Are buyers willing to pay $1000 for a Home Inspection and remove the Agent from the process? Mike Holmes thinks they should.

Home Inspector with Certified Structure Inspector IOS #1730, EA #30

Anyone that watches HGTV has probably watched famous Contractor Mike Holmes from the shows Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection. I often enjoy the shows but like many contractors and home inspectors I don’t totally agree with everything on the show but I do agree with some statements from a recent interiview with Mike Holmes. I agree that what appear to be obvious defects that are missed. The Home Inspection process is a visual non-intrusive, not technically exhaustive inspection. The inspector is to give his opinion of the visible condition of the home at that day and time. We don’t have the luxury of tearing into walls and moving items. Can you imagine what a seller would think if the inspector did that stuff? Since Mike Holmes comes in after the buyer has purchased the home he can tear into the home in a way the inspector can’t. We have no idea on how the home was during the inspection. There is a whole list of variables that can affect the inspection.

In a recent interview of Mike Holmes about Home Inspections he stated that he believes that the perfect Home Inspection can be done and it starts with education and being more thorough. I would agree with this statement.I take pride in my job by being thorough and taking tons of education. I read newsletters, magazines, and talk to trades people to keep up with the times. No one knows everything and no one should think they do. This is one area I think is to blame for defects being over looked.

Another point made was for the buyer to get the inspector upfront before they start looking and eliminate the agent out of the loop. I find this interesting. I do occasionally get buyers that hire me directly because they are worried about the connection between the Home Inspector and Sales Person. Home Inspectors have often been called “Deal Killers” by others in real estate. Due to this some Home Inspectors may write soft reports to keep the agent that provides repeat business happy. This is another area to blame for defects not making it into the report. I believe the Home Inspector is there to report what is seen and not pick and choose unless that’s what the buyer has asked for.

The comment I like the most from Mike Holmes is that the price of Home Inspections is too low and should start at $1000. Mike states his inspection company does an in depth inspection using snake cameras starts at $525, for a basic inspection on a 2500 square foot house, and a more detailed inspection with an Infrared scan $925.  I’m all for this. I can pull this equipment currently for a Home Inspection but the majority of the time there is no desire to pay more for a better inspection. The minimum is what the vast majority of the people are willing to pay for. In the Reno area a Home Inspection is in the $300 range.

From the feedback I’ve received I do a more in depth inspection and that’s what I strive for but should I start offering $1000 inspections? I guess stay tuned to find out.

$1000 Home Inspection

Mike Holmes was interviewed by Rick Bunzel the principal inspector with Pacific Crest Inspections.

Comments (9)

Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

In my area where home prices are usually in the 100k range 1 k for an inspection will meet resistance. I do disagree with Mike. As honest Real estate folk we often know who does good inspections and who does not

Jan 12, 2012 07:09 AM
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Robert - While I don't agree with everything Mike Holmes says (I do enjoy his shows too!), I do agree that buyers should be doing much more thorough inspections.  Around here (Los Angeles & Ventura counties), we have some excellent inspectors and some of them charge more for more extensive inspections and some charge less for basic inspections. 

Because I don't insist which inspector the buyer hires, the buyers are the ones making the decision on what kind of inspection they want.  I think many buyers are penny wise and pound foolish in not doing extensive inspections on many of these run-down, dilapidated, dumpy propeties around here but then again what do I know, I'm just a licensed Realtor and MLO.  :)

Jan 12, 2012 07:25 AM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Thanks for the comments. There are goods and bads in every field. The show probably get thousands of people wanting to be on the show and only the very worst make it on the show.

Donne I will be down that way in Feb save a few inspections for me to help pay for the trip. Lol

Jan 12, 2012 08:04 AM
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV

Robert ... I don't think tat a $1,000 inspection would fly around my area.  I do agree that the agent can get too close to the inspection.  I ususally give them the name of three inspectors and ask them to do their own hiring.  Not all buyers want to do that and that is their choice.

Jan 12, 2012 09:45 AM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Lisa your area and my area are the same, I need to be on your list.

Jan 12, 2012 10:06 AM
Jim Mushinsky
Centsable Inspection - Framingham, MA

I do not like the Mike Holmes programs on HGTV. 

In my opinion, Mike Holmes exaggerates and promotes one of the fundamental problems with the perception of the home inspection industry.  "I'm the only good inspector, the others are bad and miss things."  (but if they buy a franchise territory they can be good like me)

In my experiences, very few home buyers are interested in the technical terms of the trades.  I hear too many times about the appropriate information being written in the home inspection report, yet not read or understood by the buyer.

Removing a Real Estate Agent and adding more technical terms sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

A home buyer with an exclusive buyer's agent is in a far better position to get true value out of a home inspection compared to a buyer without representation.  I have been impressed many times by an exclusive buyer's agent that pays attention to the buyer during the inspection.  It is difficult to maintain technical attention to detail for several hours.  Several times an alert exclusive buyer's agent can see when the buyer is distracted or fatigued and does not acknowledge the significance of an issue.

An exclusive buyer's agent can help the buyer avoid under-reaction and over-reaction, to issues raised by the inspector. 

I disagree with HGTV and Mike Holmes.

As an analogy this would be like me expecting to become a Chef with one cooking course.  I have eaten many meals, watched the preparation of many meals, assisted in the preparation of some meals, yet by no means ready to prepare a holiday meal for the family.

A home buyer should not expect to better understand an inspection due to a larger price tag and more gadgets.



Jan 18, 2012 04:26 PM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Jim I agree with lots of what you said. The Home Inspector is a generalist and if people wanted technical there would call in each trade. I do agree with Mike that the inspection should be done by someone thorough and be willing to pay for that good inspection. There are to many inspectors cutting prices and corners and while Mike is taking advantage of that for a TV show they hurt us all.

Jan 19, 2012 03:34 PM
Hank Spinnler
Harmony Home Inspection Services of GA - Hoschton, GA
Atlanta Home Inspector

The quick answer to both questions is "No."

Many inspectors talk about Mike Holmes show with great disdain. Whatever his tactics, I believe Mike Holmes creates awareness of the need to get an inspection. Then, you need to seek the services of a competent home inspector. In one episode, the home owner talked about the inspector walking through the home in about 45 minutes, with little to point out. I have an increasing number of clients who mention they watch the show. They seem to be aware that there are crappy inspectors out there. More education and awareness may help raise the bar in the industry. 

Lastly, free publicity is good for our industry. I embrace it because associations like ASHI are not going to advertise on TV like the NAR does for Realtors. They do things on a much smaller scale. 


Jan 20, 2012 12:36 AM
Vince Chinell
VICO Home Inspection - Branson, MO

Robert,  Like Hank said, "free publicity is good for our industry" absolutely but like all "reality" shows it is my experience that they have some degree of truth surrounded by some t.v. hoopla that isn't done in the real world.  I have to say that there are some good pieces of new equipment out there from IR cameras, water testing devices, snake cameras, IR thermal temperature guns, and radon equipment that has made the information available which in turn has improved what an inspector could report on several years ago.  Are we worth more? Since inspectors today have the opportunity for greater education and by using better technology, without a doubt their inspection report which delivers more quality information should be worth a lot more.  Think of how much money a potential buyer will save by reading your report.  Could it be hundrers or even thousands of dollars.   How much were they charged to save this kind of money on something they might have known anything about?  (When it comes to water damage thousands are almost always the closer number). JMHO. Good Post

Jan 24, 2012 08:15 AM