HomeAdvisor is a tool for homeowners to search for and hire contractors based on the service they need, their location, their budget, etc. They can look at reviews and contact any number of contractors in their area with ease. However, as useful as it intends to be, we often see abysmal reviews and complaints regarding HomeAdvisor’s services.
If you Google “is HomeAdvisor legit?” or “HomeAdvisor review” or something else along those lines, you may get a wide variety of opposing views and links in the results. So, we decided to go straight to the source and spoke to a Homeowner who has used HomeAdvisor and wound up being pretty let down by the whole experience.
We asked our skeptical homeowner a few critical questions about why he would or wouldn’t use HomeAdvisor again to hire a contractor.
What is it that turned you off from visiting websites like HomeAdvisor?
I don’t like to go to those websites because a lot of the contractors I get in touch with there are from really sleazy companies that overcharge for everything and don’t even do good work.
Of the contractors you’ve been in contact with, would you refer any of them to your friends or family?
I would definitely not refer them to anyone.
Are there any contractors or other service providers on HomeAdvisor that you WOULD hire or refer to someone?
There are good plumbers on there, but those are never the first ones to contact me. The first to contact me are generally the sleaziest. They are the first to reach out, but they are very persistent, and dont stop sending messages to connect.
Why do you think these “sleazy” contractors get so desperate to connect?
The sleazy contractors are upset that they paid HomeAdvisor so much money to get you as a lead, that if the lead/homeowner does not respond, they get irritated and probably pretty mad.
Do you think HomeAdvisor is bad for homeowners?
I think my experience is pretty common, and I don’t believe that you always get the best referrals from the site itself. Plus, it’s just not a great way of doing business—from a consumer’s perspective—to be bombarded by sales calls.
What would be your ideal situation when you are searching for a contractor to give you a quote?
Ideally, I would like to be able to ask for a basic quote for how much it would cost to do this one specific project, and who my options are for contractors. But that was not what happened with HomeAdvisor.
What did you find in your initial search for a contractor?
You can do a quick search and find that HomeAdvisor contractor reviews don’t look so bad, but that’s because they strategically move the best reviews to the top of the page. The bad ones almost always get buried. They are very poor at filtering and getting honest, legit reviews/opinions for even the worst contractors.
You may have heard horror stories from contractors and businesses using lead generation sites like HomeAdvisor, Houzz, and Angie’s List. They either got ripped off or were never delivered what was promised. Check out these hilarious reviews of HomeAdvisor.
It can definitely be a big risk to work with a lead-generation site—especially one that supports all of your competition at the same time. So if HomeAdvisor is so bad for contractors, is it also bad for homeowners? Obviously, our skeptical homeowner friend had his opinions based on his own experience, but let’s weigh the pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Using HomeAdvisor for Hiring a Contractor
As you can see, on the surface, HomeAdvisor seems like a great option to quickly and easily find a reputable contractor to complete your project. However, the sheer size of the site and options alone can make it challenging to find the right contractor at the right price.
Simple background checks can allow many contractors to use HomeAdvisor to generate leads, but the background checks do not measure their work and business’s quality or integrity. Those sleazy contractors we talked about before can also get bad reviews removed from their page by disputing it to HomeAdvisor administrators. They can fly under the radar under the guise of a reputable company, only to be something entirely different.
A PSA for Homeowners Using HomeAdvisor
Homeowners who utilize this site to find and hire a contractor must do their due diligence. They need to filter appropriately, read through all the reviews, both good and bad, and be wary of any pushy contractors.
If being bombarded with sales calls from desperate contractors isn’t your thing—Thumbtack, Houzz, and Yelp may be better alternatives for homeowners willing to spend a little more time finding the right contractor. We know from experience that referrals from friends or family may be your best bet in finding a reputable contractor, without having to take a gamble.
To answer your question about whether or not to use HomeAdvisor for hiring contractors—short answer: no, long answer: it depends. Our homeowner friend, who describes his experiences as quite common amongst homeowners using HomeAdvisor, is quite telling.
We believe that a good, reputable contractor has diligently laid the groundwork for people to find them based on their flawless web presence, and honest, trustworthy reviews. But, if you are looking for something more comprehensive than a Google search in your area, and you enjoy not having to do the work of reaching out, and we wish you luck in your search!