Paid at Closing

I’ve been contacted to do an inspection FOR the buyer…but it’s to be paid by the Seller, at closing.
Can someone enlighten me on the logistics of this? So, the buyer signs my agreement…what do I have to say the Seller will pay me??
and how long does this usually take?
I’ve always been paid on site, so this is new to me.
any help is much appreciated!!

What if the sale does not close?

That’s the scheduled time to be paid…whether the closing actually happens or not. I need to know how to insure that!!
Any ideas?

Do not deal with the closing department.
Make it clear that the client is responsible for the bill. They will likely get reimbursed at closing, but they should pay you. If it’s not their problem, they will forget about you. As Jim B. noted, what now happens if the closing doesnt happen?

When do you get paid? Before you agree, you should know when the closing is.

I charge for this convenience.
You may have to wait several weeks to close.
You have to try to keep up with what’s going on, and you have no point of contact with the closing department.

You can’t insure that. No one can.

We are not in the banking business.

Is it ok to ask the Seller’s information & contact them regarding payment?
should we do that anyway?

Good point! Also, your client is the buyer and not the seller. Unless it is written in the buyers offer for the home that the seller is to pay the inspection price, and agreed to by the seller in writing, how would you collect if the seller chooses not to pay? In addition, if the seller chooses not to pay and moves out of the legal jurisdiction you have to persue them in, how would you file any legal action against them?

Why not just have the seller sign your contract, agreeing to pay, and if nothing else they are directly on the hook for the fee?

And I plan to charge more for this inconvenience…is that an accepted business practice? I’m sure I’m not the first inspector to deal with this situation.

You now have a financial interest in the close of the sale. This is a conflict of interest.

Exactly, how can you be a “Deal Killer” and get paid at closing?

I planned to put that our fee is NOT contigent on sale of the property. That is simply the timeline for our payment - whether the official “closing” happens or not. Surely this is not unheard of??? Has anyone accepted payment at closing?
Or should I simply refuse to operate this way?

This is not a conflict of interest as if the sale does not go through, you get paid with their earnest deposit. I do my regular inspection without worry cause I know I’ll get paid regardless of what happens.

Scott - you’re the first response that has put me at ease.
I’m worried about how to handle this!

Correct Scott.:smiley:

Whoever signs your agreement is the responsible party.

Some inspectors get a credit card number with the understanding that it will be charged on that day whether the closing happens or not.

I suppose, if the client is in state, a post dated check could work like the credit card being charged.

It really is about communicating with your client. For instance, I don’t allow someone other that my client to be responsible for some future payment and that future payment is spelled out clearly whether their closing happens or not.

You have no claim to the earnest money unless it is so stated in the purchase agreement, the earnest moneytechnically belongs to the Seller, it ensures that the buyer does not back out of a deal without reason. Try telling an Apprasior to collect his fee at closing or to take it out of the earnest money. Where I’m from both the Appraisal and Home Inspection Fee are the responsibility of the Buyer, not the seller.


When you buy a house, you as the buyer put down a deposit…usually 5-10% as good faith. This is the earnest deposit that I am talking about.

If you’re worried about it, don’t do it. Simple as that.

Are you prepared to wait? Are you prepared to go after your fee if need be?

If not, you already have your answer.

Also, the agreement generally states that the contract is contingent upon the inspection. If the seller doesn’t fix, to the satisfaction of the buyer, the things that need to be fixed, then the buyer gets his money back because its “for cause”, not because he/she got cold feet. This happened to me on 2 occassions and both times I got paid from that deposit. (So did my termite guy)

Just call your client and tell them to pay you after closing! Then they won’t be coming back with, “I thought that was taken care of”.

In the future I recommend you just don’t operate this way if it’s a hassle.

I have a few Realtors that do a lot of corporate stuff. They only ask if the relocation company is paying for the inspection at closing in one or two weeks. And the Realtor keeps tract if I get paid. I send them an invoice and they hand carry it for closing. Or I won’t do it again. The client still knows they are responsible for the bill.

I charge more for a relo job because they don’t ask how much anything costs. Any hassle I have to put up with is already paid for.

OOps, here comes my B-CAM! Bye!

I collect at closing quite often. If the sale doesn’t go through, you go after the buyer for your money. Just make sure they know you don’t care who pays you, but if you do not get paid you will be knocking on their door. The only time I’m hesitant with this is if the buyer is from out of the area.