Pricing General Inspections

How do you think agents, clients would respond to the following type of pricing for general inspections.

For example we have a standard 1500 sq. ft house.

Now just for the sake of a price lets say $300. Average time 2.5 hours.

Now this is where my thoughts come in to pricing.

Lets say the house took 3.5 hours and had numerous issues. Therefore client owes $25 additional.

Now lets say the house took 2 hours and had minimal issues. Client refunded $25

It seems I get houses that are really bad, typical and very seldom above average.

So I feel the below average should pay more. Above average pay less.

How do you think this would go over with the clients.

This can be discussed when they call to book inspection.

Can use amount of photos and time as a guide to additional fee or credit.

What do you think?

My last 2 houses have been numerous repairs 3+ hours and above average amount of photos. I could of made an additional $50 if I could implicate this pricing

Who gives a rats *** what the agent thinks. You are charging your client, not the agent.

Too many negotiations and restrictions. Quote them a price and stick to it. Some you will win on and some you will loose one. Just part of doing business.

IMO…I would be happy just to be having insps to do and have some $$ than be sitting at home. Now if your booked sold go for it…but they mite never call you back after the first one? you win some you loose some you know…again imo I feel guys get too tied up in this time deal, it took me and extra hour SO WHAT if your making 300-500 per insp COME ON GUYS. Go apply for a 9-5 job then and good luck finfing one that pays 300 to ??? what 500…800…1000 a day? good luck in finding that…right now! aain just my $0.02…

If you like me and 95% of your inspections have came from agents…you mite rethink that statement. When they call to book you its already sold for one! I dont have to sell my self like most guys do over the phone. Also most of my hi’s come from the agents and I never speak to the buyer untill the day of the insp. It has its pros and cons…but I love the fact that when the phone rings its booking time!

Very few of my inspections come from real estate agents, and of the ones that do, I set the price with the client and deal directly with them, not the agent.


Set your price for your average home and time. You will loose some and win some. Nobody wants a surprise because it took YOU longer or there were more problems, that they did not think were there. I believe that everyone you charge extra will feel that you were more concerned about getting a few pennies rather than doing a good report. If you feel that you over charged, give them money back or use it for another good cause, either way you will win.

How would you feel if someone said:

Crawlspace $25.00, pool $25.00, sprinkler $25.00, POS $25.00, shed $25.00…

my mechanic does it every time and I am never happy.

I had to reinspect for insurance today, I never said I was charging. The client told me to charge him, before I left, we both left happy. I would have done it for free though, it is part of business sometimes.

I thought about that years ago but decided it would be a bad idea since some people will think you are writing up more to justify the higher fee.

I usually know which ones are going to be hard, the other day I did a nice remodeled 1200sf house built in the 20’s, it had a very difficult attic to get in, inspect and get back out of, the crawlspace was also hard and the report took 3 hours. I was also on site 5 hours for a total of 8 hours plus travel time. Luckily I priced it correctly. In the past I missed the mark by several hours on some of these little houses.

Adjusting prices based on the property condition is not a smart business decision - IMHO.

Just something I was thinking about.

But there seems to be more and more numerous repair, below average homes.

You take the good with the bad or risk alienating your base.

It seems a lot of clients look for every way to nickel & dime the cost of the inspection when the shop around.

So why is it unfair to charge extra if I spend 1 to 3 hours additional on the inspection/report. I do belief there are some firms, inspectors that charge by the hour.

Again I am just asking others to gain your wisdom & insite.

Unless its a foreclosure…I price based upon size, location, and age…I do not go around seeing what my competition is pricing… many of them are low balling to get the work… I refuse to give my work away. Foreclosures I charge more simply because many of the ones I inspect seem to be vandalized.

As for agents… the ones that recommend me do so NOT because of my price but because of my knowledge and being to convey same to my clients in a no nonsense manner. I don’t mess with agents that are price conscious… they are not worth it.

I have done many foreclosures this past year that were clean and just the typical issues present. Did one today, water was off, vacant for six months and IR camera still picked up a cool area under an upstairs bathroom. No visible evidence at all on the downstairs ceiling and verified it is wet, it maxed out the digital meter at 32 percent. I’ll be going back when the water is on and checking to see if its coming from the plumbing since it could have been an improperly placed shower curtain by the previous occupants.

If most of the homes you are inspecting are in bad shape you might want to ask more questions while interviewing your client. If it sounds like it’s going to take longer you can price accordingly.

In the end it has to be worth your time.

Clients only see the cosmetics, they all say the house is in good shape no matter what, the rare exception is the investor who admits it is a POS and just wants to know if it needs to be bulldozed. Not many of those are being sold since the flippers are either out of business, can’t get loans or not wanting to risk holding a house for 1-2 years.

If you think the property might be a POS, price it accordingly. Don’t change the price during or after the inspection unless you feel you were intentionally mislead about the property condition, size, additional “features,” etc.

Changing prices at the time of the inspection will (in the long run) do more harm to your business than good.

I agree, I have been seeing some houses with, say 3000sf in the tax records but it will actually be close to 4000sf, this is due to unpermitted additions sometimes but also builders that build their own house will intentially pull a permit for a smaller house to save money on the permit and the future taxes.

I get a kick out of the buyers that say to me well this is the first time Ive been inside the home…wtf…dont people look before they buy, how dum are these people. Oh well they pay me and I goto work!

You train your client or they will train you.



I never want my value to be reduced to an hourly wage equivalent. I consider my role to be a consultant, not a tradesperson.

Price your service based on the value that you provide the client and you will come out on top most of the time. When you get a really nasty house, that’s an opportunity to get a great reference from the client. Clients want to know what the inspection is actually going to cost them. Nobody wants to hear that the fee is going to be more, because it took me longer than I anticipated. Not the type of conversation I want to have with my clients and certainly not a business builder.

The uninformed price shopper is not my target prospect.