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The Appointment Committee and What an Applicant Should Know for the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee
By: Fred Willcox
Copyright © 2019
All Rights Reserved

I just had an interesting adventure in Austin. I served on a committee that recommended the new people to
be appointed to the Texas Real Estate Inspectors Committee. I was select for this service, along with Larry
Foster and Adrian Arriaga, by Chairwoman Avis Wukash of the Texas Real Estate Commission.
Larry Foster, who holds license profession inspector number 3 meaning he was the third person licensed as
an inspector in Texas when licensing began, and I have a very long history with the inspectors committee.
As of this month, the inspectors committee, in a couple of different formats, has been in existence for 28
years. Between the two of us, Larry and I have 38 years of service on a committee that has only existed for
28 years. Larry served 18 years and chaired the committee for 16 of those years. I served 20 years. I chaired
the committee for one year, I chaired the standards of practice for 16 of my 20 years and chaired when the
first draft of the standards was written. I also chaired the education subcommittee for, I think, 12 years.
Adrian Arriaga currently serves as vice chairman of the Texas Real Estate Commission and has served as a
commissioner for 12 years.
I’d never served on such a committee before and I found it very interesting. During the interviews I began
wondering how I would feel or react if I was being grilled by three people I don’t know for a position that
can require a fair amount of work and for which I am not going to be paid. Talk about signing up for abuse!
Serving on the inspectors committee was a great experience for me in many, many ways. I was certainly
challenged in some of the tasks I was assigned and I really had to change the way I do things in order to
accomplish those tasks. A couple of tasks that Chairman Foster assigned to me clearly went against my
personality but, he gave me the jobs so I had to find a way to get them done. I wondered if any of those
interviewing have any idea of the things they may be asked to do and what it might cost them in time,
effort, money and personality adjustments and what they might learn from the experience.
Prior to the interviews, I had ask the commission to have the candidates send in copies of their inspection
reports for us to review. The things that I was looking for in their reports were:
1) how much information they gave to their clients,
2) would the client have any opportunity at all to understand the issues with the house from the
information in the report,
3) was the inspector using the correct version of the report format, and
4) was the report format rules followed.
All failed item 4. Some did not even use the correct report format. Most gave the client little information as
to the deficiencies found with the house. As the inspectors committee is a consumer protection agency you
really want members who demonstrate consumer advocacy and protection in their practice.
The best interview was with a gentleman who had some, but not much, experience with the committee in
that he had a least attended a committee meeting. If you are seeking an appointment, go to the meetings
before you apply.
The worst interview came from a gentleman who told us that he believed people should do everything by
themselves, he did not like working with other people, he just solved all this problems and issues by
himself. Not a good recommendation for applying to work with a committee of nine people.

One candidate had very strong opinions about several issues in the standards of practice, unfortunately his
understanding of the standards was incorrect. Not a good recommendation when you are being interviewed
by two of the people who had the most to do with the standards of practice.
Few of the candidates had any real knowledge of the issues and challenges facing our industry although one
candidate brought up an interesting point about communication. He did not have an idea of how to deal
with the issue or if regulation was the proper course for dealing with communication issues. But his thought
was good.
All applicants had concerns over poor quality inspections and inspection reports that fail to inform/educate
a consumer. A point on which we all agree. The problem with that is that the rules already exist that require
licensed inspectors to provide information to consumers. TREC enforces those rules. Inspectors do not
report violators to TREC even thought the ethics rules require them to do so. You can pass all the rules you
want. It won’t get better until we begin policing ourselves.
I thought the best candidate was the one who paused to think about our questions and appeared to give us
answers that he truly believed in, regardless of whether we agreed with him or not. But he appeared to be
ready, and demonstrated that he was able, to listen to other points of view and to consider them.
Service on a committee is difficult, at times. You have your convictions that you do not wish to violate.
Others have their convictions that they do not wish to violate. Progress is made when compromises are
reached. If you are inflexible you are of no use in a committee structure. You may be right in your position
but, it doesn’t matter how right you are if you can’t get at least some part of your position enacted. A little
of something can be a whole lot better than nothing at all.
The gentleman who does not wish to work with others is in the perfect place for him to be. Not on the
committee.