Got a text today from the agent that the scheduled inspection was unfortunately cancelled, saying the buyer found another inspector charging $150 less than me…and to find out, the inspector is traveling 80 miles outside of his business area to come do it…plus he is an Internachi member. I don’t mind local competitors and most are friends in the business. But, for someone to under cut by that much and willing to travel 80+ miles to do it blows my mind. Contract was not yet signed, so yea, client can do that…I’m just in awe of an inspector being so cheap, taking business away for low balling his fees. Maybe that’s what they charge in his area, but where I am, I’m average, and not the top price. Low balling inspection fees is not (IMO) good business. Fair competition is marketing, and adding services, …
Some inspectors are hurting financially more than others.
And, he may not be around long with that business plan.
Survey six of your competitor’s prices and place yourself 10% higher than the mid. Then stick to your price. To do less, undercuts and harms all home inspectors in your area. That low ball guy needs to be educated on this principle.
Bottom feeding inspectors are needed to serve bottom feeding homebuyers. Low-price <> high-value. Make sure that you help your prospects understand the difference between low-price and high-value and that a home inspection is an investment and not a commodity purchase to be made on price alone.
I had one recently that kept shopping even after signing the agreement. He went with someone who offered to do it for $200 (1000sqft) because he said he would be also buying rental properties. I wouldn’t lower my price any more. I just let them enjoy each other. One or both may regret it.
When a (dirtbag) throws that BS line out at me, I simply tell them that discounts come with volume, beginning with the third inspection and resets annually!
I respond to quote requests with a email form letter.
The first paragraph gives them pricing information for the property to be inspected.
The second paragraph explains why my price may be higher than other quotes they may receive from other inspectors. I try to explain to them that my inspection will be better in various ways than the service they will get from other inspectors.
I then encourage them to click on a link to a sample report from a home of a similar size and type to what they are shopping for and compare my work to that of any other inspector they are getting a quote from. All of my sample reports are from houses where I upsold to the “premium package” inspections. It’s a $200 upgrade that includes a radon test and thermal imaging and (a couple other little perks) so these are the most impressive and complete reports to impress them on my services.
If they are willing to pay more for my service they are probably my type of customer. If they go with the other guy (or gal), that’s ok too. Can’t win them all.
Right now, I’ll take what I can get. Really hate lowering my price, but if it means any business during this time, I’m willing… to a certain extent. Sorry, but I too have to survive. Hopefully things will stabilize soon…
Since the beginning of April I only had 2 inspections. This past Sunday I decided why not and raised my minimum inspection fee from $395 to $495 just to see what happens. Well, ended up with an inspection yesterday, have one for tomorrow, Saturday, and one on Tuesday.
I did the exact thing under different circumstances and it worked for me, too!
Good thinking, Stephen!
When in doubt, raise your prices!
Sorry, but it’s hit my area hard. I do have have bills to pay and hopefully keep my business afloat. It you’re lucky enough not to have to deal with, God bless you! Keep it going…
All depends on your area and market…right?
Be safe out there Stephen.
You do understand that by lowering your fee, all you did was give away your profit, right?
How much is your actual cost of doing business, including ALL costs including utilities, vehicle insurance and maintenance, etc.?? At “about” $350 for a 2,200 sf, minus a discount large enough to get the job sold, I’m betting you made barely enough money to buy dinner and a Redbox that night!
Way to go, Stephen. Go get paid for your skills. Awesome.
There’s and old, old saying around here… “Every Inspector is paid what he’s worth”!!
And many, if not all, of the lowballers are not even worth their lowball fees!
I’m at that point in life where I can take off a few days when it is slow…crap, I actually welcome it. So I doubt if I will be lowering my price no matter how hard it gets after this PanicDemic. We really have not seen the worst of it. We are in the pipeline for a world of hurt for years to come. Most of the inspections we are doing now are for people that are already in the middle of the buying process. In the coming months, even if the country goes back to work tomorrow, we are going to see a major downturn in home sales. Most likely worse than we have seen in decades. I’m sure there are going to be inspectors out there that will be starving and they will have no alternative but to do what they need to to feed their family.
You are correct Thomas, that it depends on where you live and the housing market in that area. If someone is willing to do a Home inspection for that little of money they don’t trust themselves by being known as the BEST, not the Cheapest. It’s a shame that some Realtors or Buyers want to prostitute our industry. I understand you have Bills to pay, and you are the one who has to look in the mirror. I wish you the Best in your undertaking of this profession. Be safe.