Determining Home Inspection Cost
When I opened this business, one of the many responsibilities I had was to come to a pricing schedule for my inspection services. One of the first things I did was research how other inspectors were determining home inspection cost, as well as recall the price of the inspections I had performed for me in the past.
For my home inspection cost estimates, I started with a solid price of $400 for anything up to 3000 square feet and then increased my pricing once I got to that mark, but I wasn’t getting any uptake. One real estate professional finally spoke up and said I needed a range of cost via a sliding scale. Well that certainly made sense, so I sat down and put pencil to paper and came up with a sliding scale.
At first, my low end was too low. I did an inspection for $250. When I got home, I swore I would never inspect a house for so little money again. I worked very hard on the inspection, got back to my office and still had the report to write. It was exhausting for very little compensation. After the report was written I sat there and came to a different pricing schedule. I had to figure in the cost of fuel, my time, insurance fees, license fees, and office stuff like computers, phones, software and other miscellaneous items that cost a business as well.
I concluded that in order for me to perform a proper inspection, that the minimum home inspection cost couldn’t be any lower than $350. That price point was assigned to structures under 1000 square feet, which usually meant 2 bedrooms one bath, the kitchen and mechanicals plus the exterior and unconditioned areas such as the attic and crawlspace. That made sense. As the property size increased, my fee would increase as well. Every 500 square feet I increased my fee by $50.
As the opportunities for larger homes came about, my time on site and at my desk increased, but so did my income. This new procedure kept me happy, but more importantly, it kept my clients and the realtors happy as well. I started doing inspections with this new pricing schedule and It worked. I was proving a great service to future home buyers and I felt good about it.
Adjusting Home Inspection Costs
Recently, I had to go through a price increase. Fees were increasing around me, but my pricing remained the same. I chose to increase my fees $25 across the board. At first, I felt awkward about it, but not long after I made the fee increase, it felt right. I was still providing the same great service, and my attitude towards the service brightened as well.
I didn’t realize it, but as the cost of doing business increased and it was harder for me to keep afloat, my attitude towards the inspections soured a bit. I was still doing the same great inspections, but I didn’t feel the joy of helping to educate a buyer on their new investment with the smile and bright eyes I had been offering as my persona in the past.
You Get What You Pay For!
Every so often I get a phone call from a potential buyer asking about pricing for an inspection. This person is obviously looking for the cheapest inspector possible. My price schedule is nowhere near the most expensive, and I certainly have no interest in being the cheapest guy in town, but every time I field a call like that it really makes me think to myself, “What do people expect?”
Still to this day, when I field a call and the other person on the end of the line is just getting a quote, I hang up and move on. They’re not going to call back because all they want is the cheapest guy.
Folks, when it comes to home inspections, just like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. I am not now, nor will I ever be the cheapest guy. I am college educated and committed to whatever it is that I produce in this lifetime. If it has my name on it, you will know it was done to the highest standard of my abilities.
While my home inspections are priced fairly, I can say with utmost confidence that you receive more value for your money than you will with anyone else.
Now, some inspectors are a bit tired, sore or just plain bored with the vocation they have chosen for themselves. These people have come to charge a large amount for their inspections. I feel it is partially because they feel as though they’ve come to earn that amount of money, or they have some kind of program they are paying for that helps add extra insurance to their inspections to cover themselves should they have made a mistake.
I feel that if the inspector does his job correctly, takes his time to review the structure, especially in those hard to get to areas that most folks would rather not go into, there really shouldn’t be a need for an exorbitant home inspection cost.
I believe it is important to ask oneself who they are and what they want to give. I am an excellent inspector and I want to give any prospective client what it is they really need – a proper education on their next big investment. When you call Octopus Home Inspections, you can expect a cheerful attitude, and the diligence to get it done right the first time. We strive to offer the service you want but didn’t realize it was available or where to find it.