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REAL ESTATE TODAY SHEDS LIGHT ON THE HOME INSPECTION PROCESS

 WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing emphasis on seller disclosure has led to a rise in the use of home inspections in the real estate industry. But also on the rise are tensions between real estate professionals and home inspectors caused by questions about credibility and professionalism that could be eased through state licensing of home inspectors, according to an article in the March issue of Real Estate Today, published by the National Association of Realtors.
 In a round table discussion conducted by Real Estate Today, four Realtors and one home inspector, talk about the increasing tension between home inspectors and real estate professionals in an industry where the two sides increasingly are relying on each other.
 Their comments, contained in a question-and-answer article titled "The Guiding Light?", provide insight into the common practices of home inspectors. They also share suggestions for reducing those pressures.
 Participants in the round table discussion were Sharon Bowler, owner/broker of Realty World Homes & Investment Property, Inc., Diamond Bar, Calif.; Glenn Burgess, president of the Burgess Inspection Group, Richardson, Texas; Richard Fricker, owner/broker of Realty One, Milwaukee, Wis.; Glenda Philpot, vice president and relocation director of Higgins & Heath, Inc.-Better Homes & Gardens, Orlando, Fla.; and Lawrence Story, a salesperson with The Prudential Connecticut Realty, New Canaan, Conn.
 According to the participants, home inspections are good because they protect both the broker and the seller, but the inspectors sometimes lack credibility and professionalism, in part because no state, with the exception of Texas, currently requires mandatory licensing and continuing education of home inspectors.
 Burgess, the only inspector on the panel, said he feels more education would help increase the credibility of home inspectors and the overall profession. "The problem is that most inspectors don't understand the real estate market," explains Burgess, who also holds a real estate license.
 "That's why they get labeled as deal killers. There's no association in this country ... that has a training program to teach them about the real estate business. They (only) teach how to inspect the house and how to avoid a liability problem," Burgess adds.
 Other panelists said that either their state legislatures or state associations of Realtors are planning to push for the licensure of home inspectors in the near future.
 "The inspectors themselves are the ones pushing for licensing in Florida. The good inspectors, the one who are going to be there in the long run, realize it will reduce competition and lend them more credibility," Philpot says.
 While all panelists agreed that home inspectors can often help avoid lawsuits, they blamed the adversarial relationship between the two sides on reasons ranging from a feeling that some inspectors scare prospective buyers with tactless presentations, to annoyance with home inspectors who give estimates for repairs when they're not experts in making those repairs.
 According to Story, one of the difficulties in looking for ways to ease tensions between the two industries is in defining what exactly can and should be expected from a home inspector. "If the law is written too rigidly, nobody will be able to do home inspections," he says.
 Also in this month's issue of Real Estate Today is an article titled "The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Home Inspections," which provides a look at the problems typically revealed in an inspection. The article, written by Wayne J. Falcone, president of Accurate Home and Building Inspection Service, Arlington, Va., and past president of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), is based on a recent ASHI survey. Four of the 10 most frequently cited problems in homes were directly related to water damage, according to the survey.
 Improper or inadequate electrical wiring ranked second based on the survey, while other problems cited included leaky roofs, antiquated plumbing, poor heating, foundation cracks, low water pressure and bad air circulation. The piece also details how inspectors detect these problems, and how home owners can help avoid them through good maintenance.
 Real Estate Today is published monthly, except in February and December. For subscription information, contact Real Estate Today at 312-329-8461.
 The National Association of Realtors, "The Voice for Real Estate," is the nation's largest trade association, representing nearly 750,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Annemarie Roketenetz, 202-383-7560, or Iverson Moore, 202-383-1290, both of the National Association of Realtors/


CO: National Association of Realtors ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

TW -- DC003 -- 2791 03/04/93 08:44 EST
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