I typically have 2 types of people call my office, 3 if you count telemarketers, but who counts them? The first type is a prospective client who needs a house inspected and they have heard from a friend or a relative that I am the only inspector worth calling. It doesn't happen as often as I would like, but sometimes it does happen. They call to book an inspection and, often times, they never even consider the cost. They understand the value of a thorough inspection and are willing to pay whatever I ask for, no questions asked.
The second type is the price shopper. You know who I am referring to. The first question they ask is "how much is a home inspection?" As far as I am concerned, that question is like calling a car dealer and asking the price of a car. It is impossible to answer that question without additional information. How big is the house? Single family or multi? how old? Occupied, vacant, short sale, foreclosure, etc.
Originally, I would begin by quoting a price based on some of that information, only to hear them say, "OK, thanks, I will get back to you." It rarely happened though, because they could usually find someone else later who would agree to do it for a few dollars less. I have to question the wisdom in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home to raise your family and awarding the contract for a home inspection to the lowest bidder. Government contracts are often finalized using this criteria, often with less than stellar results. Can anyone say "Big Dig?"
My new approach is this; when a prospective client begins by asking how much, I counter by asking if price is the determining factor. This usually changes their focus from the lowest price to the best value. Then it is just a matter of convincing them of the value that I offer. I still don't get them all, but my odds are greatly increased.
American Bulldog Home Inspection
Watchdog for the American Dream