Running a home inspection business is challenging, but getting it off the ground in the first place can seem like a daunting task. One of the most troubling questions is how to set home inspection pricing.
Most inspectors don’t charge on an al la carte basis. A house is a house, and unless there’s something unusual about it, one costs the same as another. But there are differences in pricing across the country that can help give you a little guidance. You aren’t bound by any pricing rules, at least for the most part. But to stay competitive, it pays to set your rates in familiar territory.
General Home Inspection Costs
From coast to coast the average home buyer pays around $315 for a home inspection. That’s based on Home Advisor’s data, which shows an average range between $266 and $369. Of course your mileage may vary.
On the low end, some home inspection customers reported paying about $200 for a home inspection. And on the high end, some reported paying closer to $450. According to HUD, a realistic range is between $330 and $500, which is still close to the user-reported data at Home Advisor.
Here are a few average costs reported from different states, using the Home Advisor tool:
- California: $297
- Washington state: $364
- Texas: $309
- Illinois: $293
- Louisiana: $317
- New York: $382
- Florida: $291
- Vermont: $391
- Iowa: $270
Home Inspection Extras
A straightforward home inspection should cover all of the basics. That’s the usual visual inspection of appliances, the roof, flooring, HVAC, house foundation, attic and everything else included in the Standards of Practice that you follow. But for special inspections, customers pay more.
Some of the additional tests that might be important include radon, asbestos, mold and lead. In most locations, those inspections are performed by a different inspector. But some inspectors do both, and earn a little more. Specialty inspections typically range between $200 and $800. Some of the costs reported by Home Advisor include:
- Radon: $100 – $200
- Asbestos: $400 – $800
- Mold: $820
- Lead: $300
The Property Plays a Part in the Cost
Pricing on a home inspection varies by location, of course. But it also varies based on the size of the property. The costs that prevail across the country are representative of houses that fall into the “under 2,000 square feet” range. Small houses under 1,000 square feet often cost a bit less. But when you move up into larger homes that are over 2,000 square feet, the prices creep higher.
Special properties can also cost more. For example, Angie’s List says their users report that an inspection on a duplex or up-and-down unit in Chicago costs as much as $700. And an estate property with multiple buildings that’s located in the region could cost between $1,000 and $3,000.
Don’t be shy about setting rates. Although it’s one of the most challenging things that any business owner can do, it’s also one of the most important. Set your rates too low, and potential customers might wonder if you’ll do a good job. Set them too high, and you might frighten them away.
The best course of action is to stay someplace near the middle. Talk with home inspection association members, and strike up friendships with other inspectors in your area. Over time, you’ll gain a better idea of the prevailing home inspection rates in your immediate area. Until then, the averages give you a good place to start.
Not quite ready to take the next step and enroll? Why not get a demo of an ICA School home inspection course? That way, you can see first hand what our training is all about.