Question about price per sqr. foot

I had a realtor tell me that most of the inspectors she has worked with in past,have charged differnt prices based on the size of the home.I have set a price no matter the size …after all ,all homes have the same basic mechanical and structual “have to” check items no matter their size.She tells me a 3,000 sqr ft home has cost her 325.00 in the past and a 1100 sqr ft cost 150.00.She was quick to add that the one for 150.00 was a hand written checklist with notes &very informal reportShe has me questioning myself now…i had planned to charge the set price for non invasive visual inspection and extra for mold,water ,radon ect.

The size and age will add a lot of work if you are thorough.

Many 20-30 year homes have 3 or 4+ elect. panels. Some homes have 3 hvac systems, two water heaters. Tough crawlspaces etc.

I average 50 items per house. I found 90+ problems on an 8 year old 4,000SF house the other day that was well maintained. I was very surprised and so was the client and seller.

What is the question?

I don’t do anything for less than $299. I couldn’t live on the prices you quoted. Like Bruce, the bigger and older the house, the more I charge. I charge based on heated square feet, but many of my competitors charge based on total sq. footage. I charge extra for detatched structures and other services.

If you want more information, you have to pay me. :slight_smile:

Think about it, Elizabeth.

You say,

I’m going to charge the little guy with a 900 square foot house on a slab with no garage and no air condtioning the same price I’m going to charge some rich dude with a 6,000 square foot house, three crawl space areas, three furnaces and three air conditioners, and a six car garage. It ain’t going to take you the same time to inspect both of those and write the report.

Ya see the disparity there. Charge accordingly.

I think you are better off establishing a minimum price that will get you out the door and then start adjusting for crawls, systems, square footage, detached structures, etc.

Doing it the way you state, you are ripping off the little guy and yourself and giving the rich dude a great price break.

We have a starting price point of $250 for 0-1500 sq ft & then it goes up from there. YES, sq footage makes a huge difference. As mentioned, more rooms, more issues, longer report…you should price accordingly. And oh yea, extra for detached buildings.

Great Advice !! Thanks so much.I have establsihed a new list already.Most homes in this area are older and small.Our recent building boom has however ;brought in a few of the 2400 to 3000 sqr foot homes into the area.I appreciate the help everyone.I didnt go with the realtors $150.00 that she may have hoped i would but i did set some base prices from 0 sqr ft to 1200 for one price,1200 to 2400 another and over 2400 another.these are single family home prices ,apartments,multifamily will be another price.
thanks again

I think your closer to correct pricing. One thing I did was my Base price I changed from $250.00 to $249.00 and now most of the price shoppers schedule on the first call.

If you inspect a tree house, you must drive, you must pay your insurance, you must write a mandated report, you must answer all your client’s questions.

You must figure that at some point, a house a certain size exceeds the tree house and you must adjust your pricing accordingly.

I live in a low cost state with low cost housing. I don’t know how anyone can leave the driveway for less than $300. You have too much at risk, and in the end if you don’t plan for the unplanned, you’ll be gone “if” it happens to you!

Listen to Bill. Use the power of nines.

I thought it was hogwash. Doesn’t work on me.

But, someone convinced me to give it a try. Go figure. I started booking more of those inspections.

Now, it’s all nines.

You obviously don’t value your time highly enough, and it sounds like you forgot to check out what the competition was doing before you got started.

Sure, all homes have the same basic mechanical and structual “have to” check items no matter their size," but there is a significant difference in time required to inspect a 10,000-SF home that has 10 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, 37 sinks, 2 kitchens, 5 furnaces, 5 cooling condensers, and 3 water heaters (not to mention hundreds of doors and windows) as opposed to a 1,000-SF home that has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 2 sinks, 1 kitchen, and a wall heater (not to mention dozens of doors and windows)

Now simply add another 1,000-SF. That 2,000-SF home probably has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 3 sinks.

Now simply add another 1,000-SF. That 3,000-SF home probably has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 9 sinks (dual sinks in the master bathroom, a sink in the laundry, one in the garage, and a wet bar, and kitchen).

Now simply add another 1,000-SF. That 4,000-SF home…

Now simply add another 1,000-SF. That 5,000-SF home…


And don’t forget to add in those doors and windows. As the home gets larger, there tend to be 15 windows in the living room rather than 1. And don’t forget fireplaces. My largest home, at 15,000-SF, had six fireplaces and, of course, six chimneys.

So “no matter the size” definitely would not work for me.

I would suggest modifying your prices and cutoff points. Change that to $249 for 0-1499 SF.

You’ll find that you’ll make a lot more money and have fewer complaints about your prices.

Should have read the whole thread before making my previous post. :frowning:

I believe that someone was me. I’m glad you remembered it, and I’m glad it is working for you. However, it is not unexpected. I’ve never met anyone for whom The Power of Nines does not work. Although I found it in one of the Guerrilla Marketing books, the retail industry has known it for hundreds of years; they just didn’t know what to call it. Think about your gas stations ($2.19.9), your grocery and retail stores (the 99¢ store; most books sell for $xx.99.). Look at the prices on your restaurant menus. Etc.

By the way, the most powerful marketing number is 9, followed by 8. That big ol’ zero ranks where? You guessed it, boys and girls. Dead last.

My domestic partner also didn’t believe me about The Power of Nines (and you wonder why he and I are domestic partners). So he priced his first condo listing at $475,000. Took forever to sell, and that was in the good market. Now that we are in a bad market, everyone in his office wants to know how he sells his properties so quickly and at such good prices. His pricing now uses a value range using The Power of Nines.


Rule # 1 listen to RR not the Realtor, his advise will help you the agents advice will help? Yes them. Not you, not your client.

Power of 9’s totally works - in all fields.

Do not take anyone else’s advice for what your price points should be. That is something only you can determine for yourself based on how competitve your market is, what the local pricing structure is like for competitors, and how busy you want to be.

I have never understood that attitude that “I won’t get out of bed for less than $xxx”. My goal is to book every inspection those guys turn down for just $10 less than they won’t get out of bed for.

If I get just 2 of those per week, I make at least $500-600 more each week than I already would have. That translates to about $25,000 per year. Hope those other guys got a lot of sleep for turning that down!!

Beautiful, excellent, and well done. :margarit:

Credit where credit is due. It was indeed Russel who convinced me I had nothing to lose but a $1.00 so why not try it. I did. It worked. What’s funny is that my nines are higher than the other guys zeroes and I still book the inspection. I sure that reputation, salesmanship on the phone (and perhaps the fact that I always answer it) inspection and report quality along with the website helps. But it’s the nines that work well. I wouldn’t use anything else.

Nuff said!

When “Guerrilla Marketing” first came out, I did some research on the Power of Nines and found a report (which I wish I had saved) by a marketing research consortium concerning numbers in pricing. It confirmed using actual people under controlled conditions that nine was the most powerful number, followed by eight, five, and seven. I don’t remember the order of the other numbers other than zero being at the bottom. Ever since then I always end my pricing in nine, eight, seven, or five. Even if I have to add up several prices (say two small houses at $199 each, with a pool/spa at $249, and two detached buildings at $199 each), if the final digit comes out to anything other than a 9, 8, 7, or 5, I will round it to one of those four numbers, preferring the 9, of course.

In the research, which had something like 5,000 participants, a significant supermajority of people were choosing something that sold for, say, $99.99 over the same thing selling at $90.00. Go figure. But never underestimate the power of good marketing, the power of good pricing, and The Power of Nines.