Deposit required before the inspection?

I’ve recently had a few situations, cancellations, people moving in to the area, etc. I was wondering how many ask for a deposit to “book” the inspection. This would be a non-refundable deposit unless there was a problem with the inspector. I’m looking for thoughts before I update my website.

I’ve never asked for a deposit . . . I believe it’s just part of the business . . . thing change in resl estate . . . most of the time I have to wait until the house is appraised, then I get the call . . . and yes I have cancellations as well.
I would be worried about taking a $50 non-refundable deposit and the folks who’ve asked for the inspection are unable for some reason to qualify for their loan, etc.
I would liken that to the car dealership requiring a deposit for a tune-up or other type of work - he hasn’t done anything for me yet . . . I’d be going somewhere else if I had to place a deposit to have my car fixed or looked at . . . to much competition out there.
My two cents worth.

I could not find an option to meet my circumstance.

I book the inspection with the understanding that I will be paid before the client receives the report. BTW, if I were a competitor of yours I would be encouraging you to require a deposit at the time you booked the inspection.

That’s the way I do it now and the way my contract reads and I’ve only been stiffed once in over a year in business (160 inspections).

I’ve had two situations where I had inspections scheduled and turned down additional inspections and the 1st client changed inspection companies.

In both cases, the wife booked me, I called the listing agent and the appointment confirmed. The Husband called a dfferent (cheaper) company in my area and cancelled with me. In the mean time, I turned down other inspections because my schedule was full.

I’ve also have been contacted on a half-dozen occasions by clients moving into the area and hired me for thier inspection. They WANTED to make a deposit to confirm the inspection and I currently have no way to do that for their peace of mind. So I’m working on an option to cover both of these situations.

That’s the reason for this post. I appreciate all comments!!

Having inspections cancelled just prior to the time of the inspection is just part of the business. Set your prices to cover a few cancellations per year.


i think Greg’s out of town clients want to place a deposit for their own security, to make sure they get the inspection as agreed.

My point exactly. What I do in my business is to put my clients mind at ease. If it makes my clients happy to put down a deposit then I’m all for it. I’m just trying to give my clients more options and trying to figure outthe best way to do it.


  1. Get a signed contract.
  2. Issue a receipt for the deposit to be applied to the inspection fee.(you decide if you want to refund or not upon cancellation)


If you really want to impress them, offer to pay for someone else to inspect, if for some unforseen reason you can’t do it. That should convince them of your excellent service and commitment.

I like this. I’ve updated my page to have an additional link to my contract and by putting down a deposit they agree to the contract. Thank you :smiley:

I hope all of my competitors begin doing this!!!:wink:

I get the impression you and others think this is a negative idea. I guess I’m baffled.

I personally would not require it for all bookings and that may be the reason for the neg. opinions.

My suggestion was to handle this client(and others in the future) who had a particular concern of securing a slot.:smiley:

The idea of charging a deposit for a service leaves me very cold. It costs you nothing to take a booking. You’re not buying a product then re-selling it, or buying materials to do a job.

I set my fees with crawl spaces, extra air conditioners, extra water heaters and even cancellations in mind. I have gotten many inspections from price shoppers who have said, your price is higher than the other guy I called, but you aren’t charging extra for A, B and C. In the end, our prices are close (mine is higher), but I get the job. Win, Win.

When you tell someone prior to meeting them that they must pay you a $50 non-refundable deposit, you are creating a negative in their mind right off the bat. With the nature of our business, and perceptions that we can “miss” things, how many negative feelings do you want to create prior to even doing your job?

Greg’s client is the one who made the request to make sure he was available on that day.

I see nothing wrong with trying it. One can always change how one operates based on better evidence.:smiley:

Perhaps I should have added the ubiquitous YMMV after my suggestion. Geeeez:roll:

No need. Your view is different. This way he gets both opinions to choose from! It’s all good. :smiley:

I know a guy who requires credit card information for EVERY inspection, even those who plan to pay in cash. If they cancel with < 24 hours notice, he charges their credit card for the full inspection price. It’s all spelled out in his inspection agreement.


this is an interesting topic. i have always been used to doing to work first, and getting paid later, but… i guess if everyone in the field did, and it became typical practice, i dont see why that wouldnt be better. but there are some shady inspectors out there…thats a good one

i still think the clients would prefer to pay after they have received the report