The record-setting pace and sale prices in Tennessee’s real estate market are the talk of news stories, office water coolers and social media. While the Volunteer State’s strong housing market is proof that Tennessee has the right mix of leadership, employment and recreational opportunities, some consumers and real estate professionals may find themselves caught up in the breakneck pace and overlook crucial information when it comes to the role that home inspectors can play in the purchase of a home.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) and the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) want to eliminate confusion that may arise when it comes to home inspections and the role home inspectors play.

Home inspections are an educational asset that can help buyers make informed choices about the home they are considering purchasing. A licensed home inspector is an independent professional apart from the real estate agent or mortgage lender who provides a visual evaluation of the property.

TREC reminds real estate professionals and consumers alike to learn what a home inspector actually does during an inspection. During an inspection, a home inspector visually inspects a home’s structural components (foundation, floors, roof and walls), windows, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical systems. When the inspector has completed his or her inspection, the inspector then creates a detailed report explaining the areas of the house that require repair or could potentially become problematic in the future.

Learning what a home inspection does not entail is equally important as many consumers mistakenly think home inspectors have more duties than they are actually required by law to include.

Home inspectors are not required to:

Walk a home’s roof.

Enter a home’s crawl space.

Look for mold or microorganisms though the report might note their presence, but probably need follow-up by a specialist.

Offer or perform any act or service contrary to law.

Offer or perform any other job function requiring a license such as engineering, architectural, plumbing or electrical work.

To help eliminate confusion, TREC is sharing a new message with licensees including a press release and a blog post highlighting the work of licensed Tennessee home inspectors. For other questions or concerns please reach out to us at trec.info@tn.gov or (615) 741-2273.

Sincerely,

Caitlin Maxwell

TREC Executive Director