New Member / Fee Question

I’m a new NACHI member and have been trying to catch up on as many of the past threads as possible and want to thank all of you for the great information provided in them.

Question though and forgive me if I’ve missed this topic in prior threads…… but if all things were equal in regards to qualifications, service, and gimics were not part of the equation, what fees should we be receiving for standard home inspections, wind mits, 4-points, etc.?

I ask because I recall one forum member joking about $99 home inspections by the end of the year……that’s actually being advertised by one company in my area along with others that just seem to have their fees too low in my opinion. I have seen on past threads where it appears that some of you have encountered the same problems with inspectors in your area that are driving the fees down with ridiculously low prices. Do you think these folks will last in the industry……or are they here today – gone tomorrow?

Not asking specifically what you charge and I know that it varies by region, just looking for your opinions on what fees should be ( within reason ).

Remember how much cheaper the Yugo was when compared to a Cadillac?

What you are observing are contractors who have been forced out of their jobs and are trying to stay alive in the “home inspector life boat” by hanging over the side and drinking the sea water. (Unfortunately, some legitimate home inspectors will feel the need to jump into the same lifeboat and join them in their activities of doom thinking that they must do so in order to “compete”.)

Most of them have no intentions of making a permanent living from inspections, but use them as a means of generating more work or supplementing their incomes as they wait to find a “real” job.

Low fees make it impossible to keep up with advancing personal skills, education and tools … but when you are only in it for the short term (until a wife gets a raise and promotion from her better paying full time job, for example) you just need to be able to pay for the round trip gas and take home a few extra bucks.

As you begin, you need to choose which path you intend to follow and stick to it.

It’s been stated many times that you should charge what you are worth. So if you’re providing $99 inspections, your worth as an inspector is $99.

However, and unfortunately, because of these low ball prices it’s very hard for a good inspector to get what they are worth. If there are 8 inspectors in my area and I charge $450 because that is what my service is worth, but the other 7 are priced from $99 to $250, I’m not going to working very much. I may get a few, but most of the jobs will go to the other guys.

What I recommend is some market area research and see what the others are getting in your area. Then, if you’re a good inspector, and worth more, price yourself at the high end of the average.

Now when the call comes in from a prospective customer you really need to sell yourself. They want to know why they should hire you, and not one of the 7 other guys. This is where value comes in. What can you offer that they don’t. And I don’t mean gimmicks or come-ons, but real value. If you can offer value, the customer will pay a little more to get it.

Good Luck getting started. Be prepared for a lot of adversity. If you are not out doing an inspection, you need to be marketing yourself. Be creative, check these message boards out to see what works, and what doesn’t.

E-mail me if you have questions…

Jason, I am in your area. Call me and I will help you out. 321-626-8153

James, Yeah the Yugo’s didn’t last on the streets for very long. Hopefully that analogy will relate to this situation.

Eric, your comments are spot on and I have done what you’ve suggested and we’ll see where things go. One thing that I won’t do is contribute to what appears to be hurting this industry by going loooooow.

John, Call coming!

Thanks all for the replies.

You could not have a better person in John to show you the ropes, a class act!

Thanks Fred. Your are not so bad yourself!

We all should do something to make the industry better.

I second what he said…