Does any home inspectors out there request or require prospective clients to put down a minimum final fee deductible down payment, $75-$100, before scheduling a home inspection? If so, has it negatively affected your client bookings and what were your terms?
You mean a non-refundable deposit?
I do not do that. They pay before or at the beginning of the inspection. I am comfortable with my arrangement and have never been burned.
Same as Brian.
Same as Brian and JJ…
Yes, non-refundable if the client/agent cancel the appointment without adequate notification.
I think you would be better off asking for payment 24 hours in advance and tell them there is a $150 cancellation fee vs asking for a non-refundable deposit. It just sounds better in my mind and fewer steps involved.
We threaten a “cancellation fee” but very rarely enforce it. The inherent problem is that agents that often refer us spend their whole life running around and losing a paycheck at the last minute so they have zero understanding of us trying to collect for a last minute cancelation.
Of course, what agents fail to see is that when they get paid it’s 10K and we get $500 but it is what it is. Build it into your fees. It’s not a huge deal on an annual basis but I can promise it will happen 3X in a week and seem like a catastrophe.
I pay my guys a $25 “trip fee” if they show up and the job gets canceled. At least enough to cover the gas that got them there… and maybe a beer on their way home.
Welcome to our forum, Louis!..enjoy participating.
Never have done it, I think most people would frown upon it and would question why, if you told them to keep in case you cancel, they’'ll most likely cancel right there, at least I know I would.
I get paid either onsite after the inspection, and sometimes at the start, or if the client is not attending, online before the inspection.
This is how I handled it, after getting burned once. I asked my attorney what I could do and he said get paid before you leave the house.
THAT worked great for me…never any problems again, after that.
We only require deposits on very large homes.
Most times I get paid prior to the start of the inspection, the night before is the drop dead deadline. Sometimes with local clients and with a few others, I will accept a check at the time of the inspection. In those cases, once they arrive, I request the check.
I never had an issue or complaint with this policy. They have to trust me at some point, so that point might as well be when scheduling the inspection. This policy also tells the client that I value my time, and that I require them to value my time too. Now and then I’ve had to send a reminder or call to get the payment before the inspection.
If you’re reluctant instituting this policy, tell the client you got stiffed before, which is why you get paid at the time of scheduling. It’s the client’s confirmation that they value your time and work. If they complain, you probably don’t want that job. That’s a red flag; you need to qualify your clients in the same way they qualify you.
Agree with everyone else that does not do deposits. I require payment and the PIA returned by 10:00 PM the night before the inspection. It has eliminated the last-minute cancelations or the client not showing up to sign the PIA or make payment.
Get paid when you negotiate your inspection agreement…
Clients seem very busy and forgetful during a RE transaction, lots on their mind. A deposit is one more thing to put on that list. Get the money while you have their attention on the inspection…
I have never taken a deposit. I require payment prior to when inspection services are rendered. If a client pays me in advance and then needs to cancel, I just refund them.
Curious… of those who collect a deposit or payment in advance… when a client cancels the appointment, (whether 24 hours or 5 minutes)… how soon/fast do you process the refund? Why?
Seems to me NO refund should be processed until confirmation that the original payment has processed and cleared your bank, which some banks claim up to 30 days for checks and CC payments to be clear.
No deposit…A lot of my clients don’t attend the inspection… I invoice them when I finish the inspection…but I won’t give them the report until payment has been made…they always pay…But if they’re on the other side of the earth sometimes I’ll invoice them the day before so they can get some sleep…
My customers pay all at once, not in installments. Who has time for such silliness?
I collect at time of inspection.