This past week was one of the largest Realtor trade shows and it goes down in Toronto once a year. This was my first Realtor Quest in a long time, I usually like attending every 5 years or so, I don't see any value in attending every year as the vendors are usually promoting the same product as the year before, so I decided to keep to a 5 year cycle so I could find new ideas through different products and services that are not only catered for the Toronto Realtor but also to the consumer.
I guess you can say I get bored quickly and my thirst for innovative ideas is tough to please. I liked to be surprised and in the process think how a new service or product can either help our industry or do the vice versa- make it worse.
As I walked through the exhibits I noticed a sign from a vendor saying "know your home's history" I thought to myself that's seems interesting, so I walked over and I deduced myself and the young lady began her sales pitch. A home proof is like a car fax she explains. I thought about this for a second and said well it can't be compared to a car as home is a asset not a liability likes a car, so how can you compare the two.
After a lengthy conversation with the vendor and its staff I had an understanding of what the service is, it's new and its innovative I must say. A home proof is a service that is provided by giving a buyer or home owner the history of the property by collecting data through insurance companies and by also police reports. It's a great idea and now I see why they compare it to a car fax.
I am reading their brochure and one of their marketing angles is targeted towards the home buyer, they are hoping the home buyer will use their service prior to making a decision on whether to buy the home or not. The brochure reads like this " The purchase of a home is an investment of a lifetime" it continues to say- "Get the Facts of your potential home with its full history of insurance claims, robberies, floods, fires and grow-ops, sewer backups and issues that can cost you money. Ask for the HomeProof history, so that you will be informed, NOT SORRY!"
Good speech and well thought marketing, I'm sure they will be successful in selling the report at no less than $99.00 per report.
The one thing I really like about this product is the fact of its very nature, to protect the consumer and I am one who likes the idea of consumer protection as I have written many articles in how we as Toronto Realtors must protect the consumer.
The part that I'm not so sure about is how the data is being used and how current the data is. From what I gather insurance companies keep claims on file for 5-7 years but what they don't keep on file is if the issue was properly fixed and if any warranties are being supplied by the contractor who has corrected the property issue. For example; if you’re going to spill the beans about a flood and how much mold was in the house and not include that the issue was repaired by remediating the mold than in essence the report is not accurate, and because of this could place negative stigma on the subject property. If negative stigma is placed on the property without proper cause than this report will in turn cause the subject property to be less marketable, which in turn will affect the value. I don't think that will go well with a home owner that properly corrected any issue with his/her home but no can no longer sell for market value because of negative stigma.
I guess you can say it’s a crap shoot and it can go either way, if you’re a home owner who knows that the report will be clean then you would want a HomeProof to provide to a potential buyer, but if you know that the report will show deficiencies then you may not want to provide it. Time will tell how this all plays out.
Is this type of service going too far though, or is this going to change the standard of how homes are bought and sold in the future?
Would you want to print the history of your home if indeed you had a few insurance claims in the past and now want to sell?
If you’re the buyer, would a insurance claim or police report discourage you from buying a home your interested in?
You decide and please comment below.
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