# Pricing multi-unit inspections

Just wondering, how do you guys price a multi-unit inspection, and how do you do the report?

Had a guy call, said he was going to bid on a 4-unit building. Wanted to know my availability and pricing. After pulling info from him about size, etc, I figured each unit would normally be \$350, he wanted my military discount to \$325, times 4 is \$1300, but I’ll save about an hour per unit not having to do the outside 4 times, so I tell him I’ll do it for \$1100, figuring he’ll haggle me down to \$1000. He says way too high, he is thinking more like \$600, maybe \$800 max, since it’s only 10 miles away so he saves me all the travel time. I replied no way, I’ll spend 9 hours there to just inspect all 4 units, and then have to go home to finish the reports. He gets pissed, says no thanks, and hangs up. So got me wondering how do you guys determine a price for multiple units in the same inspection? I’m not asking what you charge, just how you determine price. And do you do a separate report for each unit or bundle it all into 1 large report? Thanks.

Note: Yes, I know my prices seem low but as I get more experience and start getting more jobs I intend to raise the price. But I don’t advertise my prices so it’s not like I get a lot of business pulled from other inspectors cause I’m priced lower.

How many square feet?

Does sf matter to how you determine pricing? He told me “I think they are about 1000-1500 sf.” When I get vague answers like that I know I’m going to be surprised when I get there to find things not even close to what they told me.

Apartments or Condo’s?
1, 2, or 3 bedrooms?

Base rate for the Building including all Common areas + Per unit fee + (single) Report generation = Total FEE

Example: (assuming 4 apartments and each are 1-2 bedrooms):
Base \$650 + (\$125 x 4) + 2 hrs (Admin rate) = FEE
\$650 + \$500 + \$150 = \$1300.00

Now, given the above example, and how it coincides with your stated fee…
this would allow the potential client to reduce the units inspected to get to a fee he is willing to spend… so NO units- structure and Common only- would place him at \$800.00 Fee!

George, ya win some and ya lose some…learn and move on.

I typically price each unit at \$150.00. 20 to 30 minutes per unit. 4x\$150 = \$600.00
\$600.00 for the building and common areas.
\$600.00 + \$600.00 = \$1,200 plus tax. It depends upon the size of each unit.

I do not haggle . I don’t. I do not have to. >< 20-30 calls weekly up unit now.
I explain what equipment I bring, my carrier in the industries and explain the hours to build the report. 8 to 10 hours for this project.
I do not haggle.

Good luck.
Robert

First I look at the square footage as one giant house and figure out the price as a base.

Then I add \$100 for every extra unit over 1.

Then I may round up and/or add some extra depending on distance, schedule, and how badly I want, or don’t want, the job on our schedule.

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I do like Ian does,

Take square footage and then add a dollar amount per additional unit (\$100 for me)

A fourplex takes 2/3rds of a day.

Sometimes it helps to think how much you want to make a day and work backwards from there, my goal is at least \$1,000 per day.

So if 4-unit takes 2/3rds of my day it’d be 666.66, if I accounted using the dollars per day, but I’d probably round up (like Ian said) I’d probably charge 700-750

Or the +100 per additional unit, say sq ft total is 2500, normal fee is 450, plus 300 (3 extra units at 100 per unit) total is 750.

How you write your report has a major impact on time spent as well, I’d do one report, one section for bathrooms for example and then in the section note which unit the defect is in (for example: toilet inoperable in unit 3) instead of having 4 bathroom sections in the report (1 per unit).

Good luck.

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George …

I’m in the Kansas City area. Most inspectors here that I know of would charge around \$650 to \$850 for a typical 4-plex. Since I built for many years, to me MOST 4-plexes were 2 bedrooms and 1 or 2 bath units up to 1,200sf.

My fees are \$400 for the building and \$125 p/unit up to 1,200sf p/unit OR \$900. In my area most 4-plexes that are under 40-50 yrs old will be on a slab (older ones were on basements). I would have 2 of us there. I would do the exterior while my 2nd guy does the roof. We move inside and each take 2 units. We would typically be there onsite about 3-3.5 hrs max. Then back to the shop to write a report.

Exterior and roof = 1 reporting. Then we’d break the units into 4 Sections = Unit A, Unit B, Unit C, Unit D

On larger complexes with 4-5-8 buildings its \$400 p/bldg and \$85 p/unit.

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Great formula.

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Thanks guys. It looks like there are about 3 main ways that you guys calculate it, I’ve considered a couple of those ways that seem to be discussed.

And I’m not upset about losing him. The more I talked with him, and the more he evaded my answers, the more I said to myself don’t take this job. So I erred on the high side on my quote, and he did as I hoped and walked. I just didn’t expect him to say he only wanted to pay about half of what I asked for.

Thanks for letting me know how you calculate the fees.

Good gut feeling, George. And, to bail if that is what your gut is saying, simply say, e.g. “I think you would be happier with another inspector.” Then give him some low ball inspectors names. LOL

I know you said that in jest, but honestly, it’s a bad idea. You would be better served (long term) to give him the most expensive inspectors around. Think about it. Do you really want to prove his “correct assumption” that all inspectors are ‘equal’ and he just saved \$500 (with your help)?? What ‘extra’ would he have gotten by using you at the higher fee??

I don’t haggle ever. I price jobs based on how many hours involved and multiply it by how much I want to make per hour of my time, nothing more nothing less.

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I am a firm believer that one gets what they pay for…of course, there are exceptions.