How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

So you're spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home purchase, and paying the realtors 5 - 6% ($5,000 - $6,000 per $100,000) of the home's value. (Where do you think the seller gets the money to pay the realtors?)  Now it's time to find a Home Inspector and find out what they are going to charge.

No matter how much you pay for a Snickers Candy Bar or, where you buy it, you still get a Snickers Candy Bar.  Same quality.  Same taste.  Same appearance.

No matter how much you pay for a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup or, where you buy it, you still get a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup.  Same quality.  Same taste.  Same appearance.

That maxim does not hold true when buying an opinion.  And face facts, a Home Inspection is just the Home Inspector's opinion (and the Inspector's ability to communicate that opinion) of a particular house.  Hopefully it's an expert opinion based on knowledge, education, training, experience, and ability to communicate, but still just an opinion.

If a $50 or $100 difference in the price of the Home Inspector's opinion is more important to you than what the opinion is based on (knowledge, education, training, experience, ability to communicate, type of report received, whether you are welcome to attend the inspection, etc) and how much money that opinion can save you, (YES, SAVE YOU), then stop reading after this paragraph.  Go to the Yellow Pages, look under Home Inspections, and call each one asking just one question.  "How much do you charge?"  Don't waste your time asking any other questions or listening to the Inspector explain the level of service or their qualifications.  Just go until you get all through and then select the cheapest.  To my knowledge, in Central Kentucky, it's about $150.

Just remember, "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." (Author unknown)

If you DON'T want the cheapest, least experienced, desperate for work, inspector, read further.

Can you trust your realtor's recommendations?  Usually yes, if they give you a list with eight to ten or more Inspector's on it instead of just two or three names.  (There are almost 100 Home Inspectors in the Lexington, KY area.)  Just remember, they don't get paid if you don't buy the house.  I note the following real life experiences.

#1.         I recently had a client who, after asking several questions, told me, "I really feel I need an inspection.  My realtor emphasized several times that the house had just been remodeled so she didn't think I needed an inspection, but then she wanted me to sign a form saying that she recommended an inspection.  I just don't get it."  There was over $1,000.00 in defects noted during the inspection.

#2.         I'd been trying to get a particular realtor to put my company's name on his list of Inspectors for over three years.  He finally called wanting me to do an inspection for one of his clients.  Who was the client?  His son!  Of course, I've never heard from him again.

#3.         I'd been on a particular realtor's list of Inspectors for a couple of years.  About a year ago, a deal fell through and the inspection results were used by the buyer to get out of the contract.  (In talking to the buyer later, they told me that they'd just decided they didn't like the neighborhood and had to have a valid reason to back out.  {Their morals to their contractual obligations are another story})  In any case, I haven't heard from any of that agent's clients since then.  Recently the agent called me saying an inspection was needed for a property the agent and spouse was buying and it needed to be "one of the most thorough inspections you've ever done".  {The agent's morals to their obligations to their client are another story}  I did the inspection just like I do the rest of my inspections.  Thoroughly.

What should be more important to you than a $50 or $100 difference in price is what the Home Inspector bases the opinion on, how they communicate their opinion to you, the client and how much money you can save or money pits you can avoid.

The following questions regarding qualifications & cost apply.

My answers to these questions can be found at

 B4U Close Home Inspector Qualifications. 

 

What kind of report do you provide and when is it delivered?

What is your background?

What is your Training and Continuing Education:

Do you belong to any Professional Associations?

Does the Inspector offer any "Guarantees":

Does the inspector pay a referral fee to whoever referred you to them?

Does the inspector get paid a referral fee from or have a financial interest in the contractors he recommends?

Will the inspector offer to fix any of the problems found?

If the inspector offers other services, are they truly qualified to do so?

Now it's time to ask, How Much Do You Charge?