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  1. #1
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    Default ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    HEY ALL

    here i go again. had a desperate home inspector under bid me today for a job scheduled for wed.had schedule since last friday. could have scheduled another job. this sucks, at least six times in last two months this has happened. ready for his price??? total square footage-6000

    $250. my price was state competive $550.

    how do you do that. oh well you get what you pay for. last time this happened to me buyer agent called me and said inspector who under bid me by $200, didn't include pictures, so at inspection buyer said YES I WANT PICTURES. wacko another $120 for pictures. and guess what he used??? his freaking cell phone.

    anyone experiencing these d-heads out there

    charlie

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    "anyone experiencing these d-heads out there"

    Ask Ted

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I bid $295 for a 1900 SQ ft double wide.

    I was told the other guy said $175. Knock yourself out.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Just weather the storm. They will not be around in six months. The free market will see to that.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    With all the new home inspector schools popping up and associations automatically certifying inspectors, the cheap home inspectors will be around for a good long time.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Would you really want to work with a client that thinks you're not worth your rate? Occasionally price shoppers will call and ask me my price, and then state that my competition charges $25 less. I tell them to go for it! Twenty five measly bucks!


  7. #7
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I get this from time to time. I used to think it was new and desperate guys doing HI's so cheap. From my experience that's only a moderate percentage of it. More often in my experience it is the checkbox guys doing it so cheap.
    I've seen a number of those reports. If I could stomach doing such garbage work, I would probably also do them that cheap.
    I know this because I've been hired to do HI after the client has already paid another HI and gotten a garbage checkbox report. Haven't had any yet this year; had some in 09; and a whole bunch in 08.
    As much as those reports may meet the SOP, they typically aren't very informative, detailed or helpful. Whenever I've been hired after a checkbox guy, it's always for the same two reasons; 1) client realizes the other guys report is garbage; or 2) neither they or anyone they've shown the report to can figure out what it is supposed to mean.
    And yes the cheap guys will be around for a long time. Certain clients gravitate to them.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I guess I don't see a correlation between what an inspector charges and how competent they are. A great inspector can be cheap and a terrible inspector can charge outrageous prices. Heck I do great free inspections for some people. If I charged them $500 it would be the same great inspection.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post

    I guess I don't see a correlation between what an inspector charges and how competent they are
    ..
    .
    .
    Exactly Correct.
    * at least from reading " Your Input."
    .

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    hey james

    what do you charge for a 6000- sq ft home???--$250 or do you ask what the last inspector quoted and them wam them with the lower price to get work. my thread stated what the last under bid got the client. hope you are not a low baller. my inspections start at $295--under 2000 sq ft---6000 SQFT AT $250.. WAS THAT YOU WHO UNDER BID ME

    competents is priceless as far as i'm concerned and so is my time and education and expertise.

    charlie


  11. #11
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    . . .

    Last edited by Bruce Breedlove; 03-24-2010 at 01:00 AM. Reason: no need to make myself a target
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I guess I don't see a correlation between what an inspector charges and how competent they are. A great inspector can be cheap and a terrible inspector can charge outrageous prices. Heck I do great free inspections for some people. If I charged them $500 it would be the same great inspection.
    I agree. I charge $300 for a smaller than 1000 square feet house and average $475 a job (not many houses over 4000 square feet around here). I have an office building in a nearby town and a full time secretary - hired her from a friend of a friend. If I was able to lower my prices but keep the same service my company offers, does that mean I do terrible home inspection?

    On the other hand, if many of you would get that office building and hire an employee other than your wife or daughter, then you would have to charge more which would make my life easier when it comes to giving prices over the phone.

    So I guess it depends how you look at things. You have a guy offering home inspection for $250 for a 6000 square foot house. Then there is another home inspector offering $550 for a 6000 square foot house, then you have myself that charges $825 for a 6000 square foot house.

    Yet I don't complain. My success or failure is mine and only mine.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    The truth of the matter is none of us knows anything about any other inspector who gets the job over us unless we have first-hand knowledge. I think the generalizations that are made about lower priced inspectors being incompetent, here today and gone tomorrow, or fly-by-nighters is just the inspector blowing off steam about the lost job with no real basis for the claim. Unless you actually attend the other inspector's inspection or see their report, you just don't know.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    NICK-KEVIN AND ALL

    agent called me on todays inspection that i lost to the $250 inspector.

    no pictures-- hand written carbon copy report---about 15 pages he was there two hours

    6000 sq ft--my report at least 60 pages, with 15 pages of home owner tips at end of report.

    you get what you pay for like i said

    kevin i like the $825 for your inspection. but my price is pretty much with my competitors here in colorado.

    i never said cheap inspectors were incompetent, just desperate. but maybe i stand corrected on that.TWO HOURS. thats a 900 sq ft condo in my world

    after that cancel i got a call for another inspection that day, so not a total loss

    charlie


  15. #15
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    I lost an inspection today: A 6500 sf house built in 1989 with an indoor pool. I discounted it to $995. They got another "bid" for $500. I say, go for it. Buying a multi million dollar home and you're concerned about $495?? I honestly felt I was cheating myself at 995, I inspected the home in 2003 and it took over 12 hours with the inspection and report and I imagine it hasn't gotten better with time.
    People will learn, it just takes time.
    Those are the buyers I scratch my head at Fritz. They obviously have the money for the house. Did you by any chance bring up the fact that you already inspected the house in the past and how much time you had to sink into it?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I look at it as the low priced guys are just willing to work for less. They might know what their service is worth, or have no idea of what is really costs them to be in business. They might be part time and feel that "anything" is better than nothing, and they need a few bucks.
    I don't spend a lot of time trying to wrap my head around why some of these guys are pricing their services so low. They won't be around long.

    Kevin, there may be some guy's that have their wife working for free, but I pay my wife a salary, same as I pay myself a salary.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    It is frustrating trying to compete against others that discount so much. Maybe they don't have to pay taxes or have figured out another way to circumvent normal business practices. I've seen the same in the trades. Had a Master Carpenter that was worth his weight in gold only to lose his lively hood to unskilled (mostly undocumented) labor because they were cheap. He charge a fair wage and was worth it - never had to worry about his work & actually made me money because of his reputation. Now the low -bid "cutt throats" do about 80% of the job and hope you don't discover their shoddy work. I guess that why I have an inspector's job - to catch the bad ones. It's the same with plumbers, electricians and mechanical contractors. The state is supposed to help clean this up, but I just found out investigation & enforcement has been cut back due to budget constraints.
    My advice is to have a Plan B. In this economy, political climate and questionable ethics/ moral, in order to stay in business and feed your family, you are going to have to do more than REI's. We had plenty of TRCC inspections (Texas) until the Sunset provision killed it, and with a soft economy, inspections have fallen off considerably. Now we're trying to get jobs using REMrate, HERSrater, anything energy related. But, so is everyone else and it is getting harder to make a buck. Like I said, have a Plan B, maybe even a C, D, E, or F.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Kevin, there may be some guy's that have their wife working for free, but I pay my wife a salary, same as I pay myself a salary.
    That's great but the costs are different even if the hourly rate is the same.

    I was just saying that everyones requirements are different which results in some being able to charge less than others.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I'm very lucky. I'm the 'oldest' inspector (since 1993) in a relatively small area. I am staying busier than most, but I lose inspections occassionally to low bids. I've changed my response to when I hear "but ABC only charges...". My most recent is "My fee is based on my experience, professionalism, and detailed report. Apparently so is his."

    I refuse to lower my fee, not even $25. One thing I have not seen mentioned here- perhaps we should count our blessings that we don't work for these people. The type of client that is shopping price instead of quality is the type of client that will never be satisfied with your report. Even though your inspection and report blows the $250 guy away, the client does not know that. All they know is you charged more so you should have dug up the rear yard and checked all those subsurface drains. This is the type of client that will sue you 4 years later because the 20 year old furnace stopped working.

    The $250 guy thinks it's better to make $250 than to sit home and watch a ball game. He has never figured out what his per-inspection costs are.

    I think it's better to sit home and watch a ball game than to inspect a 6000 sf home for a client than will only pay $250.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy West View Post
    I'm very lucky. I'm the 'oldest' inspector (since 1993) in a relatively small area. I am staying busier than most, but I lose inspections occassionally to low bids. I've changed my response to when I hear "but ABC only charges...". My most recent is "My fee is based on my experience, professionalism, and detailed report. Apparently so is his."

    I refuse to lower my fee, not even $25. One thing I have not seen mentioned here- perhaps we should count our blessings that we don't work for these people. The type of client that is shopping price instead of quality is the type of client that will never be satisfied with your report. Even though your inspection and report blows the $250 guy away, the client does not know that. All they know is you charged more so you should have dug up the rear yard and checked all those subsurface drains. This is the type of client that will sue you 4 years later because the 20 year old furnace stopped working.

    The $250 guy thinks it's better to make $250 than to sit home and watch a ball game. He has never figured out what his per-inspection costs are.

    I think it's better to sit home and watch a ball game than to inspect a 6000 sf home for a client than will only pay $250.
    Randy, good to see you posting! Long time no hear, speak or see!

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Kevin,
    Not sure I understand. If I pay my wife say $25K, how does that differ from paying Jane Smith 25K? I still have to pay taxes and benefits.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Kevin,
    Not sure I understand. If I pay my wife say $25K, how does that differ from paying Jane Smith 25K? I still have to pay taxes and benefits.
    Jack, I'm guessing that Kevin's assertion in your situation is that the money paid to salary for your wife stays in house (your house).


  23. #23
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    .
    I'm guessing that Kevin's assertion in your situation is that the money paid to salary for your wife stays in house (your house).
    .
    .
    Unless She leaves The House and Goes Shopping !
    .
    .

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I got this from a website
    How much does it cost to hire an employee? It's more than just paying a salary.

    For every employee you hire, you are responsible not only for each employee's compensation but also for each employee's associated payroll taxes.

    Let's say you hired a W-2 employee named Nick, and you wanted to pay Nick $10 per hour. On top of all the deductions taken from Nick's paycheck, you, as the employer, will also have to pay payroll taxes and other expenses (also known as liabilities).

    The table below gives you an idea of what those payments might look like:

    Payment
    Percentage of employee's gross wages that the employer must pay
    Social Security 6.2%
    Medicare 1.45%
    Federal + state unemployment insurance 2-6% (this varies — 4% is typical for new employers)
    Workers' Compensation insurance (varies depending on insurance provider and type of work being performed) ~5%
    Other local payroll taxes (depends on location) 1-2% (local taxes paid by the employer are usually a flat fee per employee ranging from $2-$4 or a percentage of total payroll for all employees)
    Total: ~15%
    So, for every $10 you pay Nick, it will actually cost you about $11-12 dollars per hour to employ him. Keep in mind that this is roughly how much it will cost before offering any employee benefits, providing any work supplies (like a computer) or spending time training him. As a general rule of thumb, depending on your state and local laws, payroll taxes can add 15% or more to the total cost of hiring an employee
    I pay a little over 13%.

    Paying your wife is great, but I would think your wife paying the taxes above (which is required for me to do) would be a waste of your money.

    Most full time home inspectors I've seen gross $30,000 to $60,000 a year around here. Paying at least $23,500 (it's more) for a secretary, takes a chunk out of the earnings.

    Last edited by Kevin Luce; 03-26-2010 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Changed waist to waste. :)

  25. #25
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy West View Post
    The $250 guy thinks it's better to make $250 than to sit home and watch a ball game. He has never figured out what his per-inspection costs are.

    I think it's better to sit home and watch a ball game than to inspect a 6000 sf home for a client than will only pay $250.
    So it's better to sit home that day and watch a ball game. What happens if that happens all week? All month? All year?

    I guess what I'm saying is if you're loosing inspections (for whatever reason) you should do something about it. Use that lost inspection time to do some marketing, continuing education or something to hopefully give you more inspections.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    So it's better to sit home that day and watch a ball game. What happens if that happens all week? All month? All year?

    I guess what I'm saying is if you're loosing inspections (for whatever reason) you should do something about it. Use that lost inspection time to do some marketing, continuing education or something to hopefully give you more inspections.
    I agree.

    I can understand what was written about inspecting a 6000 sq. ft. house for $250. I'm just wondering why he is doing it sooo cheap. If I wanted to be the cheapest to get the job, I might be $50 or at the most $100 cheaper than anyone else. But to charge $300 less than the average doesn't make sense to me.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    So it's better to sit home that day and watch a ball game. What happens if that happens all week? All month? All year?

    I guess what I'm saying is if you're loosing inspections (for whatever reason) you should do something about it. Use that lost inspection time to do some marketing, continuing education or something to hopefully give you more inspections.

    Of course you are right. I don't really stay home and watch a ball game. (I'd rather ride my motorcycle into the mountains). I was making the point that by the time you add all your costs per inspection, you probably didn't make a dollar on that 6000 sf inspection. And you have all the liability.

    It would be much more productive to network, work on your ads, or read these blogs. Anything that could get you more business or make you a better inspector. I had a very slow month in '09. Once i caught up on upgrading my databases, polishing my report templates, etc. I went to speak at Realtor offices. I hadn't done that in 10 years, and it helped. Old Realtors that stopped referring me when I was very busy (10 days out) started calling me again. That was MUCH more productive than earning $20 an hour inspecting a 6000 sf home.


  28. #28
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    Post Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Geeezzz. And here I feel "bad" some times when I calculate my fee, and it comes out to be something like $550 for about 3000 ft. sq.. It has been a long time getting over that, but it costs money to do an inspection, and it takes time to do an inspection properly. Brian's "Cost of Doing Business" is a good tool to use. I recently lost an inspection to a low-baller. My fee came in at $330, and I am guessing theirs came in around $225-295. The potential client was from out of state, and using a local brokerage house that loves these out of state clients. Once the deal is in ink, the agent will lean hard on them to get the inspection done right away. Urgent! Fast as possible! Fire! Fire! And they fell for it. The low-baller had an opening the next day, my opening was two days away. The client had been told to use me by their father, no less! And so it goes.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I think I have this thing figured out. Some inspectors do not charge enough and some inspectors charge too much. If I can make $50 to $60 per hour I am happy. Just call me crazy!


  30. #30
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Where do these attitudes about price shopping buyers come from......."Higher prices and standards are one way of weeding out the slimeball clients." So the buyers who opt to hire a lower-priced inspector are slimeballs.

    Or this one "perhaps we should count our blessings that we don't work for these people. The type of client that is shopping price instead of quality is the type of client that will never be satisfied with your report. ." So price shoppers are automatically difficult clients who will never be pleased.

    ....Slimeball clients
    ....these people

    I guess the price that a buyer is willing to pay for their inspection is what makes them an acceptable person in some inspector's eyes.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Higher fees doesn't mean somebody won't sue you Fritz. Wouldn't somebody who can afford to pay a higher inspection fee have more financial means to hire a lawyer ($$$) than a person who can only afford to pay a lower inspection fee? Just because somebody is willing to pay more money for an inspection doesn't automatically make them rational clear thinking people. And it doesn't mean they won't come after you if they think you screwed up or prevent them from being the type of people who want something for nothing.

    My logic is fine. Maybe I just don't understand the whole perceived connection between lower inspection fees and less than desirable clients. I've had clients who bought big houses and paid big fees I could have done without. It goes both ways.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 03-27-2010 at 03:35 PM.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I guess I'm a slimeball since every time I've bought a vehicle I've tried to get a lower price. I've never sued anyone though, so maybe I'm not.

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Well what are you waiting for Ken? It's time to start suing and living up to your slimeball lineage. Hasn't your vehicle caused you financial hardship and strain with all the gas it uses and repair bills?


  34. #34
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Sorry Fritz but call me obtuse. Care to break it down into laymens terms for those of us who don't get what you're saying?


  35. #35
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    If it makes anyone fell better or worse I am all for it I am all about feelings.

    It is my experience of being in and around this inspection thing for a few decades.

    My experience is that whenever I have offered lower prices it is asking to be hounded to death and also get run down homes, crawl space homes, older (much) homes, buyers looking to have a life long relationship about everything in there home for ever with no further charge from you, expect you to come back to re-inspect because they paid you so much money the first time around that it is your obligation etc etc etc.

    Yes, on very many occasions all of the above is true.

    Someone that wants a decent price for a professional that does not pull any punches and tells it like it is , is always the best client. Not over priced and not under priced.

    The high dollar payers feel somehow that you are now at their beckon call so you better charge that 1000 for the 6000 sf home because you are going to earn it. If the 6000 sf home has a three car garage and a pool and a termite inspection I might charge them in the upper 6s. On that home thaey are definately paying for any come back as well. But with them as in any client my obligation ends when the inspection ends. I am not there puppet or lap dog. The low baller that you gave a price (low) based on a friend and 10th generation referral is always a pain in the ass. You must nip that in the butt before beginning the inspection.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    But with them as in any client my obligation ends when the inspection ends.
    Am I to understand you do not accept questions from your client post inspection?


  37. #37
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Am I to understand you do not accept questions from your client post inspection?
    Never said that

    The inspection stops. The relentless pursuit to get one to come back for free stops. The idea that they own me for life and will be my boss for ever stops. The microwave was working when I inspected it and after I leave my obligation stopped (at the time of inspection).


  38. #38
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I tell every one of my clients at the end of the inspection that if they ever have any questions about the house before they move in, after they move in, or a year from now, they should feel free to call or send me an e-mail. Phone and e-mail consultation are always free. Some take me up on it and some clients will still contact me up to a year or more after their inspection. Not to gripe but just for advice. One couple in particular who does this is somebody I have done three inspections for. And they have sent at least 5 of their friends my way since that first inspection.

    Personally, I feel that if I go the extra mile for my clients and they recognize it that it helps reduce the chances of callbacks. Like most of us here on this board, I've had clients who had something go bad within a month or so of them moving into the house (ie- basement flooding, sanitary drain stack inside wall developed leak, etc.). But, I never heard from the client about these issues. I heard about it from their realtor. Why aren't these clients calling me and looking for me to do something? I don't know. I'd like to think it is because I took the time to find everything I could for them during their inspection and never made them feel like they were a hindrance with their questions or inquiries. I invite them to be part of the inspection and ask any and all questions that spring to mind.

    One thing I do that I think helped me not get a callback involved the client whose cast iron drain line from the 2nd floor bathroom (the only bathroom in the house) cracked and had to be replaced. The crack was inside the wall/ceiling area of a ceramic tile floor bathroom. Their bathroom was out of commission for close to a month for repairs. At the end of every inspection, I make it a point to take one last run through the basement to see if any leaks showed up during the time we are there and I announce that I am doing this for all to hear. If I don't see anything, that's that. I did what I could. They were there and saw what I did. Now not all cleints may end it there but I believe keeping your clients in the loop throughout the inspection only bodes in your favor.

    I don't think you can win everybody over but I think you can put more clients in your corner and reduce callbacks but involving them in the inspection process. I said this in another thread that I really think the hands-off approach some guys on here employ with their clients hurts their chances at referrals from those clients. Telling a client that you shouldn't be interrupted, or that you'll come back to them at the end of the inspection, or that they shouldn't show up until you're almost done just puts a bullseye on your back that doesn't need to be there. If you tick them off in any way with an anti social or a "leave me alone" approach to the inspection, you may just make yourself an unwitting target.


  39. #39
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I tell every one of my clients at the end of the inspection that if they ever have any questions about the house before they move in, after they move in, or a year from now, they should feel free to call or send me an e-mail. Phone and e-mail consultation are always free. Some take me up on it and some clients will still contact me up to a year or more after their inspection. Not to gripe but just for advice. One couple in particular who does this is somebody I have done three inspections for. And they have sent at least 5 of their friends my way since that first inspection.

    Personally, I feel that if I go the extra mile for my clients and they recognize it that it helps reduce the chances of callbacks. Like most of us here on this board, I've had clients who had something go bad within a month or so of them moving into the house (ie- basement flooding, sanitary drain stack inside wall developed leak, etc.). But, I never heard from the client about these issues. I heard about it from their realtor. Why aren't these clients calling me and looking for me to do something? I don't know. I'd like to think it is because I took the time to find everything I could for them during their inspection and never made them feel like they were a hindrance with their questions or inquiries. I invite them to be part of the inspection and ask any and all questions that spring to mind.

    One thing I do that I think helped me not get a callback involved the client whose cast iron drain line from the 2nd floor bathroom (the only bathroom in the house) cracked and had to be replaced. The crack was inside the wall/ceiling area of a ceramic tile floor bathroom. Their bathroom was out of commission for close to a month for repairs. At the end of every inspection, I make it a point to take one last run through the basement to see if any leaks showed up during the time we are there and I announce that I am doing this for all to hear. If I don't see anything, that's that. I did what I could. They were there and saw what I did. Now not all cleints may end it there but I believe keeping your clients in the loop throughout the inspection only bodes in your favor.

    I don't think you can win everybody over but I think you can put more clients in your corner and reduce callbacks but involving them in the inspection process. I said this in another thread that I really think the hands-off approach some guys on here employ with their clients hurts their chances at referrals from those clients. Telling a client that you shouldn't be interrupted, or that you'll come back to them at the end of the inspection, or that they shouldn't show up until you're almost done just puts a bullseye on your back that doesn't need to be there. If you tick them off in any way with an anti social or a "leave me alone" approach to the inspection, you may just make yourself an unwitting target.

    You're a smart man Nick - you are 100% correct. Always welcome questions and never make them feel as if they're a hinderance, take your time, be thorough as possible, and do the best you can and you'll have their friends and family as future clients for years to come.


  40. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I was at a NAHI national conference where the last presentation of the day was on electrical. I had heard the speaker for the presentation was very animated which seemed to be just what I needed to keep me focused at the end of the day. Well the speaker got started and was pretty upbeat and I thought "Great. This should be good". Then he said something that took the whole thing downhill......"I don't have time to answer any questions because there is too much to cover. If you have any questions, ask me at the bar afterwards". HUH??? Everybody thought he was kidding but he wasn't. Some guys tried asking questions but his reply was the same every time......"I have too much to cover. Ask me at the bar afterwards". For two hours, we had to listen to this jackass spout and talk and watch him deflect questions. He could have been Edison and Westinghouse all rolled into one but his refusal to answer questions ruined my perception of him as an educator in my eyes. When it came time to complete a survey about the conference, I gave him the lowest scores possible.


  41. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Prescott, AZ
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    91

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I guess I'm a slimeball since every time I've bought a vehicle I've tried to get a lower price. I've never sued anyone though, so maybe I'm not.
    There is a big difference here. I look for the best deal on a car too. If you're buying a 2010 Mustang GT, they're all exactly the same (or should be). So the only thing to negotiate is the price, or perhaps free oil changes or an extended warranty.

    Now if you go into a Rolls Royce dealer and try to negotiate by saying the Kia down the street does the same thing (starts and stops, gets you to work), would you be a slimeball? No, just very unrealistic. That's how I feel about price-shopping homebuyers. They should be looking for the best value, which is not always (seldom?) the same as the best price.

    We are a service, not a product. If you needed heart surgery would you be calling every heart surgeon and ask what their fees are? I doubt it. I know we're not heart surgeons, but that a better analogy than buying a manufactured product.

    BTW-, I never used (or use) the word 'slimeball' when talking about buyers. I simply said that from my experience the buyers that try to negotiate price are more likely to turn into unhappy clients. And this does not mean the buyer of inexpensive homes, that are less likely to afford an attorney. The opposite is true for me. My fee is based on sf, so very large homes get very expensive. I lose more $800 inspections than $300 inspections to 'bargain shoppers'.

    For that matter, the person buying a 1200 sf starter home may be asking about fees because it's important to them- they may be on a tight budget. But the person buying the 6000 sf with a pool is not likely counting his pennies. He should be looking for the best value, not the best price.


  42. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I've never met a client with a check for me that I didn't like.

    rick


  43. #43
    David Nice's Avatar
    David Nice Guest

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    With all the new home inspector schools popping up and associations automatically certifying inspectors, the cheap home inspectors will be around for a good long time.
    That's a nice sound bite Ken, but I see more and more semi-retired inspectors dropping fees like a balloon just to get the work. the biggest offender in my area has been around for years and still does sub-$200 inspections on a regular basis.


  44. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    1,090

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    DAVE

    what area would that be. you do not show where you are from. that really helps this forum. please update your profile and thanks for your reply

    cvf


  45. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    .
    He's Here David Nice - LinkedIn Charlie.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  46. #46

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Charlie,

    It's in his signature.


  47. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    1,090

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    sorrry guys

    didn't think to clik on link--i'm old, but still dave update profile

    cvf


  48. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Brea, Ca.
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    One of my regular agents I've worked with for years, will always give her client 3 options but stresses the quality of work I do. This particular client chose the cheapest HI and questioned why he showed up (late) just before dark, didn't go up on the roof, didn't open the attic access, didn't go into the crawlspace below and was in and out of the house in less than an hour....The Agents response, "you got what you paid for".....He was $125.00 less than me!


  49. #49
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    885

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I've never met a client with a check for me that I didn't like.

    rick
    Right there! My clients have one color - green; one race, one language, one religion, one lifestyle - cash, check, or valid CC.

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

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
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    885

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Gee, I didn't know the NACHI exam was nationally recognized. I learn something everyday.
    This is from a Nachi inspector's list of qualifications:

    PASSED a nationally recognized exam that was designed to determine competency to perform home inspections.


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

  51. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Gee, I didn't know the NACHI exam was nationally recognized. I learn something everyday.
    This is from a Nachi inspector's list of qualifications:

    PASSED a nationally recognized exam that was designed to determine competency to perform home inspections.
    Geez Stuart, where have you been, don't you know if nicko says it, it must be true

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  52. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Here in coastal southern California where homes are up to $10,000,000.+ the pricing is seems more consistent. Inspection revenue less than $100,000 a year will have you financially ruined in no time and I think that's the reason prices are less prone to cheapen here. Yes, there are $195.00 inspectors, but I would say that only once a year do they surface in my business. I tell all clients who are price shopping that I'll match any price they find...but I'll only do what that low price inspector does. Apples for apples. I tell prospective clients that everyone in the inspection business knows who’s who, what they charge, what kind of report they produce and that it’s the low price inspectors who are the ones over-charging what they call and hope you believe to be an ‘inspection’ (there are no low price/high quality inspectors in my area). Nearly all callers are at their computers when they phone so I ask them to go to my web site and look at the sample report while I wait. Very few (1 or 2 a year) who see the report will not book the inspection. Something I’ve learned is the less I talk (read ‘sell’) the greater chance of booking the inspection. Long, protracted phone conversations have little guarantee of anything other than mentoring the client who then see’s you as a counselor who’s just coached them how to handle the next call they’re going to make.



  53. #53
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    What is the hourly rate you try to acheieve....including inspection and report writing time?


  54. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Last night I was asked to perform an inspection for the client of a Realtor/Contractor/Inspector. When he told them my fee for a 4756 sf home was $500, they said they would look for someone cheaper. Heck, they don't have to shop, I'll give them a couple of people, One would do it for $295 and the other one has a flat rate of $350. All I ask is that I get to watch the inspection.

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

  55. #55
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I know that I have to make at least $400 a day for 5 out the 7 days in a week. That's not $50 an hour per job but $50 an hour per day (8 hour day). Anything less than that is a disappointing week/month/year.


  56. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    1,217

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Luce View Post
    I know that I have to make at least $400 a day for 5 out the 7 days in a week. That's not $50 an hour per job but $50 an hour per day (8 hour day).
    Is that the New Math they are teaching in school?

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  57. #57
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    Is that the New Math they are teaching in school?
    ???

    $50.00x8=$400


  58. #58
    Deck Expert's Avatar
    Deck Expert Guest

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    While 99% of my work is a contractor, not a deck inspector, I still run into the cheap bidders on waterproofing.

    Maybe this will work, maybe it won't, but my "sales pitch" to clients is this...and I quote verbatim- "I am not the cheapest contractor around. Are you looking for the lowest price to fix your problem, or are you looking for the best qualified contractor to repair your problem?" If they say low price, I walk. If they say quality, I continue to feel them out and see if they truly mean that.

    On my website, I tell potential customers that if it's price they want, not to call me. On my proposals, I have on the top of everyone this business maxim-
    "The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."


    I have that my sales have increased in the last 2 months despite a lousy economy and competitors low balling their prices to try to beat me out of the job.



    Low ballers suck, take the high road to find the better agents and broker firms that want their clients protected!



    Iv'e




    "The


  59. #59
    David Nice's Avatar
    David Nice Guest

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Gee, I didn't know the NACHI exam was nationally recognized. I learn something everyday.
    This is from a Nachi inspector's list of qualifications:

    PASSED a nationally recognized exam that was designed to determine competency to perform home inspections.
    Stuart,

    Not to distract you and the 'Brain Trust' from your burning need to go off topic to try to bash a fellow inspectors but I don't know where it said it was referring to the InterNACHI exam.

    Carry On.


  60. #60
    Chuck Forman's Avatar
    Chuck Forman Guest

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    Charlie,
    I know how you feel. I have been under bid a couple of times lately. Had a client last week that almost choked when I quoted my price. I explained that she could find someone that would perform the inspection for less money if she wanted. Even suggested a few people. I then explained my process, the time it took to perform my inspection and why, and let her decide. When all was said and done she set an appointment with me.

    She was originally going to meet me during the last hour of the inspection to go over some things. She ended up coming at the beginning with her parents to show them the home. She ended up staying with me for the entire inspection.

    I received a phone call from her later that day. She told me that she had no idea that I would be that thorough. She also told me that after she left she phoned her agent to tell them how intense my inspection was, and to recommend that they recommend me to all of their clients. She then went on to inform me that she had told some, and would tell all, of her friends about the inspection and that they should use me if the opportunity ever arose in the future.

    Wondering now if I should raise my prices. LOL


  61. #61
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
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    1,090

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    CHUCK

    good job. don't give away your hard earned talents.

    clients always get what they pay for, and you showed them

    charlie


  62. #62
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: ANOTHER CHEAP HOME INSPECTOR

    I hope all inspectors on this board gets these kind of complements from most of their inspections. If not then they need to do a better inspection!


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