Today’s Ask the Expert column features Charles Furlough, senior vice president, Operations, for Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®.

Q: Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is developing a new visual platform. Can you share what it’s all about?

A: We are in the process of developing something very exciting that we think will become the gold standard for home inspection. It’s called the PTP360 Tour.

Q: Are there any other details you can share?
It’s a digital visual platform showing 360-degree images of the entire home that incorporates inspection findings directly into the home tour. First, we do our usual, very thorough home inspection, but in addition, we add 360-degree photos of the entire house inside and out. The results are then incorporated into our existing proprietary software.

Q: What’s the benefit of this new system?
The 360-degree images become part of a state-of-the-art report, blending the home inspection commentary into a complete virtual model of the home. The images incorporated into the software generate a tour of the home while also incorporating comments into the report. For example, if cracks are detected in a foundation, the virtual tour blends the home inspector’s comments into the image of the exact location of those cracks. In addition, it also generates a floor plan of the entire house floor by floor—aka, a measured floor plan.

Q: What are the advantages with this new program to the homebuyer, home seller and real estate professional?
The 360-degree tour helps put the home inspection findings into perspective and gives the customer a better understanding of his/her report. Imagine that once you get this report, you don’t have to go back to that home unless you really need or want to. Everything you need to know is there. Every room is measured, many flaws addressed.

The real estate professional can use this report to negotiate repairs, point out details to both the seller and buyer and never need to return to the home. The back-and-forth can vastly be eliminated from the process, saving time for everyone.

Also, the value of this report for planning prior to move-in is immeasurable. The new owner can see if their couch will fit, or how much new flooring they may need if they are choosing to install that or new carpeting. A decorator or architect can work directly from this report with 360-degree images and measurements of every floor, significantly cutting down on the need to actually visit the home.

Q: Anything else about it that we should know?
Best of all is the fact that there is a link attached to the report that you can share with anyone. If the buyer wants to share the link with parents who live out of state, for example, they can do so—and the recipients can see everything immediately, and, any issues can be addressed over the phone or by email. It would also be pragmatic to share the link with designers, plumbers, landscapers and a myriad of other people.