Its common here on the forum to see inspectors upset about inspectors pricing an inspection too low.
Here is the thought that goes through my head when I see an inspection price, lets use a home purchase inspection as an example.
2000 SF house - $249 home inspection.
1 hour preparation for the inspection (Permits, Scheduling)
3.5 Infield Inspection
3.5 Hours Creating and Reviewing Paperwork
1 Hour Explaining Report to Client
1 Hour Misc Customer Service
Total 10 Hours
Now lets add costs (Assuming 10 Inspections / Month)
Inspection Software - $10
E & O Insurance - $10
GL Insurance - $5
Auto Costs - $25
Taxes - $20
Marketing - $19
Net Inspection Fee $249 - $89 = $160
$160 / 10 hours = $16 per hour.
Now here is the worst part. What if the inspections slow down? Get hurt? Lawsuit?
I have a business education and I know the idea of underpricing in order to get a piece of the market. That really is a good idea for an industry giant. Walmart is a perfect example. They have the resources and the volume to really cut prices.
So whats the solution? Well if you have lower prices you must do more volume. Sounds good right? Well the problem is either you work so much that you no longer have a personal life, or your work quality can suffer.
The point I am making is that I understand that sometimes it feels that you have to drop prices to get work. I have seen inspection prices so low the inspector either cut corners or didn’t make much money on the work.
The next time a client calls you for an inspection listen to what they need. Take a few minutes and let your potential client know the effort you are going to provide. Ask for the price you know your work is worth. Don’t worry about what the competition charges. If you have created interest in your service the potential client should provide hints they feel your price is too high. Occasionally you may have to alter your price but more often than not if you have accomplished creating value in your service you will get the price you DESERVE for your service.
Look at the closing documents on the next real estate sale you are a part of. If you are charging $249 for an inspection your service is by far the cheapest per hour than most any other fee. Who is going to be left holding the bag when there is a problem discovered? The realtor? Title Company? No, you.