Inspection Fees

The standard home appraisal fee in the Baltimore metro area is $400.00. Why do most home inspectors only charge $275-300 on average? We really need to reconsider our fees, especially considering the liability issues all inspectors face with every inspection.

John Evans:)

Hey John,
I totally agree with you. I am in oklahoma and inspectors are getting paid 150-175 for 1200 sq ft house. I am one of the more expensive inspectors and would love to charge more, but the local inspectors refuse to go higher. We sell ourselves short by doing this and the appraisers continue to get paid more. Nothing against the appraiser.

One of the issues here is that the appraisal is required and the home inspection is not (at least in Florida it is not). My fees down here are almost parallel to the appraiser, and in some cases higher.

I have been increasing my rates every year. Seems to me the other inspectors should follow, but they never do. I am trying to increase my rates to see if I can make more money doing less work. We’ll see if it works out…I’ll keep you posted.

Works for me and other inspectors that I know around the country…good luck. :wink:

I think the key to raising rates is doing during the really busy season. Then they never realize it. Then when it gets to the slow season they are used to it. I think leaving your lowest rate the same is good and then the next increment up or next price is where you want to raise it. That way you can always compete on the low end, but make more money or make up for that low price on the upper end houses. Food for thought…again, not an expert.

Banks and mortgage companies pay the appraisal fee and pass it on to their Clients. Once we get the banks and mortgage companies to pay the home inspection fee, we’ll be just as well off as the appraisers.

Very good point RR and now that you brought it up would you want to share ideas on how to market/educate the banks & mortgage companies to go in this direction? Is it possible to start leading them down that road?

I don’t compete with low end services. When people call and ask for a price. I tell them if price is your number one concern, then why have the inspection at all? Then I give them the names of the cheap companies here in town. The person on the phone is usually shocked! This guy just gave me the name and number of his competitor. But here is the key, before letting them off the phone insure they know that if it a quality inspection they are looking for then they came to the right place. Then I usually chuckle and tell them good luck. It sets the seed that many times price and quality are usually correlated. I am NOT going to be the same price when I give a report on site with digital photos, I have a thermal infrared camera, use state of tha art equipment and can email from on site!

I short I would rather do one house a day and make $500 than to do 5 houses at $100.

In a passed life, I owned a cabinet shop. A friend had a motor home repair shop.

He taught me that if they don’t cry when you give them the price, you didn’t charge them enough.

Takes a little thought, practice, and finesse, but eventually you can raise your price to max what the market will tolerate.

If you are afraid of loosing a job because of to high of a price, you will never raise you price. You have to be willing to loose that job, or you will never earn what you are worth. Worth is a commodity, max is what someone is willing to pay for it.

Just my opinion, and we all know what that’s worth.

Does anyone know what the fees are in Ga? ( Metro Atlanta area)

I went to every local competitors website and got their prices to come up with mine. Steal what you can if its not nailed down.

I recently had my house appraised by a woman. She measured the interior and exterior and was finished in less than 15 minutes. She charged me $400 and only accepted cash or certified check. I counldn’t believe how easy it was for her. She said she had five more that day. I told her that I was a HI and how much easier her job was than mine for the same money. She wouldn’t even talk to me. She was all business. I don’t know if all that money goes in her pocket but it makes me want to either charge more for inspections or become an appraiser.

Appraising was my second choice. Becomine a Realtor was my first choice. Both required extensive testing and/or licensing and/or working for someone else before one could go out on one’s own. So I had to settle for my third choice, home inspector. :frowning: Rarely have I ever had to settle for third in my life. :mrgreen:

The beauty of appraising is that two hours of work can be done on the computer and then a mere 15 minutes at the site to verify that it exists and a few other things. She only does five per day because she still has to creat the reports back at her office.

I have none.
I don’t know.

And I probably won’t see a need for it anytime in the future because I offer my Clients choices, choices, choices, so they can choose my PREMIUM or TECH inspection if the STANDARD inspection price is too low for them. Tips and free meals also are accepted. :mrgreen:

Thanks Wesley, I’ll try that. Ken

Seven years ago I had my house appraised and paid $250.00
Last month I met two appraziers while inspecting houses.
They both told me that now to be certified and licensed they had to have a university degree and were charging $150.00 per inspection. One of them had seven booked that day. Sounds like licensing has had a depressing effect of their fees as licensing has had on us.
Neither one was on site for more then 30 minutes.

A vendor wants to get as much as possible for their product.

A consumer wants to pay as little as possible for that product.

Where the two parties agree on a compromise is the fair market value.

This is the point where I said “if they don’t cry when you give them the price, you didn’t charge them enough”.

When they complain, thats when you know you have reached the maximum they are willing to pay.

You can always lower your price to get the job if you have to much easier than you can raise you price.

Just don’t let them know you are lowering the price because you need the work. Tell them something like “inspections after 3:PM are $20 less, would that work better for you?” Let them think they are getting a deal from you, not that you are willing to cut your own throat just to work.

Disclaimer: These are just some ideas that I have used in my cabinet business. I don’t know if they would work in the HI business, since I have yet to perform my first paid inspection. Use at your own risk.

I completely agree, and always tell prospective clients that we are not the lowest price inspection company in this area, and the reasons why…

John Evans

This is not meant to be negative toward anyone, don’t know if its true or not, just a story I heard.

When I was a young boy, an older man told me that he would always do business with a Jewish man on Monday mornings. Something about the Jewish faith that they had to make a deal on Monday. The old man would go to the Jewish man and give him a price double the normal amount, and let him talk him down, but still higher than the normal price. Both men were happy with the deal.

This is how I learned you can lower your price and still get what you want.

Another one; My buddy with the motor home shop, I was helping him move one time and we were throwing a bunch of stuff out. We filled up his dumpster and started using the neighbors. I told him we were gonna get in trouble. He said “its easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission”.