The rules have changed for an important step for homebuyers in Kansas. Whether that's a good thing depends on who you talk to about the change.
Home inspectors have been operating under a set of guidelines and those guidelines sunset this year. The Legislature voted in favor of extending the guidelines, but Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed it.
After his veto, many are arguing that, to legally become a home inspector, it's as easy as printing off a business card.
One political rung at a time industry experts like Randy Sipe convinced Kansas lawmakers to renew a law that required Kansas home inspectors, like himself, to be licensed.
"It was good for the general public, it was good for the sellers, it was good for the buyers and for the inspectors," Sipe said.
But Brownback vetoed the bill, questioning, "...whether the potential harm inflicted upon the citizens of Kansas by unscrupulous home inspectors warrants the expansion of government and increased regulation that was applied in 2008 to this segment of the private sector."
Those who favored extending the guidelines said, without them, it's possible for anyone to do the job.
"All you have to do is advertise, hang up your shingle, buy a few things off the internet. No education, no testing, no background, no requirements. You're a home inspector," Sipe said.
Jeff Carson, director of governmental affairs for the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors, said this puts homebuyers in a risky position.
"They're going to make a huge investment - probably the single biggest investment they're ever going to make - and it's going to be on reliance from the information that's provided from that home inspector and that's the scary part right now," he said.
The veto eliminated a state board that set up regulations over an industry that asked for the oversight.
"The good home inspectors support the legislation. That in itself should tell you it's a good thing when the people themselves who are being policed actually support it," Carson said.
Missouri does not and has never required home inspectors to be licensed and some lawmakers are efforting a bill to reverse that.
Kansas now joins more than a dozen states without licensed home inspectors.
There are a few tips to protect yourself when choosing a home inspector:
Ask if he or she is affiliated with a trade organization like American Society of Home Inspectors, which requires them to pass a national exam and have at least 250 inspections completed.
Ask to see a certificate of education from a home inspection school.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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