Wanted to ask how other inspectors handle cancellations.

I had 6 last month.

As you know not only do you lose the scheduled inspection you also lose other clients wanting the same time.

People call anywhere from a day to a week in advance to set up.

Then the usually cancel the day of or the day before the inspection.

Do you charge a cancellation fee?

Most of these or due to utilities being off and not being turned on in time.

Also if the client that canceled wants to reschedule and the utilities are still off do you set up a new time or wait until confirmation that the utilities are on.

I am getting tired of the cancellations and the time I spend setting up the report in advance and wasting print materials.

Last week I had the agent call me saying he was taking me off his list.

I called him and asked why would he do this as I wasnt responsable for the delay or cancellation. I cant just book the client the next day as I often have others clients to do their inspections.


Since you have a lot of cancellations due to utilities, sounds like this needs to be addressed or questioned prior to confirming a date (i.e. phone conversation). I wouldn’t confirm a date, until they can confirm they are on. Just a thought.

I always ask when I book an inspection if the home is occupied or vacant. I also confirm if utilities are on or off.

Just been getting a lot of cancellations lately.

If you do an online agreement just put a cancellation clause in there. Something where if they cancel less than 24-48 hours before inspection you still get half price or whatever you feel is justified. It’s your time and money being wasted so they don’t care. If it’s going to start costing them money they will get their ducks in a row. Know what I mean? Just a thought.

If you don’t do online make sure they fully understand this before final scheduling.

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I do an online contract.

Do you add the cancelation clause? What amount do you use?

Cancellations are part of today’s market. REO’s are selling, and the pace is fast and furious.

99% of my cancellations are filled (if I choose to) within a matter of minutes - literally. There’s always someone saying “if you have a cancellation, call me. I need my inspection as soon as possible.”

Personally, it’s not worth the effort or frustration to try and collect a cancellation fee from a customer. Also, if I knew that an inspector might charge a cancellation fee for something beyond my control, I would be looking for a different inspector.



I make it clear to the client what the implications are for inspecting a house without the utilities on and have them get onto the agent for confirmation. They call me back with the time the listing agent promised to have the utilities and pilot lights turned on and lit.

If I show up and the utilities are not on I still do the inspection and note that the utilities were not on and that the inspection was limited to a visual confirmation of the condition of the component and installation.

The client knows the risk and goes ahead with the inspection.

No cancellations because of utilities. If I get a cancellation, just move on and forget it.

I haven’t had a cancellation in years but I do have an occasional re-schedule.

We ask about utilities while filling out the appointment sheet. We make sure our clients know that they (maybe through their Realtors or maybe the homeowner with a FSBO) are responsible for the utilities being on so that that scope of the inspection is not limited. And we follow up that we charge for return visits.

The key for us is managing the clients expectations…really, letting them know what to expect.

You guy’s got me to thinking. I do go over all the thing talked about here but it wouldn’t hurt to add it to my web site.

Thanks for the idea.:wink:

I have the same model boat as Jeff, except my boat is about 200 miles south of his boat.

Same here!


Managing Expectations is what its all about!


In the event that the inspector can not perform the inspection due to circumstances out of the inspectors control a cancellation fee will be charged. Such circumstances could include utilities not being turned on or access was not available at the appointed time. This fee will also be charged if the inspection is canceled with less than 24 hours notice. This fee will be $150 or 50% of the inspection fees which ever is greater.

Postponements…I work with the clients on that. Cancellations with < 2 days notice. I once drove 60 miles only to find out the client canceled on me. I’ve never had one since, because I have this statement in my Agreement

**►**Cancellations with less than 48 hours notice will be billed in full.

In my neck of the woods, about 90% of my inspections are scheduled with less than 48 hours notice. Maybe that’s why I get few cancellations. In fact, ART tells me that we haven’t had a cancellation in almost two years now; last one was on August 30, 2006.

That’s how it is here in the Los Angeles area as well.

Last night… Phone rings, “I have to cancel Thursdays inspection, my husband is sick”.

No problem, give me a call when your ready.

She calls back an hour later, " He’s not as bad as we thought. Can we still do it on Thursday same time?"

No problem…

I concur fully. It’s part of being an HI.

I get continuous cancellations in todays market also. I simply wish them luck with their home purchase and most of the people call me back to re-schedule within a week.

Why charge your potential client for a cancellation when your chances of collecting the cancellation fee is not good anyways?

And you’ll probably have a disgruntled “Client” who will be sure to let everyone know that you charge for doing nothing, something people usually don’t like. I like to leave people with a positive experience and positive thoughts.