Homebuyers have learned to be skeptical about nearly everyone involved in the process. They distrust some real estate agents, believing that commissions trump loyalty. And many of them distrust home inspectors, too, because so much hinges on the inspection report. That’s an unfortunate situation for both you and prospective customers, but it’s also one that you can help overcome by using one fairly simple technique: Offer a home inspection warranty.
Warranties behave like insurance for home buyers. And where you’re in competition against other inspectors in the area, it could b the edge that you need to bring in more business.
Why a Warranty Matters
No two home inspection warranty programs are the same, but they all have some similarities. First and foremost, you can’t know when any home system might break down. If it looks perfect, it could break the day of closing. And if it looks like it’s seen better days, it might still be in service several years from now.
A warranty protects you against claims in the event that a system breaks down within a certain period after buying the house. And it protects buyers, because if a system does fail, the repairs or replacement are covered.
What a Warranty Typically Covers
No warranty offers comprehensive protection. That’s what home owner’s insurance is for. But with a warranty, your customers can find the help that they need if some of the more common, and more expensive, systems give out one they move in.
Common items covered include:
- HVAC system
- Water heater
- Sump pump
- Garbage disposal
Covered items will vary, and different home inspection warranty providers might offer different levels of protection.
How Coverage Typically Works
A home inspection warranty depends on one main thing: Anything that is found to be defective during the inspection will need replacement or repair before the warranty will cover it. Inman explains that after repair or replacement, a home inspection warranty will kick in, but not before. That makes sense, because otherwise a warranty program couldn’t stay in business for long. Imagine if a $50 plan was purchased knowing that the central heating system required replacement.
Plans also differ in how they are offered to the customer. In some cases, the customer purchases the plan at the time of closing. For such a small cost, it’s usually worth it. And in some situations, the cost of the plan is paid for by the inspector as a benefit. Check with several different warranty companies to find the one that you feel most comfortable with.
A home warranty is a promise that you’ve done the best job that you can, and that your report is as accurate as you can produce. For your customers, it’s a reason to breathe a little easier. No house is perfect. But imagined problems can keep even a seasoned buyer up late at night.
If you’re a new inspector, a warranty might be an even greater edge. Maybe a customer isn’t exactly comfortable with your level of experience. But then with the offer of a warranty, you might win them over. It’s a win / win situation for you, the customer and everyone else involved in the sale of a house.
Still just considering what it might be like to start a home inspection business? You’re in the right place, because ICA School is committed to helping people just like you learn what they need to enter this growing field. Get a demo and see what makes our program different and so much better than the rest.