A home inspection is part of your many challenges and rewards when buying and selling a home. Real estate home inspectors are licensed to inspect a property during a real estate transaction. This allows for an external, unbiased professional's opinion to provide advice on a house's condition. Continue reading to find out everything there is to know about home inspections for real estate agents in Texas. 

What does a home inspector do?

According to the consumer information on the Texas Real Estate Commission’s (TREC) website, “TREC home inspectors are individuals licensed by TREC to perform inspections of property that is part of a real estate transaction. Inspectors provide information on the performance of specific systems in that property. They must fill out the TREC home inspection standard report form and follow their ‘Standards of Practice’ to guarantee consistency throughout the home inspection process.” 

Let’s dive into what this process looks like. 

What do home inspections cover?

Home inspections will include a complete evaluation of all the important mechanical and structural systems of the home, which include:  

  • Plumbing 

  • Foundation

  • Roof 

  • Attic  

  • Fireplaces  

  • Air conditioner and furnace 

  • Attic and appliances 

  • A general look at the interior and exterior parts of the home 

What is included in a home inspection?

An inspector, whether working for a buyer or a seller, must follow a Standards of Practice, which outlines the minimum requirements an inspector must meet when inspecting a property. Home inspection requirements differ significantly per state. Some of the elements inspected include: 

  • Structural Systems

  • Foundation Opinion

  • Grading and Drainage 

  • Roof covering

  • Roof Structure and Attic

  • Walls

  • Ceilings and Floors

  • Doors

  • Windows

  • Fireplace/Chimney

  • Porches/Decks/Carports

  • Electric

  • Service Entrance and Panels

  • Branch Circuits

  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems

  • Heating Equipment

  • Cooling Equipment

  • Ducts and Vents

  • Plumbing System

  • Water Supply System and Fixtures

  • Drains, Wastes, Vents 

  • Water Heating Equipment

  • Hydrotherapy Equipment

  • Appliances

  • Dishwasher

  • Food Waste Disposal

  • Range Hood

  • Ranges/Ovens/Cooktops

  • Microwave Cooking Equipment

  • Trash Compactor

  • Bath Exhaust Fans and/or Heaters

  • Whole House Vacuum Systems

  • Garage Door Openers

  • Doorbells and Chimes

  • Dryer Vents

Optional inspections should also be consulted with the home inspector, such as lead paint inspection or asbestos inspection. Such inspections are only found in some homes; therefore, they are not typically accounted for in the initial inspection fees. 

What do home inspectors look for?

As mentioned earlier, a home inspector will take a general look at the interior and exterior of a home, including the foundation, structural components, roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. The inspector must then write a home inspection report revealing the results. 

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), this is the complete checklist of what you can expect a certified home inspector to evaluate:

  1. Heating system

  2. Central air conditioning system (temperature permitting)

  3. Interior plumbing and electrical systems

  4. Roof and rain gutters

  5. Attic, including visible insulation

  6. Walls

  7. Ceilings

  8. Floors

  9. Windows and doors

  10. Foundation

  11. Basement

  12. Structural components

Indeed, don’t expect the inspector to deconstruct your house to check the wiring and piping. However, the more access to the house's interior and exterior areas, the more detailed and accurate the inspector's final report will be.

A general overview of a Texas home inspection checklist included in the TREC Property Inspection Report form is as follows: 

  1. Structural Systems

  2. Electrical Systems

  3. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems

  4. Plumbing Systems

  5. Appliances

  6. Optional Systems

You can view the checklist by downloading the TREC Property Inspection Report form

Texas Home Inspector Requirements 

In Texas, an inspection is governed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Standards of Practice. 

The Texas home inspector requirements, as outlined in the TREC Property Inspection Report form, require the inspector to: 

  • Use the Property Inspection Report form for the inspection.   

  • Inspect only those components and conditions that are present, visible, and accessible at the time of the inspection. 

  • Indicate whether each item was inspected, not inspected, or not current. 

  • Indicate an item as Deficient (D) if a condition exists that adversely and materially affects the performance of a system or component OR constitutes a hazard to life, limb, or property as specified by the Standards of Practice.

  • Explain the inspector’s findings in the corresponding section in the body of the report form. 

The State of Texas requires home inspectors to obtain a license and abide by the minimum standards for inspections set by the state, mentioned in the Standards of Practice.

Inspectors License Texas

According to TREC, there are three levels of inspector licenses issued: 

  1. Apprentice Inspector  

  2. Real Estate Inspector 

  3. Professional Real Estate Inspector

Apprentice Inspector

An Apprentice Inspector is an entry-level license. A Professional Real Estate Inspector must directly supervise the training of an Apprentice Inspector. An Apprentice Inspector can take the exam to become a Real Estate Inspector after obtaining experience under this supervision and satisfying specific educational prerequisites.

Real Estate Inspector

A Real Estate Inspector is an intermediate-level license. An applicant must be an Apprentice Inspector, meet specific educational and experience criteria while working as an Apprentice Inspector, and pass an exam to become certified for this license. A Professional Real Estate Inspector must indirectly supervise a Real Estate Inspector. 

Professional Real Estate Inspector

A Professional Real Estate Inspector is Texas's highest house inspector license certification. An applicant must be a Real Estate Inspector, satisfy specific experience and educational criteria while employed as a Real Estate Inspector, and pass an exam to become certified for this license. To conduct a real estate home inspection, a Professional Real Estate Inspector doesn’t need to be sponsored by another license holder. 

Home Inspector Job Description

A home inspector conducts property inspections to guarantee they are up to code and secure to live in. They are responsible for evaluating a home’s: 

  • Air conditioning units 

  • Electrical wiring 

  • Plumbing systems 

  • Security systems

  • Structural components 

A home inspector will prepare an inspection report for review and mark any repairs that need to be made based on their findings. Real estate home inspectors may frequently travel for work and collaborate with real estate brokers and their clients.

Home Inspector Responsibilities 

Some home inspector duties include:

  • Inspecting the building structure for indication of foundation issues, roof leaks, or other structural problems

  • Assessing the mechanical systems such as electrical wiring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, and ventilation systems

  • Documenting results in a written report for each inspection

  • Checking the status of permits, codes, and inspections to guarantee they are updated

  • Performing tests to control the presence of termites, mold, asbestos, lead paint, radon gas, or other hazardous elements

  • Providing details about the condition of the home to the seller, buyer, real estate agent, and inspector’s client

  • Suggesting repairs or other actions to solve the issues discovered during the inspection

For more information on Texas real estate home inspections, head to Texas Real Estate Commission’s (TREC) website or sign up for our Residential Inspection for Real Estate Agents course and receive your certification! 

Written and Published by: VanEd

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