There’s a reason that home inspector was cheap.
Have you ever signed up for what you thought was a free service like searching for a contractor through Porch, Home Advisor or Angie’s List and gotten your phone blown up with calls for the next few days straight? That one is obvious: these kinds of companies make money by selling your information to contractors who pay a hefty for it. If it’s a free service, then you’re the product. Less obvious is free software that requires you to put your email address into a box before you get to download the software. Soon you find your spam box filling up with emails advertising things even tangentially related to your software.
There’s big money in this kind of stuff. How do I know this? Because at least once a week I receive a phone call or email from one of these various service providers telling me how I could increase both business and profits while making my customers happy all at no extra cost to myself! I just need to give them the client’s contact information and start raking in the dough!
Many of these services related to the home inspection industry are offered in the form of warranties, guarantees, or extras that you probably don’t care about or couldn’t practically use if you needed them. Here’s some common ones: Appliance Recall Checks, 90-Day Guarantees (good luck collecting on this), Roof-Guarantees, Mold-Free Guarantees from companies that aren’t licensed to give those guarantees in the State of Texas, Pest-Control Services (information sold to a pest control company when they perform the wood-destroying insect inspection). Sometimes these home inspectors will have an opt-out, but expect the price of the inspection to go up if you do opt-out.
Cheap Home Inspections as a Data-Mining Tool
One of the more increasingly common ones is the sale of the inspection report by the inspector to one of the companies listed above who will then shop the information contained in the report out to various contractors. These contractors aren’t dumb, they’ll wait until the sale has closed before they begin to spam your email, phone and even physical mailbox with advertisements looking to correct the deficiencies found in the report. I’ve read sources as recently as 2019 that say the information contained in these inspection reports has a wholesale value (what you pay the inspector) of anywhere from $50 to $200 dollars, which the companies above will chop up and part out for 2 times or greater that.
This system incentivizes home inspectors to perform as many inspections as possible regardless of what the inspection fee is, because they can sell your information to unscrupulous bidders and make more money. These are the people you’re hiring when you talk to inspectors that perform 3 inspections a day, spending an hour to an hour and a half inspecting an average home. They are glorified data-collectors, doing the bare minimum to stay within the standards of practice (at best) and relying on their inspection agreement to get them out of trouble.
Make sure your home inspector isn’t selling your data!
Third-party services have a use, and we have a third-party service provider clause in our inspection agreements because we can’t legally make recommendations of contractors we have worked with without it, but you should directly ask your inspector if they are selling or providing your information to other third-parties and if they have an opt-out.
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Contact Your Home Inspectors
Home Inspector Kyle D. Scott
TREC # 23813 - TDA # 819063
Ensure Home Inspections provides thorough inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations at affordable prices in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas to Homebuyers, Homesellers, and their realtors. WDI/Termite Inspections, Thermal Imaging, Pool / Spa Inspections, Foundation Elevation Survey and more!
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