Inspection Fees

How do you all decide what to charge for a basic inspection? Internachi’s fee calculator? Formula given in business course? Flat fee no matter distance, square footage?

I base the fee on sq. footage, add more for distance, detached garages extra.
I try to keep my base fee at 425.00 but will sometimes go under that for a particularly dinky, cheap house.

It’s your business. You get to use the criteria and amounts that you choose. Aspiring to emulate the masses will only achieve mediocrity.

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Call your local competitors and find out what your local market rates are.

I know an inspector couple of cities over from me that charges $250 for every inspection no matter the size or distance. He’s been in business since the 90’s and I think he has been charging the same rate ever since. Does 2 to 3 inspections every day 5 days a week. I had a buyer call me yesterday for an inspection and said others in my area were over $900 for a simple 30 year old home 1066 sq feet. I for one think that’s outrageous, but I guess to each their own. She also thought it was outrageous, which is why I got the call. This is Alabama, most people are not going to pay that much for an inspection on a tiny simple house. My base rate is $300, but I use the calculator and it depends on mileage, house size. I’m not full time, so of course I can afford to charge less because I already have a very good paying job. I’m just doing inspections part time, and probably always will.

$900.00 for a 1K house!
Wow, I guess they didn’t want the work, probably swamped.

Charger your fee as much as you can get away with., I do?
And have been doing it for over 20 years.

So, apparantly nobody understands and charges for “costs associated with operating a profitable business”? Do any of youse calculate your true business expenses and use that as the base criteria for your inspection fee? How many of you truly understand business expenses?

And ya’ll wonder why the failure rate for Home Inspectors is so high.

Each Inspector charges what they are worth and with the low priced Inspectors well… :wink:

My opinion on this, we should all agree on a certain fee and go on square footage and year plus miles. Its not fair to low ball on Inspections just to get the job or to stay in business. We would all stay in business if we would all be firm on fees. Appraisers charge anything from $450 to $750 and they do less than we do. With that said Inspections should be nothing less than $350 depending on where the property is, size and age. Its too much work, knowledge, effort that we put in and if we start bidding each other out we will eventually kill the business.


That’s the problem with the government too, one size does NOT fit all. If I charged STARTING @ $350, nobody where I live would even bother getting a home inspection. You GOTTA take into account the economics of where you live, what the market will accept, and what you can survive on. Take those things into account, and you’ll get a good, fair price. Out here, I charge based on the county you live in. Same price for the inspection, but fee goes up as you get out of my county. To each his own. Blanket statements rarely work like folks “think” they should.

And clarification on the appraisers prices (I’ve been looking at becoming one), they have folks that set up the lists that they get their jobs from (I forget the actual name right now, but it’s all due to the collapse from what I’ve been told). Let’s say the charge to the customer is $750, the breakdown of that (from looking at books with a few appraisers lately), is that the appraiser actually only gets $250-350 of that. That list management company makes everything above the appraisers fee.

Yes. Apparently they both know the relative value of the service they provide. Somebody has to do the commodity inspections so I don’t have to.


It’s a free market and it’s unconscionable to collude in a price fixing scheme. Those who want to market based on price are welcome to charge as little as they wish. They keep that kind of client and the crap houses away from me and ensure rapid turnover of the bottom feeder inspectors. They also provide an easy way for me to contrast service value vs. price. They provide a most valuable service to the industry. They don’t kill the business, they kill their fellow bottom feeders.


Appraisers get $450-$750 because appraisals are required by all mortgage companies and at least in my area backed up 2-4 weeks with work because of it. Inspections are not typically required so only a percentage of buyers are requesting to have Home Inspections conducted leaving some inspectors the opportunity to undercut others for work. Its probably always going to be this way so might as well get used to it. When a price shopper calls I always get the address and the one thing I have noticed is the buyers that choose their inspector based off of the lowest fee seem to be purchasing most of the garbage homes…Those cheap inspectors can keep them.

I understand and that, unfortunately is why I am much cheaper because I am new and I do understand they might get a higher quality inspection with thermal imaging and radon and mold and all that other good stuff when they use a higher priced inspector but charging 900 for 1000 sq ft house is a rip off in my opinion and that is why I got the inspection and they didn’t. As I gain more experience and more services I will charge a little more. Also for the one who said something about business expenses. If an inspector I know can charge 250 an inspection on every inspection since the 90’s and still be in business, price being too low is not the reason you fail.

Yup, learned the first year in business why my income was not chipping out my expenses, raised my fees now I am making healthy profit.

You’re assuming that his, yours, mine, and everybody else’s overhead, expenses, and required margin are the same…not reality.

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I’m referring to cost in relation to where you live. So yes 900 in Alabama is ridiculous but in California or New York where cost of living is a hundred times more than here, 900 would make sense.

Out of about 10 inspectors in my immediate area, I’m about the 3rd most expensive. The most expensive is a structural engineer/inspector, he gets about $900. The 2nd most used to work for the 1st guy, and is also an engineer, he’s about $650. I come in about $475, everyone else is $400 or less. I do lose a few “price shoppers”, but Chuck (and I think a guy named Bushart) said it best…“Every home inspector charges exactly what he is worth. There are no exceptions to this”.

So, when I get the call, they always ask first “How much?” If they say “well, ABC Inspections charges $350”, I tell them the same thing–“You’re buying a home, let’s say it’s 175K. Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate $50 off the price of the home, and get a REAL home inspection, rather than try and save $50 on a home inspection? You could just forego the home inspection altogether, and use the $400 you ‘saved’ toward repairs the cheap inspector missed, disclaimed, or simply wasn’t trained to see”.

Yes, I lose several of these clients to low bidders. But, like Chuck, I’m probably doing myself a favor. When you get known as “the best” instead of “the cheapest”, your business will grow. When you try and beat the cheapest, the race to the bottom ensues.

Good luck.

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Unless you have been present for one of these $900 inspections and seen the work product, you are not qualified to make that judgement. Even then you may not be. Professional inspections are not commodities. Your opinion of someone else’s pricing could not be less relevant. If the inspector and client feel that that is a reasonable price, then it is. I’ve seen a whole lot more people ripped off with $300 inspections than $900 inspections. This case could also be one of those crap houses that the other inspector wanted YOU to get. You should thank him for throwing you the table scraps.

It’s kind funny when a guy who’s website content has been 100% copied from someone else’s website declares that someone else is a ripoff. You have very little content on your website. Why didn’t you bother to write your own instead of duplicating what is on someone else’s site?

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