Money matters, especially when you’re buying a home. While everyone wants a great deal, it’s important to go over the details when you’re shopping for a home inspector. Few home buyers know that their personal information might be sold when they set up a home inspection. In this blog we’ll talk about the questions to ask, and what concerns to consider, when choosing an inspector for your new home purchase.
Do Good Prices Come at a Cost?
When you find a home inspector that’s much less expensive than everyone else you might think you’ve hit the jackpot. The truth is however, there might be a hidden reason. One practice that some home inspectors have committed to is selling their client’s contact information to contracting companies as leads.
This is sad but true.
The sale of information offsets the inspector’s profit which is what allows them to offer bargain-basement prices for home inspections. If you don’t want your contact information being sold, it’s important to verify that your inspector will keep your information confidential and/or that whom they release it to is at your discretion.
What Kind of Report Are You Getting?
Is the report handwritten on carbon paper? Believe it or not, some inspectors still use that system. A lot has changed though in the world of home inspections and premium reports are digital files with full color pictures, descriptions and even video. Of course you can always print these as well for your personal records.
You’ll want a report that’s detailed, descriptive, easy-to-read and easy to access. Asking inspection companies for a sample report is a great practice when shopping around.
How Responsive is Your Inspector?
If you have a question about your report will it be quick and easy to get an answer (or will you even get an answer)? Is there a dedicated office staff to help answer questions and relay messages to make sure your questions get answered by the inspector? Silence is golden, except when you need to hear back from someone, and you have limited time to respond within your home inspection contingency period. Check to see what the inspection company’s system is for responding to clients.
If you can reach someone local on a regular basis, who is directly employed with the company, that’s a good sign.
The Take Home
You get what you pay for! While that doesn’t always mean that the most expensive inspector is the best, it does mean that the above questions become really important when you see a price that’s “too good to be true.”
For the record: we do not sell our client’s information. We do offer a free concierge service for our clients, and they will call our clients after our inspection is done. It’s a helpful tool that can assist with setting up utilities and finding the best deals when you’re busy with the process of moving. While our concierge service will call our clients (who can opt out any time) it’s simply a free, helpful benefit that we like to give as our gift.
To learn more about other home buying and home inspection topics visit our blog!
By Chris Earley
Chris Earley is the Owner and President of Liberty Inspection Group based in Media, Pennsylvania. Liberty was named one of the Philadelphia 100 in 2017 and 2018 by the Wharton SBDC, making them one of the fastest growing businesses in the Philadelphia area. Chris’ company is a full-service inspection team providing commercial and residential inspections in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.