How to set prices for services

Trying to figure out the best way to price services.
Home inspection
Condo inspection
Multi-family inspection
Mold inspection. Complete inspection, test only
Auxiliary inspections. Chimney, sewer scope, pool, etc…
I was thinking of spying out the land in my area.
(San Fernando Valley)
Thank you for any advice.

Combination of how much time it takes, how much you want the work and what the market will bear.

For example, our price grid is set to charge more for older houses because they generally have more problems and take more time. Mainly report writing time is longer due to more issues to write up. If we honestly charged per hour, older homes would be 50% more but the market won’t bear that so we just get a few extra bucks (maybe $50 more).

Honestly, the best way to set prices is to see what your competition charges and decide where you’re willing/able to compete.

You’ll undoubtedly get the standard “keyboard cowboy” responses here of, “I charge $300/hour and have been booked seven weeks out for the last 38 years.” They’re obviously lying. At some point supply/demand comes into play and as a new inspector you have to at least somewhat compete on price. Don’t get me wrong, buyers shouldn’t shop by price but they do and there’s nothing (so far) as an industry we’ve been able to do to alter this.

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Thanks for the advice, Matt. What about extra services?
Pool inspection, Chimney scope, sewer scope, termite? I was thinking $ 75 per extra service.

I’m still not sure how to charge for mold inspections.
While we’re there if they want a test,charge them a flat fee for two air samples, anything over that another charge per sample? We’re already doing home inspection so we can look for mold/moisture issues at that time.

So a mold inspection by itself. It’s not as intense as home inspection, because we’re only looking at certain systems of the house that may cause moisture intrusion. I was thinking charging little less than home inspection plus two samples. Then charge for any extra samples above that.
My son in laws plumbing company just paid $770 for a mold inspection. Two samples and moisture inspection on 200sq foot room it took the guy 30min max!:see_no_evil:.

You should call home inspectors in your area and ask them for prices for different services. Your pricing needs to be competitive but you don’t want to low ball yourself out of business. You want to pay your bills, food, shelter, clothing, business expenses. Start thinking like a business owner.

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The NACHI fee calculator could help out some (link below). Otherwise, start a spreadsheet and start calling every inspection company within 100 miles. Get quotes for everything you would like to find out about. Put them in your spreadsheet and analyze it. This will tell you about where you can set your fees to be competitive, but not the low baller guy.

Lastly, do a financial analysis using your expected number of inspections and your expected revenue to determine if you can pay your bills and if the profit is satisfactory to you. One thing a lot of new business owners overlook is taxes. Make sure you know how much the income and FICA taxes will take from each hundred you earn. Hint: it may be more than you think.


Thanks Bob

Question would you be ok with an inspector calling you for prices?

Oh, you don’t tell them you are an inspector, lol. Just act like a regular client. Don’t worry, they do it too.

If you are not comfortable calling and doing a little fibbing, than you can search out those around you that have their prices on their website. Just it will take longer and you won’t get as much data.

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Those are a bit low. However, if I were to skimp on prices, the ancillary services are a great place to value-add to your customer without sacrificing your base inspection price.

For example, I usually charge $175 to $225 for radon. If I feel I need to offer a discount to close the deal, I will discount there first.

Here is a roll play.
Customer: Your competition charges $50 less than you.
Me: I do not discount inspection service, however I do offer radon testing. Typically this fee is $175. But I will gladly discount radon testing down to $125. I want your business and I want your family to be safe. When would you like to schedule?

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I recently moved into a totally new market and found enough of my competitors with prices right on their websites that I didn’t need to call so you might start there.