Price estimates

Hey Guys

I am looking for states that license home inspectors that prohibit them from giving price estimates.

any help would be appreciated, i am in the process of presenting to my board information on this unethical practice



why is it unethical? the problem lies in you offering a price and being way wrong when an actual contractor comes out to give a real quote.

Repair estimates are certainly unwise … but not unethical.

This is from almost two years ago I hear it is being appealed .
I can not find any more Info .???Roy

Interesting thread. We should all learn from that story. It’s interesting to hear the consumer comments as well as the inspector comments.

Alberta’s new regulations prohibit inspectors from giving estimates for repairs.

Where are you from ? There are even certain areas of the country where it is almost a requirement otherwise you will not be in business. Southern Florida comes to mind.

You ask why it is unethical, As a home inspector you are being hired as a generalist to determine the of the condition of the home, as a home inspector in my opion we should not be giving prices on repairs of what we find this practice increases our exposure and libality, In our area they are using these prices to negioate a new selling price and hope to god you are not to low as they will come after you for the differance and if you are to high the realtor will come after you for killing her deal ,WE ARE NOT ESTIMATORS , Leave this to the specalist in therre own field

I am in search of states that prohibit this practice as half of the home inspectors in our state support the idea

If your state has this in there sop i would like the name of those states



thanks Rick will look it up


While I would never provide a client with a repair or replacement estimate, I would also never stop a competitor from doing something that could cause him to go out of business. Instead of working to get your competitors to be more like you … why not market the difference between you and them and exploit their weaknesses?

hey James, we are not trying to put anybody out of business most of us do not want to continue the practice of giving estimates , its mainly the agents that push for it, Our SOP do not allow us to do any repairs on inspection we have preformed So why give estimates.

It is our push for the state board to prohibit us from giving estimates of repairs for the good of the industry and our client

I was basically looking for states board that prohibit HI’s from giving repair estimates

If I may correct you … since you are not providing the estimates … what you want the state to do is prohibit your competitor from providing them.

This won’t happen.

Florida home inspectors, thanks to your licensing law, are substantially comprised of “conspectors” who are using home inspections as means of supplementing or replacing their incomes until they can return to their more lucrative field. They have what they perceive to be the ability of providing estimates based upon their experience and this is what the real estate salesman is looking for. It helps them close the deal quicker and easier … not always in the best interest of the consumer, but always in the best interest of their sales commission.

Until you have the means to purchase legislation through a lobbying group as strong as theirs … you will not be able to pass a law that will restrict your competition at the detriment of a real estate salesman.

If this were not the case… you wouldn’t have the licensing law that you have in the first place.:wink:

i agree with you that it is not in the best interest of the client and mainly for the conveince of the agent to close the deal with a half *** guesstimate, we as HI’S should not take on the libality and owe it to our industry every chance to make it better that is why a few of us are pushing the state to adopt or add to our law,

majority of our board agree with the prohibt of estimates,

do you know of any states that prohbit ?

Unless one holds a valid contractor license and is active as such, one likely has little or no idea what materials and labor cost - both of which are in a frequent state of flux. Lumber, for example, is a commodity the prices of which fluctuate daily.

I spent years, as a general contractor, building houses and believe me - cost estimates take time to prepare. It’s easy to make a mistake which later the client will expect the contractor to pay for, regardless of lack of profit.

Providing cost estimates is WAY beyond InterNACHI Standards, and not advisable, in my opinion.

As any active contractor knows, responsible and reliable cost estimates take time and money to prepare. Not only would an inspector be providing a service for which he/she is not compensated, he/she may also be assuming additional risk/liability.

An inspector’s job (as we know) is to inspect, identify and defer - not to attempt to pose as a contractor, unless he holds a valid contractor license and the necessary bond and insurance.

If a real estate salesman pushes for price estimates, he/she is only doing so for his/her own personal gain, and has no problem is exposing the inspector to additional liability or ill will when the cost estimates may prove to have no basis in reality and were prepared by one who is not qualified to do so.

Additionally, contingency periods may pose limitations to the buyer’s ability to perform his/her own discovery of the facts, unless the seller agrees to extend the contingency period for further evaluation.

True, some home buyers, when recommended to obtain two estimates from qualified contractors, realize that estimates are usually done for a fee and may not be able to afford it or do not want to pay for it.

The inspector may want to appear to help the buyer with free cost estimates, but a worthless estimate is really a disservice and somewhat disingenuous.

Whatever you do, I feel it would be a big mistake to attempt to provide free estimates, for the benefit of others and possibly mislead the buyer in making the most important decision in his/her life.

Do your job as an inspector and leave the rest to those best qualified to provide that service.

agreed 100% Peter


If there are, there are not many. Licensing laws are normally purchased from state politicians by real estate salesmen (through their state association lobbyists) or by home inspectors attempting to restrict competition. This is not normally a pivotal issue for them and it is rarely addressed in the laws that they buy.

Keith, I think we’re all curious as to where you’re located…mind posting your info, so we have an idea of what part of the country we’re dealing with?

no i dont mind i am from Louisiana, i want to make it clear i am not intrested in restricting competition , and yes i do get guessestimates on a few inspections, i am looking to pursue this for the industry and protection of the client so they have accurate estimates and reduce out libality, I acutally have the thumb up from the board just looking for more info to be presented to the state goverment


I do not know of any state that prohibits an inspector from providing repair cost estimates. It is a stupid practice to do so, IMVHO but many feel the need to do so.

If it was me I would provide a pre-made list of the most common repairs as a part of my report. List everything you can think of that you might find wrong with a home. Then put your estimate down in a range of price, i.e. Repair/Replace Elec. Breaker… $150 to $300… Repair leaking toilet seal…$100 to $200 etc…

I would never have any repair under $100 and I would always give a wide range in price. I would also have a statement that you should get a firm and accurate quote from the licensed professional before having any repairs done.

Just my two cents…

Hey Scott

I have done that, made a chart with price ranges, then low and behold the agent calls me and says ohh this is a generic list not specific to this inspection, lol u just cant win, the only state i know of is Mass. which prohibits that action