Collection and analysis of soil samples from a property prior to purchase is becoming routine but how reliable are these pre-purchase assessments? A common misconception is that a reasonable assessment regarding the contamination status of a property can be done with just a couple of samples. In reality, the appropriate number of samples needed is dependent upon the size of the property and the past activities that have occurred on that property. Collecting fewer samples costs less but if the number of samples is too small the risk that existing land contamination will not be identified increases. A quote that proposes one or two samples to assess a property for contamination before purchase should be scrutinized to make sure that the property is being adequately investigated. In addition, care should be taken to make sure that samples are analysed for the appropriate potential contaminants, such as lead-based paint near older homes and organochlorine pesticides for former market gardens. When it comes to pre-purchase soil sampling, you really do get what you pay for. Make sure you talk to Thomas Consultants to make sure you get the best advice.