The cost of a home inspection varies, mostly according to the economic parameters of the area in which you work.
Homeadvisor.com puts the typical range between $278 and $388, and the national average at $325. The best way to help determine how to set your prices is to find out how much everyone else in your area is charging.
You likely won’t be able to charge more than the average in your area and make much money. It’s tempting to start out by charging less than the other home inspectors, based on the premise that you are new and need to prove yourself.
However, the Guardian reports that lower prices can act as a red flag for your inexperience. Further, if your prices are too low for you to make money, you will soon be out of business even if you’re really busy.
Home Inspectors Have a Revolving Door for Clients
In a way, home inspection services are different from many other businesses. You don’t get and keep customers; often you only see them once. You don’t get a lot of repeat business.
Still, you want your customers to be happy, lest they leave bad reviews about you online.
If you live in a small town where many people know each other, you may know an established home inspector who gets much of the business. In cases like these, you will have to look for ways to differentiate yourself. Maybe you could offer more add-ons. Maybe you could earn more certificates in areas relating to your field. Or consider a marketing ploy, like offering 15 percent off to first-time home-buyers.
The ASHI Reporter brings up the fact that frequently, home inspection prices are the same for every home, regardless of size. But even though each home has only one HVAC system and one roof, it really does take longer to inspect a larger house.
Consider a tiered pricing structure if you have a variety of different-sized homes in your area. This may set you apart from the competition.
Set Your Prices, Then Focus on Marketing
Once you decide on a price — or prices — make your rates well-known by publishing them on your website and in your advertising materials. But tell people what they get when they hire you. Make sure they understand the value of your services.
If you are a new home inspector, you may not be able to boast much experience. But if you worked for 20 years as a building contractor (or electrical or plumbing, etc.), this is valuable experience as well.
Because there are no national standards for home inspections, this can make the profession sometimes seem sketchy. If you have a background in building and a home inspection certificate, this can lend your business a level of legitimacy others don’t have.
The more you learn and the more experience you gain, the more you will be able to charge. Attend industry conferences and take continuing education classes. Teach a class at the local community college, go on a home improvement radio show, or take other steps to show yourself to be an expert in your field.
These achievements will be infinitely more valuable to your business than your longevity in the field. Home buyers are nervous and feel vulnerable. They count on you to give them good information about the home they intend to buy. Too often, home inspectors don’t have the skills they need to be experts in their field. Someone with proven construction and home system knowledge is sure to come out on top.
To get your home inspection certificate or to learn more about becoming a home inspector, check out our website today.