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4 more home inspection company sales pitches and what to do about them…

I got a lot of (mostly) good feedback on the last article about home inspection company sales pitches, so why not kick off the winter blogging season with four more tried and true goodies:

1. “My report is better because it’s (insert number typically greater than 30) pages…”
What it can mean: “…the report will likely be filled with a lot of boiler plate (typically paragraphs of cut-and-paste information from a reporting software with some field enterable data); repetitive and over-worded statements (for instance, instead o f “I do not move furniture”, using, “I didn’t move the dresser in the front bedroom, I didn’t move the sofa in the living room, etc.”; lines of disclaimers (designed primarily to protect me); a copy of my state home inspection standards (which is required, but makes about 13 great pages of filler); about 100 questions “you should ask the Seller” (protecting my liability); and 10 contractors you should consult (also protecting my liability). Since you’ve never seen any other reports, you probably won’t ever know the difference.”

2. “I have conducted over 5,000 inspections over the past 6 years….”
What it can mean: “…I was really only paid to do 750 inspections over the past 5 years, but I am counting every house I have ever looked at, because bigger numbers look way better than my competition. I may, however, be unable to figure out that would require performing more than 2 inspections per day, every day, 365 days per year, for 6 years straight, and the subsequent diminished quality that might seem to entail. Hopefully, you don’t figure this out either.”

3. “I guarantee you my best effort, I promise you this…”
What it usually means: “…I got this great sounding tag line from (insert affiliation) and I really need to put something catchy on my web page/ad that shows you just how serious, how much better, and how different I am then my competition. I don’t think you will find it cheesy, and I certainly do not think you will do a web search on it and find 100 other Inspectors (also from said affiliation) using the exact same line, because if you did I would look just like everyone else.”

4. “I’ve been a builder/contractor for the past (insert some multiple of 10) years…”
What it means: Being a good carpenter, plumber, finish contractor, etc. really has very little bearing whatsoever on being a good home inspector. You may logically assume that if someone has been hammering nails for 20 years, they must know a lot about houses (hopefully). You might not however, assume that doing finish cabinetry doesn’t teach someone much about say, electrical systems or identifying foundation failures. What you do need to know is that being a great home inspector requires an enormously diverse skill set that is not taught in trade school, or ‘at the job site’.

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Mike Ciavattieri

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