Years ago we made the mistake of allowing payment at closing. We are trying to untangle that web (chasing 30k just in the last year ugh!) and have thought of requiring payment on the website via credit/bank card first to access the report. Basically pay, get a password after payment verified, download report. Any done this or have any suggestions? I can build simple websites, but this is way beyond me lol.
Why don’t you collect on site when you are done?
In my opinion the report is more for us than the customer, helps cover our a** so it’s not our word against theirs if something goes wrong. If I were your client and we walked through the home and I got all your advice for free I wouldn’t pay to access the report unless there was a major problem with the home. Get paid on site…please!
Unless you want to go another way, why not use PayPal? Otherwise, no reason to release the report without bird in hand. Are you so busy you can’t email a report, or deliver otherwise? How nice!
Dave, there are a number of companies that provide that service, Home Gauge, Home Inspector Pro and Inspector Support Network are just a couple. Most of them provide it as part of a broader support package which contain many other helpful features.
We do not always collect at the inspection for a few reasons; the realtor tells them they can pay at closing as we allowed that for years and they are slow to catch on to the change, the client forgets their checkbook, or the client is not at the inspection. We started using Paypal now with plans on getting readers for the phones, but always email our report the same night regardless of the payment status.
I want a way to prevent them getting the report without having to be the bad guy about the payment, or spend time watching Paypal every night before sending it. We are absolutely swamped, so the less admin the better. Inspection Support looks interesting, maybe a bit pricey but certainly a lot of value there. I am going to look more into those services.
Inspection Support Network is what I use. I can send the report and it can not be accessed unless the agreement is signed and the inspection is paid for.
Didn’t you have credit card backup guarantee for your closing payments?
I use ISN
Report can not be viewed without a signed agreement and full payment. I simply tell my clients that this is company policy.
The problem with this comes when you accept a payment at closing. I have not found where you can allow the report to be viewed without payment, unless you completely turn that function off.
For Escrow Billing:
I have a signed agreement that payment is due at close of Escrow or 30 days whichever is sooner.
I require a credit card be placed on file to bill in 30 days.
If the bill has not been paid through Escrow or by the client at the end of 30 days then the credit card is processed on the 32nd day.
I appreciate the input, some really good ideas. I want to be completely done with closing payments and chasing money. A cc backup may be acceptable though, especially if the process is automated.
F that man! I did the service-you pay, no exceptions. Aren’t you worried about conflict of interest? I mean if the home doesn’t sell you won’t get paid, so you’re not really impartial to the sale are you?
You still get paid, that is what the credit card is for.
No payment, no report. Check or cash only for me. Bill to closing tells me that the client has no money, and should not be in the market to purchase a home anyway. Inform them up front.
For me payment is expected at time of inspection or prior to. Cash or check only. Had a client just the other day forget, so he went and did an ATM withdraw while I started the inspection. He came back with the cash and I proceeded to bring him up to speed on what I had observed to that point. We are not in the collection business, we are in the inspection business.
That is presumptuous and incorrect. I’m not saying it’s for everybody, but I never once went without being paid last year and many deals did not go through.
I paid for almost all of my E/O by adding and charging for this service last year.
First you are not making the payment contingent on the close of escrow.
You are offering your client to delay payment out 30 days or to the date of closing should be. At the date determined the payment is due regardless of actually close.
Many like Troy and myself charge extra for this service.
There are many other services that are involved in the real estate transaction that are billed the same.
title search and insurance
this is just one more item the client does not have to worry about paying for upfront. This allows them to work the cost of the inspection into the finance of the home.
If their deal falls through and they do not get financing, The credit card is charged for the cost of the inspection.
Who runs your business? You or the realtors?
Contact inspector support network. The have a completely integrated network that will do everything you ask. Without the need to build a new website. The only charge a few dollars per inspection. They will not let the report be downloaded w/out payment and track everyone who downloads it.
Good luck. 30 k is alot of sleepless nights.
Some days I wonder…we were overly accommodating for a lot of years and it is biting us in the rear now. ISN sounds really appealing the more I read and hear about it.
I collect funds upon completion. In the case where the client isn’t present, we arrange payment prior to publishing the report to them. I take cash checks and paypal, i don’t do payment online (buy could consider advance payment).
Its hard to have leverage to demand payment after they have the information. What if they back out of the sale or it falls apart? How do you get paid upon closing?
We signed up for ISN, and it seems quite functional so far, but haven’t yet tested it in the real world. I integrated Paypal into ISN as well, thanks for the advice everyone!
I just wanted to say a big THANKS for the ISN advice. We are now fully integrated and absolutely love it.
I always require payment upfront. It can be before or after the inspection, but always before the report is released. I take cash, check, and credit card. I use square though my iPad or phone. So far it was worked out great for younger generation that don’t carry checkbooks. I agree with some of the previous opinions that if they can’t pay upfront then they should not be in the market for a new home.