Re-Inspection Procedure


I know this is probably in the wrong forum, so forgive me…the General Discussion was locked.

I did and inspection the other day and the attic access was blocked by shelving, clutter, and the doors to the closet. I did not inspect and noted it in the report and briefed the realtor and clients.

The realtor emailed me and asked if I would go back and re-inspect. I’m assuming that the access is open now. Question is, should I go back for free? Should I charge? I also will develop a policy for my pre inspection agreement.

This lady has nickel & dimed me a little thus far…I have to bill escrow, and she never got the pre-inspection agreement signed…What would you guys do?



I would charge, and I wouldn’t go back unless the pre inspection agreement was signed.

You are adding a settlement billing fee as well, correct?

Yes, I’m including a settlement fee. What do you usually charge? Also, how much for the re-inspection?



My agreement says this: " ►****IMPORTANT: The Inspector will not open gas or water valves, light pilot lights or gas appliances, activate electrical services that have been turned off, or cut locks open. The Client is solely responsible for ensuring that all utilities are turned on, that breakers are turned on, that all water and fuel valves are open, that all pilot lights are lit, and that all rooms and crawl spaces are unlocked prior to the inspection. Return visits because utilities were off, valves were off, pilot lights were not lit, or certain areas were locked or otherwise inaccessible will be subject to an additional fee starting at $95.00 (additional travel charges may apply depending on distance). ◄"

I’ll charge $95.00 for return trips if I happen to be right in the area. Generally, it’s $125 - $150 if I have to make a special trip.

Thanks Joe!!!

If you don’t mind, could you also answer this?

What do you charge for the Settlement Fee if you have to bill escrow?



I give a “discount” of $25 to $50 (depending on the price of the inspection–higher cost inspections get a bigger discount) for paying at the time of the inspection. (I’m careful to word it as a “discount” instead of saying there’s a surcharge for paying at closing.)

Those that want to pay at closing have to secure payment with a credit card, including security code and expiration date. If closing goes beyond 45 days or if they don’t pay, I charge their credit card. It’s all spelled out in my agreement. You can see my agreement on my website if you want.

This has been discussed many times. But you should never release a report if the inspection agreement is not signed. That is more important than the payment.

Unless I am familiar with the Realtor, I don’t even leave the house without a signed agreement. About 2 months ago I changed to that procedure because of this episode: I drove 70 miles one way to an inspection and got a call from the client cancelling the inspection after I had already arrived there. Live and learn. I installed a separate fax line after that so I can recieve the agreements at all hours. And my agreement now says cancellation with less than 48 hours notice will be billed in full.

Thanks Joe!

Needed repeating.

I tell my Clients at the time of the inspection that if they want me to come back for any reason, my re-inspection fee is half the original fee.

I offer to bill through escrow when asked, but my escrow billing fee is $100, which is quite sufficient in encouraging them to pay me at the time of the inspection, which is what I want.

Wow! My fee’s are exactly as Russels.

Ditto Russel’s post! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I think it is important that the client is never surprised by our business procedures. All procedures should be disclosed to them before the inspection, preferably in writing. In this case, if I didn’t have anything in writing and had not disclosed my fees to the client, I would do it for free and call it a learning experience.

What about re-inspecting a different house for a client who, for whatever reason, doesn’t buy the first house you inspected? Do you charge full price for every inspection?

With the first home inspection report, my Clients, my Clients’ Realtor, and the seller’s Realtor all get a set of my gift certificates, customized with the name and address of each person. Gift certificates come in a set of three on already-perforated paper in the amounts of $20 (all inspections), $30 (inspections costing $399 or more) and $40 (inspections costing $599 or more).

By doing that I never have to contend with the Client or Realtor seeking special discounts for multiple inspections. It saves a lot of aggravation.


if you have E&O insurance, check the guidlines.

my insurance wont cover me unless an agreement is signed prior to inspecting.

Had exactly that situation today. I evaluate each situation based on the condition of the house. I feel like they deserve something off the normal price. But it depends on the cost of the 2nd inspection. If its a $275 inspection, I can’t afford to give them $50 off. But if it’s a $400 job, then perhaps. Today’s house was a $375.00 POS and I spent 4 hours on site. I’ll spend 4 hours on the report. I gave them $30 off and explained why I wish I could have done more.

Give them choices, Joe. And make sure it is two widely varying choices. For example, I give a percentage or actual dollars, whichever is highest.

My exact wording is, “Yes, I provide a repeat customer discount of 10% or $50 off, whichever is highest.”

People like percentages. With the inflation rate low, 10% is high. Dollars, of course, is dollars. And when they hear the phrase, “whichever is highest,” they’re ecstatic.

If you “can’t afford” the discount, there are two things to do: (1) raise your rates or (2) put that discount into your marketing budget.

Hey Everyone,

Thanks for the input, especially you Joe. I’ve added a re-inspection fee, settlement fee, and I only released my report after receiving the agreement.

Incidentally, I did go out for free on this one because it was not specified…as Joe put it, live and learn.

I do not have E & O, as my state does not require it. I run my business off of an LLC, and limit the damages awarded in arbitration to the amount of the inspection.

Again, THANK YOU for helping me out!!


Make sure your state allows limigint damages to the amount of the inspection. California does not.

Also know that you can get sued as part of a broadcase lawsuit in that the plaintiff sues everyone. Then you’ll still have to defend yourself, notwithstanding any agreement you have signed. Even if you and the plaintiff settle out of court, the other defendants usually have to approve the settlement. Additionally, the other defendants can come and cross-complain against you, requiring you to defend yourself yet again. All of that costs money, much money.

I personally would not be in a litigious industry such as ours without E&O insurance.