At what point do you renegotiate price?

You get a call for a 2000 sq ft home, give them a price and when you get there it’s just a mess… things to call in almost every system but many not bad enough or complicated enough to blow it off after recommending a specialist. How often do you renegotiate price after seeing the home? Or once you start and finally realize how bad it is?

Seems like it might be a difficult prospect if it’s a realtor referral, especially a realtor who’s steered a lot of work your way.

I don’t think once you quote a price you have a right to go back on it. Unless you give an “estimate” the price you quote is what you are telling them the guaranteed charge is. Maybe ask some more questions before quoting the price?

If you want to renegotiate your price you should do it before the contract is signed. Most inspection contracts have the fee as well as what is included and not included for that fee.

However I would not ever renegotiate my fee upward on site unless there was something that not disclosed properly to me during the prescreen wand even then it would have to be a very substantial discrepancy.

When there are many many issues with a particular system instead of listing them all I will simply state that here are some of the deficiencies but there are many to list all of them and recommend that a specialist review the entire system.

What if the client does not agree with the revised fee? Are they now under undue stress to pay it anyway because of the time limitations in their purchase agreement? How would a court of law look at it? If the client came from an real estate agent referral, would you expect to be getting any future referrals from that agent?

Sometimes the best business decision can be just to bite the bullet.

I have never changed my price, unless to lower it at the inspection because the house is much smaller than the buyer or Realtor called in. (and that made me a friend for life one time)

When you set your prices, set them with the expectation that the house you will be inspecting is a crumbling mess with hours of reporting. That way most of your inspections will be much better than your expectation. :smiley:

I’ve never dropped mine either, but I’ve wanted to. And it’s true about the contract.

I’ve heard of a few inspectors giving prices at the site, but I believe this was only on realtor referral inspections in which the realtor and inspector had a close relationship.

I agree with Paul & Blaine. I don’t think I’ve ever up’d a price at the inspection but I have lowered it a time or two. If I made a mistake when scheduling the inspection, like I’ve forgotten to ask if there’s a lawn sprinkler system involved that I charge extra for, then I bite the bullet, my mistake and they get it free. If the home is trashed out then so be it, that’s averaged out in the long run and is essentially built into my overall price scheme like Blaine says.

You win some, you lose some.


I’ve not raised my price either but I sure have modified my “appointment” sheet to improve my getting all the information I need to price properly. :wink:

So many times I wanted to look at them and tell them I’m charging you more for this place. If fact, I did a few times, but in jest. And at the end I tell them what a great deal they got, and they tend to agree.
Ya give em a price, ya’r stuck with it. Dem da breaks!
I have increased my fee for services not originally covered such as pools, sprinklers, out buildings, neighbor’s roof while I’m up there, things like that.

Good response Larry, I have done the same thing over the years, and still upcharge for buildings based on their age and footage.



Kenton, I have never re-negotiated my price because the property/residence is a mess, but I have added numerous disclaimers that I can choose from to protect myself, such as this one, which anyone is welcome to use and edit as they see fit:
“The property has been neglected, and we will not comment further on the obvious and numerous deficiencies. However, you should obtain estimates from a general contractor, because the cost of renovation could significantly effect your evaluation of the property.”

I’m all for knocking down liability as early as possible Keith, and I’ve used a number of your narratives for that. Your work in that area has been very helpful.

I don’t really understand this one though. To me, it reads as though I’m not going to comment on defects, which to me says I’m not going to do an inspection. If I can’t understand my narratives, I don’t expect a client- or a judge -will.

I think that alot of times the age of the system in question, say a furnace, can help prevent going into alot of detail on something when it is really bad.

If it’s over 20 years then you’re going to call it out as past it’s useful life anyway so if there are issues with the individual components, you won’t be commenting on each of them, just calling it out to be replaced sometime in the near future or at least budgeted for it.

I would never say a furnace is “Past it’s useful life”, because it was 20 years old…:shock: …not when it’s working fine.

What age would you put that comment in?

That is a no-no…:shock:

Just because it is old does not mean that it has gone beyond it’s useful life expectancy.
At least, I hope not. We are all getting old but still usefull, because we are still working or functioning, therefore, we should not note that something is beyond it’s life expectancy if it is still working and functioning. Right?

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Kenton, good point. I usually make my generic narratives specific, but what I mean is that I’m not going point out numerous and essentially cosmetic deficiencies that would be obvious to the layperson, etc.

It might be beyond its normal life expectancy, but that doesn’t mean its at or near the end of its useful life. That just means its lasting longer than everyone thought it would. Might be fine for another 15 years, who knows?

I agree.

I would take the hit and move on. I would not jeopardize my working relationship with Realtor. The homeowner might pay the increase but he will not refer you to anyone else.

Well noted Kenton;

That would explain that if we mention that it has gone beyond the life expectancy, that we might have erred in the description of the facts.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

I think the person who moves into the house and has the furnace go out two days later would be pretty upset if someone hadn’t let them know that the potential had been there for a very large expense.