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  1. #1
    Nate Postrech's Avatar
    Nate Postrech Guest

    Default New Client, Second Inspection

    Hello,
    I have a quick question about charging a client for a home inspection on a second property. I have only been licensed for a year and a half and haven't had a client turn down a house after the inspection. I inspected the first one and they decided to pull out of the deal (due to a bowing foundation and the cost of flood insurance). They are now wanting me to inspect another potential property.
    What is the protocol for charging a client who turns down one house and calls you back to inspect another. Is it simply square footage and money, or is there some kind of discount I should provide? I know they don't have much money. Any input?

    Thanks


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Plano, Texas
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I give a 10% discounts to former clients, not that they expect it but I feel it provides good will and for me it is recognition that I don't have to spend as much time laying the ground work, setting expectations, etc. But it is your business and you set your prices.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Lancaster, CA
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    153

    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I too provide a discount to someone who's using my services for the second time... for the same purchase. Meaning, someone buying a home for themselves, not for investment. Not sure why it matters, but it does!


  4. #4
    Nate Postrech's Avatar
    Nate Postrech Guest

    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    Thanks for your replies! As is, I had already given them a 20% discount on their first inspection. I gave them a package which includes the normal prices, and they were happy to get a discount. If it generates referrals and more business, I'll be happy too!


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I charged full price for each inspection I did for a client because I was doing a complete new inspection for them.

    I did have one client that, after the 5th inspection, I offered her direct deposit ... after we both had a good humor laugh over it she said she might take me up on for the next inspection ... ... and, yes, there were two more inspections, and, no, she did not take the direct deposit option. And those inspections were back when I was only charging around $750 for those houses.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Nate Postrech's Avatar
    Nate Postrech Guest

    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    @ Jerry...
    I think about this too...there's an incredible amount of work that goes into the inspection and creating a report. These clients were impressed with the detail and effort. But at the same time, they simply want a good home to live in.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    St Paul, MN
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I'll discount on the third inspection. Usually about $25.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I might give a discount for a second one. Discounts are usually in the 10% range.
    Not sure why you gave them a 20% for the first one????? If I gave someone 20%, there would be no discount on a second.

    That said, they are taking up a time slot that could be filled with a full paying customer.

    I don't always give a discount for that reason.


  9. #9
    Nate Postrech's Avatar
    Nate Postrech Guest

    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    @ Jack... a 20% discount equaled $50 off their invoice. $50 will fill my gas tank, but if I get referrals from them it will equal much more. In theory. I believe in the spider web effect of word of mouth advertising...I know it works. A bit of a gamble, yes, but an ad will run me more than that anyway, which is a gamble in it's self. At least they have worked with me and can give an honest opinion.


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    Nate,
    Did you have to give that discount to land the job? Hopefully, they have seen the job you did, and are grateful that you saved them from buying a pile of crap, and will gladly pay full price on this next one.


  11. #11
    Nate Postrech's Avatar
    Nate Postrech Guest

    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    @ Jack...i gave them a discount because i know their situation. they contacted me for the inspection, i have no idea if they contacted any other home inspectors prior. i will and have recommended other home inspectors if i feel that i am not qualified to conduct the inspections they are looking for. this means money out of my pocket, but like i said..word of mouth is the best advertising. i don't b.s.


  12. #12
    Join Date
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    WESTMINSTER CO
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    guys

    used to give discounts-but figured they didn't buy because of what i found--shouldn't they owe me--also i could be doing a full priced inspection--just saying

    cvf


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I might give a slight discount on the second one depending on buyer circumstances. However, if they have moved on from the first property, and have chosen you for the second, they must be happy with you. Now that I am back in Florida, I might offer a free wind mitigation on the second inpsection, which is free for me anyway because I take all the pictures at the time of inspection anyway.

    When I was in Colorado, I had an inspection on the same summer cabin, 3 times in one month. It was Feb. and every time I went back, there was more snow. It was strange this summer cabin had so much activity in the winter, actually the last time, my 4x4 got stuck about 500 yards away. I guess my point is, I chose to go out to that cabin 3 times in one month, and do a full inspection. I found something new on the third inspection, that may, or may not have been ther the first, or second times.

    I guess the moral of the story is, I could have done the second, and third inspection from the comfort of my home, with the first inspection report. I did not do that.
    So, if someone calls you for a second inspection, use your own judgement.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    Some second time clients I raise the price by $50 It's like that sign you've seen a hundred times. It goes something like, "We reserve the right to raise our prices based on your attitude."

    Most, though, I do what several here have mentioned.... somewhere in the 10% range.


  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I've been giving modest discounts right off the bat to everybody as a 1st time client so no discounts the second, third, or fourth times around.

    Keep in mind the amount of work you have to do at the inspection and on the report are not reduced regardless of how much you charge. And your liability is still the same.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I sometimes give a break. Depends on the houses. I recently had a couple that I charged more for the second one. It was a even bigger piece of junk than the first. After a quick survey when I first arrived, I told them they really didn't want to buy it unless they had $25-50K to spend on it immediately. Heck, I might have taken $25 for gas at that point, but oh no, they wanted it.

    I've got to come up with a way to cut the report time way down on junkers. It's just not worth the time to record all the deficiencies and provide the explanation verbiage in every system of the home. Any suggestions?

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    I sometimes give a break. Depends on the houses.
    Ditto, depends on circumstances.
    I've got to come up with a way to cut the report time way down on junkers. It's just not worth the time to record all the deficiencies and provide the explanation verbiage in every system of the home. Any suggestions?
    Suggestion? Don't be lazy.
    You are charging for your service, and you want to meet or exceed your SOP, so you are obliged to produce a well written report. That said, it is not much help to write a long paragraph of generalities for every deficiency. You could skip that part. The clients will only read the highlights anyway. They can ask for more details if they need them. I have printouts I include with my report that explain a lot of stuff. Nobody ever calls for more info.

    I make sure I have the majors in the report, include more pics and write fewer multi-syllable words.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 08-20-2012 at 11:52 AM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I never offer a discount for a second inspection, unless the client asks for one. Then I'll usually give a small discount. Being in a service business, what we sell is our time and our time per inspection is the same on the second one as it was on the first.

    My record is only four inspections for the same client, although I have done several three's.

    Holy Cow Jerry! At $750 an inspection, no wonder you were able to retire at 35. Around here a guy trying to get that will just be trying............

    I'd move to Florida.......if it weren't Florida.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Holy Cow Jerry! At $750 an inspection, ...
    Lon,

    You missed a key word in there ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And those inspections were back when I was only charging around $750 for those houses.


    By the way, I missed that 35 mark by about 25 years ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Safety Harbor, FL
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I had the same situation the OP had. I gave a discount on the 2nd house which turned out to be a mistake.

    I should have known from the first inspection what type of house the buyers were interested in. The 2nd house was an REO which had been gutted by the prior owners. The inspection took quite sometime as did the report to complete based on the numerous issues involved. Buyer Beware or should I say Inspector Beware!


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,473

    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    When I see a system in a house that is deficient in multiple areas and aspects, I'll make a general statement in my report like "multiple areas of unsafe and unprofessional electrical installations noted in basement area - have entire electrical system serviced by a professional electrician and all repairs made as needed".

    Sometimes, a property has just way too many issues to allow you to squeeze every specific one of them into the report.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    1,394

    Default Re: New Client, Second Inspection

    I agree with Nick. I have found that disasters are usually easier to inspect than "normal" houses. Because I have done fixer-uppers myself, I have two investors that hire me as much for my ideas as my inspection and one of them has me inspect his fixers after his crew has done their work. And yep......he gets a discounted rate because I inspect twenty houses a year for him.


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