Since its launch last year, Porch has amassed a huge database of historical records about home improvement projects and other work done at homes all across the United States. On its own website, it is only making this data available on a neighborhood level, but thanks to a partnership with Move’s Realtor.com, prospective homeowners can now request a detailed report about any of the homes listed on the service.
What you get is essentially a Carfax report for a house. It includes details about projects done around the house, their costs and — assuming the professionals uploaded them — photos. These reports will be available for every home that is actively for sale. The tool is completely free and reports will arrive by email. Besides the home report, the email will also include details about the neighborhood and additional information about the professionals who regularly work on houses in the area.
For the most part, this information will come from the 1.5 million professionals whose projects Porch currently indexes (for a total of about 98 million projects in its database right now). Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman tells me that home owners will also be able to upload details about their houses.
There doesn’t seem to be an opt-out mechanism here, but Ehrlichman argues that any negative information about the house is likely part of the public record already. The projects that were done by professionals, he noted, are most likely to be positive anyway and mostly add value to a house.
For Realtor.com, this partnership gives the company access to information that isn’t available on its competitors’ services. With the online real-estate industry locked into a sometimes contentious battle for homebuyers’ eyeballs, this kind of differentiating service could make Realtor.com an option for many homebuyers who didn’t previously use the service (I know I never considered it, but I’ll give it a try now).
Ehrlichman couldn’t discuss the details of the partnership, but I would guess that it’s a limited-time exclusive. Porch obviously wants to become the go-to service for this kind of information and would surely like to see its service come to other properties, too.