(Italicized section reprinted from the Pennsylvania Home Inspectors Coalition website)
“The Pennsylvania Home Inspectors Coalition, Inc. (PHIC) has become aware of the implementation of a preferred vendor program undertaken by several key area real estate firms across Pennsylvania.
In short, these preferred vendor programs provide that area real estate brokerage firms and their realtors are agreeable to actively promote the home inspection services of those inspectors who have paid ‘participation fees’. Ostensibly these fees are portrayed as a means to underwrite certain promotional costs incurred by the brokerages in preparing written marketing materials offered to the general public which highlight the ability of the brokerage to work closely with home inspectors. Hence, consumers are advised by such materials that brokerage firms can offer comprehensive services, including home inspection services, by referring business to known and “approved” home inspectors. No methodology for assessment of a home inspector’s abilities are known other than the payment of the ‘participation fees’.”
What this means to you as a consumer is that some realtors may be attempting to steer you towards using a specific home inspection company based upon that company’s financial contributions towards their office. To an unknowing consumer who views this as a realtor looking out for his/her best interests, this takes control of the home inspection process out of the consumer’s hands where it rightfully belongs. We view this as a conflict of interest. Strong Foundations Home Inspections does not participate in or promote preferred vendor lists in any way and encourages you as a consumer to exercise your right to hire the home inspection company of your choice. As long as you are the one paying for the home inspection services, the decision as to which home inspection company inspects your home is yours.