Each Inspector will find their fee ranges and calculation methods. If this approach works for you then congratulations!
First you are comparing yourself to a “commodity” (the steak) and not properly as a “service”. That approach always attracts those looking for a “one size fits all” price. Secondly “perception” is a double edged sword especially when you are hoping to establish a referral base. People do talk about what they paid for an inspection when they refer you to others. In your example when the $700K homeowner refers you to the $5M home buyer for the same size and amenity homes be ready to explain why you have charged so much more IF the $5M buyer even bothers to call you! Human nature has the $5M buyer wondering if they are being gouged and they won’t waste their time calling or are not serious about using your services.
What you are inferring is that all ““rich” buyer” 's are shallow, assuming, and ignorant. That certainly is not the case. Some may not care what they spend their money on while the others are very intelligent and became rich because they did not just throw their money away on services and items that do not benefit themselves/their situation in one way or another. It is the vast majority of the others that are not ignorant that will see through the “gouge game” and go elsewhere for services they need.
You have now crossed into a slippery area where you plan to target so called “mansion” buyers simply because of the the price of the home qualifies it, in your estimate, as a mansion. What is your home sale price “price point” low end before it no longer qualifies as a “mansion”? I know your service area (per your site) and the prices are all over the place there with homes even near each other having vastly different prices for the same size home and some even higher than larger sized homes. At what point are you classifying a home a “mansion”?
There is some truth to this that a very knowledgeable and Veteran Inspector taught me long, long ago. The truth part is that it does not matter what you charge for your inspection when the buyer has a commodity (Wal-Mart) outlook on services there is always the LowBall Inspector out there that will get the job. Of course the LowBall guy is typically not even worth the price they charge, the buyer/client is going to get screwed, and the only question is how long will it take the client to figure it out and how are they going to go after the LowBall Inspector. While that’s happening I’ll be getting the clients I was intended to get which so far have all been really great people!
The not so true part is the “personality” comment. First a persons character is difficult to pinpoint when all you get is that first shot at selling your services. People like their privacy and you’re not going to figure out their “personality” from a short call selling your services. You have to engage them to find out even the smallest amount of character traits. In other words you need to sell them on your services by learning at least a little about them. If you do it properly you will be surprised how many people are of really great character but just don’t understand our industry and services and why your prices are so much different than other Inspectors. Here you’re assuming again that those willing to throw away their money, without ever understanding what they’re getting, are ignorant and of low character. That’s a bad approach to selling your services!
If there is so much money out there like you claim why would you start at 33 cents a square foot and go down to 20 cents a square foot over 3000 Sq. Ft.?? Using your 5000 Sq. Ft. home as an example you’re only making $1400.00 for the inspection when you could have made $1,650.00 for the same inspection. Using your “logic” the person buying the $5M home can afford the $1,650.00 price.
Now let’s use another example which is a true HUGE house of 10K Square Feet that is a very big job when inspected properly. Obviously that size house will typically be in the more affluent areas and have a great deal more to inspect and deal with and consume a great deal more time when properly inspecting it. Using your pricing schedule you’re inspecting that house for only $2,400.00. Hell even I wouldn’t touch that house for that little and it has nothing to do with sales price as a factor! In this case you’ve left some serious money on the table and opened yourself up to a host of other issues.
Your pricing schedule for your cost of living is a bit bewildering to me. The Left and Right Coast locations are high cost of living places and I find it hard to believe the low prices I’ve seen some charging!
I don’t disagree with your position on charging more, as I certainly do exactly that, but I got the distinct impression early on in this thread that the OP simply wanted to charge more in high end gated communities, regardless of house size.
I don’t think many here agree with that specific tactic, but, to each their own.
I did an inspection like this. There’s some sticker shock, but I had 2 inspectors that took 6 hours to do the inspection. Larger houses take so much longer… and then you have the report that’s going to easily be double the size.
Your statement of two hours work on a 5000 square-foot house tells me you’re just briefly going through the property getting there reviewing the inspection report with the client preparing the report is certainly more than two hours if you’re charging $1000 for two hours you’re charging too much no thousand dollars for 3.5 hoursTo four hours on the site and then having to drive back to office prepare report review reports with realtors and clients who thousand dollars appears to be a minimal charge
Thanks for your reply srechkin, your indication that your inspect are 1 hour on a 5,000 sq ft house is amazing. I see lawsuits in your future not unless you disclaim everything. I’ve been at it since 1989 and all I can say is wow. Not in my league. Thank god I’m ending my career because if inspections are 1 hour they are going down hill. I would not recognize any inspection that is just an hour. May the force be with you. don’t bother replying
A lot depends on your area. Where I’m at in the midwest I have a butt load of InterNACHI and ASHI inspectors (including a few PE’s) that have a base fee of $295 to $345 for any house up to 3,500sf to 4,000sf and say up to 60-70 yrs old. Then they add $25 for every 500sf. Sales Price is NOT in the formula AND we have basements.
My base is $409 up to 2,000sf. At say 5,000sf I’m very often $200-$250 higher than most others. My scheduling service tells me I’m cheap compared to many newer / less experienced inspectors on the west coast.
Our last 3 houses were 6,800sf to 9,000sf + 2 had carriage houses.
Wow. That sounds great. $20,000 to inspect a $2 million house. That sure is a lot more money than I would have expected, even in Canadian money. I hope you can do a lot of these houses and retire early.