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How to Become a Home Inspector in Texas

Spectora 12/20/21 2:55 PM
how to become a home inspector in Texas guide

The real-estate market is thriving in the Lonestar state. We have a full guide on how to become a home inspector in Texas.

You've probably heard people talking about how hot the Texas real estate market is. They're not wrong. Prior to COVID-19, Texas enjoyed a record six straight years of real record breaking real estate sales.

COVID proved to just be a speed bump in the market, and new data is showing that Lone Star cities like Frisco, Austin, McKinney, Denton and Allen are some of the best real estate markets in the nation.

But unlike other states, there's a highly detailed process to become a home inspector in Texas. This process is set by the Texas Real Estate Commission, or TREC. They ensure that home inspectors in Texas have a long training and apprenticeship before they can own their own business.

Here's a full guide to get you started. And if you want to check out license requirements in other states, we have a state-by-state breakdown here.

 

Understanding the three home inspector license types in Texas

First thing's first, there are actually three home inspector license types in Texas. For the most part, you need to start with one and "upgrade" to the next two over time. Here's the broad strokes on the license types:

Apprentice License

What can an apprentice do?

  • Can inspect homes, but only under direct supervision of a real-estate license holder or professional home inspector license holder.
  • Must have a sponsor that holds a Professional Home Inspector License.

What do I need to become an apprentice?

  1. Find a sponsor. If you don't have one, here is a list of license holders in Texas
  2. Apply for your license through TREC and pay your fee
  3. Get your fingerprints taken and pass a background check
  4. Send the TREC Certificate of Insurance form or Proof of Financial Responsibility form to documents@trec.texas.gov.

How long does it take?

There's no waiting period to become an apprentice. Once you submit your application, it's really just a matter of TREC's time to process and mail your license.

 

Real Estate Inspector License

What can a Real Estate Inspector do?

Unlike an apprentice, a real estate inspector can work under the indirect supervision of a professional home inspector. This means that you can do solo inspections, but you cannot do it under your own business yet.

What do I need to become a Real Estate Inspector?

  1. Work for three months and complete 25 home inspections under the direct supervision or your sponsor or a real estate inspector.
  2. Fill out the application and pay another fee.
  3. Complete 90 hours of coursework from an approved school (you can do this even after you apply). You can find a list of TREC approved courses here.
  4. Take the real estate inspector exam after TREC sends you approval to take it.

What if I never got my apprentice license?

You can still get your real estate inspector license without ever being a licensed apprentice, but you have to take and whooping 64 extra hours of courses, which you can find here.

How long does it take?

The fastest it could be done is three months, assuming TREC's processing time was lightning quick and you could take all your coursework in that time. Plan for a little longer.

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Professional Real Estate Inspector License

What can a Professional Real Estate Inspector do?

The highest level of home inspector license in Texas, these people can own their own home inspection business, hire other inspectors, and sponsor new inspectors. Basically, they can do it all.

What do I need to become a Professional Real Estate Inspector?

  1. Work for one year and complete 175 home inspections under the direct supervision or your sponsor or a professional home inspector (you can work without direct supervision, just not for the inspections that count towards your professional home inspector license).
  2. Fill out the application and, you guessed it, pay another fee.
  3. Complete another 84 hours of new coursework, it should be offered by the same school you took your Real Estate Inspector coursework from.

What if I never got my Real Estate Inspector license?

Just as before, it's still possible but requires lots of extra coursework , you have to take 60 extra hours of courses, which you can find here.

How long does it take?

The fastest it could be done is one year from the time you get your Real Estate Inspector license. But again, TREC's processing time and the availability of courses may extend that.

Can I use my work experience to speed things up?

Yes. According to TREC's website, you may receive credit for two, 40 hour "Property and Building Inspection" courses if you have 3 years of personal experience in a field directly related to home inspection and provide two affidavits from persons who have personal knowledge of your experience.

That's 80 hours that you can knock off your 174 hours of coursework. That's nearly half, so it would be a significant time saver.

Can I skip straight to being a Professional Real Estate Inspector?

Believe it or not, you actually can. TREC does not advertise this, but there's no rule that says you must be either and apprentice or real estate inspector before applying for a Professional Real Estate Inspector's license. If you wanted to go that route, here are the steps:

  1. Fill out the application for a Professional Real Estate Inspector and pay the fee.
  2. Complete 194 hours of coursework, covering everything you would have to take for both Real Estate Inspector and Professional Real Estate Inspector, plus the courses that substitute for your hands on experience (you can still waive 80 hours of this with the right experience).
  3. Take and pass the exam for Real Estate Inspector
  4. Get your finger prints taken and pass a background check
  5. Submit proof of professional liability insurance

 

 

 

 

 

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