Pricing question

I price my inspections according to the square foot. I generally use the info on the marketing brochure of the home to determine price. Occasionally after I have quoted a price for an inspection, it appears that someone was way off with their numbers. I have generally just kept silent and do the job, but what do you do short of measuring the house again? Example house is 1500 sq ft mainfloor, but basement is finished. How do you charge when you go by the square foot?

Everyone does it a little different. Always try ask all the right questions so
your price will not need adjustment later. People like simple prices.
Prices that slide up a price scale can cause hesitation in some people IMHO.

I simply start at $450.00 for anything on a slab up to 3000 s/ft.
Ancillary inspections are all $35.00 each. That seems to cover
about 80% of my cliental.

People like the simple price plan.

Thanks John, I agree.

I have had the same problem. Clients leave out of the conversation whether the basement finished or not. I usually try to go to the county assessor’s site as soon as I get the address to confirm. I lost an inspection yesterday due to price. What I think happened is they called another inspector and failed to mention the basement again to them and got a lower quote. Also, what about the garage? Are you guys including it in the square foot?

I just might provide a generous box of assortments as far as pricing goes and offer a variety of options…but wait there’s more…if you order now I’ll also include a 9 piece wok set…that’s not all, Carol, what’s behind door number 2 :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


I tell people this:

Please allow me to explain what you are paying for before I quote you a price.
Our company is unlike any other inspection company you will compare us to.
Not all inspectors are equal. Some use to spray for bugs and some used to
work on cars… but I have over 25 years of construction experience and
am a certified master inspector.


  • I do not work for the local Realtors, so I do not have a back door
    relationship with them that cause me to go easy on the inspection process.
    I am very nit picky inspector.
  • Other may be on site for an 1.5 hours but we will be there from 3-6
    hours and not leave until all your questions have been answered.
  • We have invested in over $10,000 worth of technology to bring to the
    inspection that others do not even own or know how to operate. The main
    tool being our thermal imaging technology and moisture detection tools.
    We also have electrical testing tools and foundation tools that can detect
    movement problems that may not be visible.
  • Moisture can many times be hidden in walls and ceilings and cannot
    be seen with the naked eye. Moisture can be conducive to mold, decay
    and wood destroying insects that are not always visible.
  • Plus we cover all the normal inspection items that include the attic area
    (describe attic inspection) and the applicances, plumbing, electrical,
    heating/AC, exterior, foundation, drainage, ect…
  • Our report is full of color digital photos and thermal images that will
    make it very clear regarding the items that need repair. This enables you
    to have a stronger tool of leverage to negotiate the price of the home
    and explain things to any repair companies that may be needed. It can
    also be used in a court of law, if needed, because it is a legal document.
  • We charge more because we spend more time on the inspection, use
    tools and technology that other inspectors do not have, generate a
    better report with photos and thermal images.
  • Plus, each inspections comes with a free 90 home warranty. Most
    inspectors are not willing to provide a warranty with their inspection.
  • Your report will be emailed back to you within 24 hours, through a link
    we provide within the email. This fast turnaround will enable you finish the
    evaluation process during your limited time window of the option period.
  • We will not leave the inspection until all your questions have been answered
    and your are satisfied that your needs have been fulfilled. We are there to
    make sure you can go into the deal with your eyes open.
  • If you decide you want a low priced inspection that will take less time and
    provide less information, then we don’t condemn you for that. Things are
    expensive now a days and sometimes you have to cut corners to make ends
    meet. We don’t recommend that you go for the quicky inspection that the
    low price companies supply, because a home is such a huge expense.
  • If you decide you would like to go with a low price home inspector, I can
    help you find the lowest price, if you wish.
  • Our price for any home up to 3000 s/ft is $450 (on a slab). If you have
    any extra items they will cost $35 each.
  • That’s it. our simple price structure (for 90%) of all the homes in this
    area is one price. People like simplicity. Our price is posted on the web.
    No hidden charges.
  • We accept cash, check or credit cards. You can pay online with our
    secure server or pay at the time of the inspection.

Then I ask questions and discuss their CONCERNS. (not my concerns).
I try to discuss various pieces of knowledge regarding the type of situation
they are considering. It helps them HEAR that you know things and it gives
them a chance to bond with you.

People will pay more for someone they TRUST and feel a BONDING with.
You have just a few minutes to communicate VALUE.

How do you communicate VALUE?
benefits, benefits, benefits, benefits, benefits, benefits, and more benefits…etc…

How do you communicate TRUST and create BONDING?
Communicating to their need, adjusting to their questions, listening, sharing,
time spent together, showing that you care and are willing to help.

** (Lady) “Will you tell me if I should buy this house?”**
Yes we can help you go into the deal with your eyes open. We will
help you understand what your are buying and what things are major or
minor so you will not be surprised later with big problems. Please
try and bring your husband. I want to make sure both of your never call
me back later and tell me you are disappointed because you did not
understand the report. I want both of your to be happy with me,
when we are done.

You will not make every sale, but people will not hire you unless
you take the time to educate them on why your inspection has VALUE
and they realize that your service is indeed worth every penny.

If you have someone answer the phone for you, they must believe
that you are the very best inspector in the city. Make sure that
person has gone out into the field with you to attend an inspection.
It does wonders for their ability to communicate to the client.

I hope this helps.:wink:

That’s exactly what Carol had behind door number 2 :smiley:


Wow John, I appreciate your words of obvious wisdom. I live in a town of 130,000 people. I dont see how I would get $450.00 for a 1500 sf or even a 3,000 sf home around here. I will put some brain power to it and see what I can come up with for an adjusted price. I like the simple structure. Hey thanx for the city data link in your other post.

I live in a town of only 7500 people.
See my web site, I drive a lot.

ok, I am still on the hook. Did you start out with lower prices and moved to you current structure? ALL of the other inspectors have similar price points. I have not come accross anyone close to yours. What would you recommend I try? I also noticed you dont solicite realtors. Was it this way from the start?

No, I started out doing what everyone else does and visiting all the
Real Estate offices. It took me a little while and I realized that I
was being put under pressure and scolded if I caused a deal to
not sale.

I then began to build up my web traffic more, as an effort to find buyers
and do an end run around the Realtors. I stated raising my prices
when I was busy helping my son with some project and I wanted
the inspections to slow down for a while. Hey, they did not slow
down, but instead I got more calls. I did not lower my prices
after that, but kept moving them up, $50 at a time. I kept testing
the limits.

As I was in the process of testing the limits, Nick came to Dallas
and gave a talk on why inspectors should raise their prices. He
said inspectors gain more respect for their company when
the charge a respectable price. I could not agree more with his
logic. It works.

I found another river of high end clients that search the internet
for the best inspector that money can buy, instead of the low
ballers that only do what the Realtors tell them.

I added thermal imaging and raise my prices again. It won’t be
too long and I am going to raise them again.

But you have to educate people to why your service is worth
more and what you offer is a better service. Your web page
is one giant billboard for that purpose. Make it count.

Good luck.

When charging by the sq. ft. are you really taking everything into consideration?
Let’s do the math
1500 sq ft basement floor
1500 sq ft sub floor/basement ceiling
1500 sq ft main floor
1500 sq ft ceiling
1500 sq ft attic
1500 sq ft roof
9000 sq ft total
now we have the walls to consider and take this a step further with all of the other items inspected one by one and you’ll adjust your pricing accordingly once reality sets in.

I may only book 1 out of 3-5 calls but those are clients that see the value in my services and are willing to pay accordingly.

It’s so much easier to go to work, or to be in any relationship for that matter, feeling appreciated.

Do I ever feel I didn’t charge accordingly to the property conditions? Of course, but these are what have provide me the tools to learn how to price properly.

I started offering a by the hour service a few years ago and the clientele that utilizes this service have never been disappointed, either have I.

Here is a summary of my booking interview
[FONT=Tahoma]Every house is unique when viewed by an Inspector. I will need specific information on your property to quote a price and properly prepare the report[/FONT]

  • [FONT=Arial]Is the house occupied or vacant?[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Size - Square Footage? [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Age of Structure? [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Foundation Type? Slab or Pier and Beam, Other [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Garage attached or detached? Number of cars? Rarely included on the tax or listing doc yet we are inspecting them daily. [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Number of floors? [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Number of HVAC systems?[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Number of WH systems?[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Optional Systems Associated Within the House or Property Line? See Below. [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Location? City, State, Zip Code [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Agent’s Contact Numbers? [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Listing Price?[/FONT]

Typically Included Systems:

  • [LIST]
  • [FONT=Arial]Appliances [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Electrical [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Foundation [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Mechanical [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Plumbing [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Structural [/FONT]

[/LIST]Optional Systems or Inspections:

  • [LIST]
  • [FONT=Arial]EIFS Exterior Insulated Finish System[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Stucco [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Features Unique to a Particular Property [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Fire Protection Systems [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Gas Supply Systems [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Hot Tub [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Infrared thermography[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Lawn Sprinklers [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Moisture Intrusion Analysis [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Out Buildings with Utilities [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Outdoor Cooking Equipment [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Security Systems [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Septic Systems [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Swimming Pool [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Water Wells [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Arial]Wood Destroying Insect[/FONT]

[/LIST][FONT=Arial]Once they have gone through my thorough interview the usually understand they will recieve a thorough inspection.[/FONT]

John and Barry Thank you very much.