On Vancouver's North Shore single family homes start at one million dollars. I emphasize the word "start" because one should not expect more than lot value for that price. Serious money. As you can image, we've had an amazing appreciation of real estate.
Yet the expectation of many buyers in the region is that the sweet spot for the cost of a home inspection should be under $500. In a typical week at least half the inquiries received by EKAN Home Inpection will ask... "What's your best price?" or "Can you match Company X's price?" or "Is that the best you can do?" or, and I really like this one... "My realtor said it would cost about $400."
At EKAN, we have no issue explaining how we differentiate ourselves from the competition, the value added that the client receives using our service and the quality of the product. However, in some cases the caller is no longer listening because his or her agent has already told them to expect to pay some ridiculous low-ball figure.
So this is a post to all well-intentioned agents out there about the cost of home inspection services. Prices continue to climb because of legislation, regulations, liability insurance, additions to standards of practice. So too, more professional engineers are attracted to the business because their backgrounds in design and construction are a natural fit. All this adds up to a higher rate structure than most agents anticipate. It is preferable to quote a range for a service than to give your client a low-ball price which does no one any service. My rule of thumb for a range is 1.5 to 2 times. Better yet, provide a list of home inspectors who specialize in the home's area, without prices, and let the client to do their own investigation.
Yes there are home inspectors that you can hire for $299 and they will deliver a report on-site at the end of the inspection. But there are other professional inspectors too! Look at their websites and their fee structure. Some will not walk out their office door for less than $650, even for a condo. On larger properties EKAN charges typically well over $1000 because there is a lot to do and, from our clients perspective, our deliverables are well worth it!