I don't get it

Just got an email forwarded to me by a real estate agent who knows me for a few years. This email was from a home inspector, who advertised his Christmas special. I don’t want to publish the entire email here, but the content was like this:
Computerized home analysis:
up to 2000sq.ft - $189.99
up to 3000sq.ft - $249.99
Flexible schedule including evenings and holidays, free home maintenance book. Signed - certified home inspector, member of OAHI. This inspector works in GTA area. What I don’t get is how one can do inspection so cheap and stay in business? It sounds like this inspector is either very desperate for work or is a complete newbie. The only thing that he uses correctly is a power of 9. Interesting how many people will get hooked up with this cheap crap?:twisted:


It is people like that who prostitute themselves to the public that makes it hard for everyone doing legitimate inspections in a professional like manner.

Simply amazes me some of the prices I see here too…and associations don’t mean a thing…nachi and ashi folks are charging those prices or less.

Commercial work is the only answer I can come up with…screw the homes, simply ain’t worth it.

Exactly Dale!!


You sound surprised my friend!

We can only control what we charge,but IMO we have an obligation to educate these “Lowballers” in terms of how much damage they are doing both to themselves and the industry.

I’m surprised, Mario. Because after 6 years in this business I know exactly how much is the cost of doing this business. I just feel pain for people being hooked up with cheap guys like this one.

You got it! Very desperate!
I am so glad that I read the thread, when I first saw that ** I DON"T GET IT** I thought there may be marital troubles we should not know about…:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Really though, when a person get a reputatipn as cheap, it is very hard to get a reputation as good. The conversation goes like this…

Agent: Call Bill for your home inspection.
Client: Is he good?
Agent: He is cheap
Client: Is he thorough?
Agent: He is cheap!
Client: I want a goo…
Agent: (Interupting) Call that cheap basturd Bill!

and Bill will never be known as good, because he is too cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap ( feel like a bird)

He can low ball probably because he is teaching the Defect Recognition Course and home inspections are a side line!

A few home Inspectors do not understand they should have some funds in the bank for the slow period .
When inspections slow down reducing prices just tends to destroy the industry two ways .
One when business picks up how do you convince people to pay you More
Two the pie is smaller and reducing prices does not get more inspections being done it just get some other HIs to also lower to compete.
Me I have just recently raise my Prices and this December is my busiest ever. This has bought me a new camera and training $10,000:00
We to have some who have lowered their prices .
I love it the sooner they starve, the sooner they are out of business.


Here is what I don’t understand;

The client would no sooner buy the cheapest digital camera, suit, fire extinguisher or video game for their kids, so why would they even consider the cheapest home inspector?

To answer my own question, because we have not done enough to show that there is value in $$$$. We need to convince the Realtor and the client that the higher cost of our inspection allows us to spend the extra time on the job, purchase the best equipment to use on their inspection and get the best training to make us better inspectors.

We need to get them to understand that going for the cheapest inspector is like putting $50. tires on your Ferrari ( or buying your Wife’s Christmas gift at the dollar store! :mrgreen: - Sorry to burst your bubble Mario )

Basically, it all boils down to **customer/client perception… **the average consumer believes that all home inspections are alike, therefore, why spend more than they have to, for the same report?

Exactly, people can’t see the difference between good and bad until they have an experience with both, but they need to make their choice once. And, of course, the phrases like “computerized analysis” or “flexible schedule, including evenings and holidays” make them think they are dealing with a serious “professional”. Personally, I don’t know the guy, but I’m sure he will be burnt at some point one way or another. When termite damaged, crappy 1300 sq.ft semis in downtown Toronto sold for close to 400K, one cannot offer professional services (if he wants to be professional one day) for pennies.

Well said Yuri. I experience the same thing in my contracting business with people who just call around to get the cheapest price for their home renovations. When I started to advertise my home inspection services 90% + of the calls I received were only interested in “how much?” I don’t advertise my inspection services anymore. Word of mouth referrals are the only way to go, although this can sometimes be difficult for those just starting out. Like any business, it takes time to build a good reputation

How do we deal with these guys!

If I were selling a product I would adhere to a suggested retail price, with all the freedoms to apply whatever mark-up that I please.

I think “we as inspectors” need to formulate a suggested Inspection rate across the board for everyone to follow. Anyone charging less than that fee would just be hanging themselves out to dry. There will always be the fly-by-night inspector(s) who charge less than $250 expecting to make a living.

These guys are not creating competition for the rest of us, there hurting the industry and we need to educate our clients to stay away from these guys - you get what you pay for!

Thats my 2 cents.


Steve the ironic part of it is is that the low ballers are association members! They are in Nachi, Ashi, Oahi, Cahpi. Too bad because to hear them talk they all like to talk up how important membership is but then fail to talk up their pricing! :frowning:

If you do the math regarding their fees its a recipe for burn-out!
If I were to follow their fee structure I would need to perform 4-5 inspection a day Mon-Fri to pay my bills. It is not fair to your clients and yourself when you cannot perform.

The more I see this I am willing to bite the bullet and raise my prices up $50-$100 and I hope others will follow this lead.

Just hang in there and watch them drop.


It’s not only the home buyer that’s looking for the lowest price it’s also the agents. I get them calling me all the time looking for some kind of deal so they can look like a hero to their client. We have one HI here that claims he does 1100 to 1200 inspection a year the agents love him low price in and out less than an hour including doing the report cost $300, complaint about him meny. Have picked up 4or 5 new agent this year because they no longer wish to deal with him and the complaints.

How many of these low ballers are newbies trying to get the 250 fee paid inspections to qualify for certification with the other associations?

Thats a very good point, perhaps its the system of the other associations.

As a member of ASET and a certified technologist I must follow the COE. This code is now or soon will be incoded under the professional engineers and technologist act.
Article 5 states “Uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for the performance of their work;”
Maybe We should incorporate this into our COE and any fools that doesn’t charge a fair fee could be dealt with.
Go to http://www.aset.ab.ca/pdfs/code-ethics.pdf for the whole COE


That is an excellent suggestion. I will suggest that CAHPI inert this in their COE and I hope others follow suit.

One snag is that some of these lowballers actually are charging more than they are worth.

Bill Mullen