Cost Estimates in Home Inspections.

Do you provide cost estimates with your home inspection? As of now I do not. I am asked often why not and even been told all of the other inspectors I use do. Is there a nice way to reply to that that sounds good. If you do give cost estimates how do you come up with them? If you do give them would you say they are just a guess or do you feel they are accurate? It seems many of the buyers and agents in South Florida that like the estimates use them as a tool to beat down the sellers price. Any input you may have on the subject would be appreciated.

Michael, as far as I know your area is about the only place in the Country where Inspectors have traditionaly included estimated repair costs.

No doubt fueled by contractors doing inspections to generate repair work :mrgreen:

On the other hand many of my Commercial inspections include both current and medium term repair costs.



3.2. Exclusions:

I. The inspectors are not required to determine:

A. property boundary lines or encroachments.
B. the condition of any component or system that is not readily accessible.
C. the service life expectancy of any component or system.
D. the size, capacity, BTU, performance, or efficiency of any component or system.
E. the cause or reason of any condition.
F. the cause for the need of repair or replacement of any system or component.
G. future conditions.
H. compliance with codes or regulations.
I. the presence of evidence of rodents, animals or insects.
J. the presence of mold, mildew or fungus.
K. the presence of air-borne hazards.
L. the presence of birds.
M. the presence of other flora or fauna.
N. the air quality.
O. the existence of asbestos.
P. the existence of environmental hazards.
Q. the existence of electro-magnetic fields.
R. the presence of hazardous materials including, but not limited to, the presence of lead in paint.
S. any hazardous waste conditions.
T. any manufacturer’s recalls or conformance with manufacturer installation, or any information included for consumer protection purposes.
U. operating costs of systems.
V. replacement or repair cost estimates.
W. the acoustical properties of any systems.
X. estimates of the cost to operating any given system.

Works for me…

No, never have, never will. Every business has their own cost of doing business that we are not privy to. Would you want agents to give your potential clients estimates of what your fees are? The few that have for my services, were grossly off base. I get the “Well, the agent said it should only cost $200 for the inspection”!

HAH, I don’t think so!!!

There is a law suit floating around here somewhere on a Home Inspector that “underestimated” price of repair…

  1. You did not follow SOP.
  2. You did not correctly estimate when you exceeded your Standards of Practice.

You are liable for negligence.
The buyer suffered because they acted on your estimate, which was not “close”.

I agree with all of you but is does come up and I am curious if anyone has a gentler way of handling it and still getting the job.

Do you want more headaches? Do you want to have to spend time boning up and keeping current on the price of all types of repairs in your area? Do you want clients calling you and taking your time without providing compensation? Do you want calls of complaint because a certain job came in above your estimate? Do you want increased liability? If so, by all means provide cost estimates.

I simply refer questions about costs to Angie’s List. I tell them to call competent contractors themselves.

I am trying to be gentle.

No Never.

Just explain that you are a professional, and as such, you would not ever consider “second guessing” another companies pricing structure.

Now that is the kind of line I am looking for. Thanks :mrgreen:

How about, to comply with the standards of practice and insurance requirements you don’t do that!?

I have been throwing in stuff about insurance but no ones seems to know anything about standards of practice. They just respond everyone else does it. Thanks for the input.

My insurance provider provides a substantial discount if " I don’t pick up a screwdriver" (among other things)!

I realize you’re torn between a rock and a hard place with this piss poor economy that we are experiencing.

I think you must decide, who you are and what you’re going to do!

The reason that there is a standards of practice standard install is because of people exactly like you (and I) that are willing to go out there and “correct the situation”!

Without careful consideration, is very easy for us to overstep our bounds!

I recommend you take a moment and sit back and determine exactly what you’re business plan entails.

[quote=“dandersen, post:14, topic:49168”]

My insurance provider provides a substantial discount if " I don’t pick up a screwdriver" (among other things)!

Thanks for the advice. I am just curious about many things and always trying to see what others think and are doing.

Honestly I am not trying to be a smart a-s but are you for real about the screwdriver?
How do you check the electrical system without one.

When you provide an estimate for a repair that the home buyer uses to decide upon the purchase of the house…and the repair cost turns out to exceed the amount that you provided as an estimate…you owe the difference. Courts have ruled in favor of home buyers who have sued for this reason.

Even when the inspection is being done by a contractor who also inspects, as opposed to a professional contractor, should his report contain an estimate and should it be lower than the actual cost…he pays.

Here’s a case in point.

Screwdriver can be used for inspection; not repair!

Yes, this is a question I must certify yearly…

I by no means want to provide those costs it just seems like I am losing work because I do not. Based on everyone’s opinions and my personal feeling that those numbers are inaccurate I believe I will continue not to do so. Thanks to everyone for the advice.

Ok I understand now. I was confused and thinking the agent was a fool.

And why won’t I give repair costs? Gee Mr. Inspector, how much will it cost to replace a gas water heater?

50 Gallon natural gas water heater Cost $600 at a big box store.
misc parts Cost $100
Fair labor cost? how about $70 per hour and 8 hours labor $560

Total? $1260.

Had a seller had get quotes from 4 large plumbing companies. Cheapest was $1570. Now I am sure there are “handyman” types that will install for less but because of our state law, we can only refer licensed plumbers.

So no, I have not and will not quote prices for any work. It is not my profession.