Cost-conscious consumers sometimes find out too late that trying to save money on an inspection can result in an inadequate report. More often homebuyers find that the advertised fees for home inspections don’t always include things like basement apartments and woodstoves.
What is upselling?
Upselling is a sales technique where a seller induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale. A different technique is cross-selling in which a seller tries to sell something else. In practice, businesses usually combine upselling and cross-selling to maximize profit.
Upselling professional services?
I don’t think up-selling is very good business. Pushing products or services on customers when they don’t need, weren't told about or otherwise don't want them is a great way to jeopardize trust. Different people in the same profession may offer differing levels of service, and there's nothing wrong with offering ancilliary services - unless the customer is induced by price, to be subsequently upsold for "important" extras in the end.
I don't think using fear is good business either.
Adding the use of fear, or gimmicky tools and test equipment or worse yet - serious tools implemented without adequate training or full understanding of the limitations of the equipment, are further recipes for disappointment. Not everyone is well-trained or conversant enough with the equipment required to perform infrared, mold, radon and other environmental testing.
Third party warranties and maintenance plans:
A home warranty reassures the buyer and provides the home inspector with a measure of protection against complaints about defects that arise after the sale closes. A home warranty is not a perfect solution to the risks homeowners face. Before purchasing one, read the fine print in the home warranty contract and carefully consider whether the warranty is likely to pay off.
Home inspectors who want to offer a warranty to a buyer, and homebuyers who would feel more comfortable having a home warranty, should also do careful research to find a reputable home warranty company that will actually pay for legitimate repairs when they are needed.
The improper maintenance clause can mean the new homeowner isn’t really protected if something goes wrong and the previous owner hadn’t maintained the system properly. It may make more sense to put premium payments into an emergency fund to use for any repairs that do come up.
Learn more about home inspections at electrospec.ca
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.