What is the best way to determine your home inspection prices?
After all, your time and skills are valuable, so you don’t want to sell yourself short. On the other hand, if you set your prices too high, you may lose potential customers to other home inspection businesses that charge less.
Several factors go into figuring out what your time is worth.
- Training: You spent many — dozens or even hundreds — of hours learning the ins and outs of the home inspection business. You likely took classes, studied, took tests and passed exams to prove your knowledge on the subject. All this takes time, and it goes to show your skill and ability as a home inspector.
- Supplies: As a home inspector, you need to invest in the tools of the trade. These might include an AFCI/GFCI tester, gas detector, and moisture meter. You may not need all tools for your particular business, but you will definitely need some. Depending on which you invest in, this can cost you hundreds of dollars. You will also need office supplies, such as inspection templates, business cards, invoices and more.
- Time: Performing a home inspection takes time, but remember to count the time you spend at home working on the final report. This often takes much longer than the physical home inspection, so it is important to document.
Home Inspection Prices
According to Homeadvisor.com, the average home inspection price in the U.S. is $315. They report the typical range is $270-$378.
Averages can be misleading, however. In sparsely populated, rural areas, the price may be much lower, and in big cities where the cost of living is higher, the price of a home inspection can be much higher too. The cost on the low end of the scale is $200, and it is $475 on the high end.
Home size matters in home inspection prices too. A condo will take much less time to inspect and write a report for than a single-family home, and a large (2,000-square-feet-plus) home will take more time than a smaller one.
Some home inspectors charge by the square foot, but this can backfire. Some older homes have issues that need to be looked at more carefully. So even though the home’s footprint might be small, it could take more time to inspect. Therefore, some home inspectors find charging by the hour provides for fairer and more accurate compensation.
What Is Included in Your Home Inspection Price?
Before setting your rates, decide what is included in a home inspection and for which services you will charge extra. For instance, most home inspections include electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, foundation, roof, fireplaces and general structural integrity.
What about checking for radon? Or asbestos? Or pest infestations? Infestations can sometimes be obvious, but this is not always the case. The presence of radon or asbestos would have to be confirmed with a test. You may need to invest in a radon detector, or enlist the services of a lab for confirmation of harmful substances such as lead or PCBs.
Look into how much extra providing these services will cost you, and set your rates according.
Remember, once you decide on home inspection prices, they are not set in stone. You can make adjustments as you get more comfortable with the process. You will also get faster as you gain experience, so this is a de facto raise for you since you will spend less time completing the home inspections but earn the same money.