How much would you charge for a 5-plex?

Hey Guys,

Wondering how much you would charge for a 5-plex. Would you charge based on sq. ft. plus a base rate? What is the best way to price out this kind of job?

Keep in mind from the Nachi SOP “This Standards of Practice applies to properties with four or fewer residential units and their attached garages and carports.”. Check your insurance as well.

I charge a Base fee, (varies with building and it’s amenities), for everything not included inside all units… PLUS… a per unit fee for every unit I enter, (varies with unit size- 1B-2B-3B etc.).

Note: it doesn’t matter how many units I enter… as a 5-plex, it’s still considered a Commercial Inspection.

Total square footage as I’d price it were it a house, then add $50 per unit for the extra work (kitchens, electric panels, etc.) I then look at the cost and factor in how much I want the job - is it new/easy and we’re not too busy? I might shave a bit off it. Is the property a pile of crap with a huge crawl space and we’re likely to fill the slots anyway? I’ll add some more to it.

Example: 4000sf, built in the 90s would be $600 if it were a house + $250 (5 units X $50) = $850.

I’m thinking of upping my per unit charge to $75 pretty soon.

In general we’d be between $750 and $1000

Also, on some of the larger multi-plexes or commercial jobs I try to drive by or do a lot of Google research so I really know what I’m getting into. Agents and buyers are HORRIBLE at accurately reporting things like slab v. crawl space.


So for this 5-plex, would I be able to inspect it? Why does the SOP limit the number of units? These plexes are definitely being inspected, so do you know how I would proceed in order to do this kind of work?

You’d start by checking with your insurance provider.
Nachi’s SOP won’t prevent you from taking on more units, it’s just not covered by the SOP. A few rules change as you go from SFH to Duplex, then generally again after 4, mostly with fire. Get up to speed on those.


Great points. So now you need a new SOP such as ASTM E2018-15, CCPIA etc. and insurance to cover a commercial inspection. Or, you can wing it and hope for the best, however not having a clearly defined scope of work and SOP is super risky.

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I do like matt, although I am higher than just $50 per unit. I am usually at least $100-150 each. Because you have additional a/c units, kitchens, and electric panels in each unit.

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I look at all the square footage of the building, and price it as if it were one house. Then add $100-$125 per unit over 1.

Then I may go up for down depending on location, how bad I want or don’t want the job.

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Cost of 1 Plex X 5.

Yup, it’s a high proposal, but this is a Commercial Inspection.

The only discount I could even imagine, would be travel expenses if you drive >100 miles to the site.

You are still not providing a “rate” for this job. I agree with the fact that this is/should be consider a ‘commercial inspection”, but I did not see in your narrative a price point.

My 5 plex starting fee, was $900.00. It has gone up $50.00 as of this year.

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Morning, David. Hope this post finds you in good spirits today.
1 x 5 is not a realistic proposal considering you d not have to travel to 5 locations, and prepare 5 separate contracts and do a tool survey and preparation 5 times.

As for a residential 5 plex being considered commercial inspecting/ion, properties with ‘more than five units’ are considered multi-family commercial real estate or (MFCR), while anything with less than five is classified as residential. Maybe yes, maybe no. Listing agent will determine that. Pass that liability onto to them:-)

Keep well.

And you won’t, especially without a hell of a lot more information than simply a “5-plex”. I don’t tell others what they should be charging, or at what rate. I offer the basic formula that I use, and you must fill in the blanks for your company needed fee in your area. If you can’t do that, than you shouldn’t even be considering the job to begin with.


I charge as much as I can. I Soak them.



Pedro J Marin | BSEE, MBA, PMP, LHI

That is a great question.

I priced a 6-plex at $1,150.00 a few weeks ago for an agent that was buying the property. He let me know last week that a competitor did the inspection for " less than half" of what I was going to charge. Which one of our pricing was correct?

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Your fee is typical/usual/normal starting point for a six plex. Not to worry, Jeff.

Story. This week I am doing another purchasing inspection for a real estate brokerage. Professionals do not care what you charge. No skin off their backs.
What they do want, professionalism from beginning to end.

Nice professional agent to tell you the competition low balled your bid by 50%. Not!!!
Who cares? You win some, you lose some, never change your fees.
1: You do half the inspections for the same financial reward.
2: Low-ballers liability doubles. It will come back to bit them eventually.

Your are doing fine, Jeff.
Keep well.

Only you and he can answer that for yourselves and your businesses.
Which do you want… a twelve pack of suds, or 30% GP?

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Yours! These guys like to work for free.
Actually, my price would be $1,165 & mobilization exp.

These things are a pain in the ass. If they are occupied, I’d go 1/2 again higher.