Are we going to get a discount?

By
Home Inspector with Clayton Inspection Service, Inc.

I've done two inspections for a nice couple. They didn't buy either house, based on the stuff I found during the inspection. I probably saved them several thousands of dollars.

I gave them a small discount when I did the second inspection for them.

They called me this week with questions about a crawlspace. I spent close to an hour on the phone with them over the course of three phone calls. I even drove by the house and went into the crawlspace to look at a sump pump, and didn't charge them. Sure it was not much of  adrive out of the way, and it took less than 15 minutes extra for the day.

Today they called to set up an inspection on this house. She asked if I was going to give them a discount, since this was going to be our third. I told her I could give them $25 off. She said, "What about $50?".

I then asked her about when she took her car in to get the oil changed, if the guy gave her a discount when she came in again. She said, "No, but he fills up my fluids". I then said, "But I do an excellent job for you every time". I finally agreed to give her a 10% discount.

It just hit me that I have a client that does not appreciate what I do, and how much money and grief I have saved them. She only sees that they have paid me $XXX dollars and have nothing to show for it. She puts no value on my free telephone advice, or the no-charge site visit I did for them. Now she probably feels that because i'm not going to give her $50, I'm somehow a cheapskate.

 

 

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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jack, I feel your pain---every once in a while you will have a buyer that just doesn't get it and going the "extra mile" means nothing.  I just say no----one I even asked which 10 percent they didn't want included in the report:)  Some people also respect you more if you refuse to give a discount.

Feb 27, 2009 07:03 AM #1
Rainer
2,110
Dennis Goudreau
DRG INSPECTIONS LLC - Nashua, NH

Jack

we all get the same you did your job and way beyond ,and you even  gave a 10% discount, that should be enough and let them know that. IMO

Feb 27, 2009 10:38 AM #2
Rainer
48,055
Ian Niquette
Square One Home Inspection - Markesan, WI

Jack-I just try to MAKE them understand how much money you have saved them by doing a very thorough inspection. I have had this situation a few times. One thing I tried that worked out well was having them send me a list of homes they were interested in  before making an offer. Was around 6 homes on the list. I did some homework, and eliminated a few right off the bat. There were three left, they made an offer and then wanted a discount. I flat out refused and the wife was quite upset. Husband called back, said he understoood that I had went the EXTRA mile for them and actually paid me 50 more than my price. some people get it, and some people don't.

Feb 27, 2009 01:30 PM #3
Rainmaker
76,167
Frank Torre
Torre Inspection Service, LLC 888-202-8869 - Hicksville, NY

Jack I had a similar situation with someone over the phone he ask for a discount I told him if he pays me in cash I give him 10% off. He then said I give you 300 I told him for 300 you can inspect it yourself!

Feb 28, 2009 10:13 AM #4
Rainer
134,569
Scott Patterson, ACI
Trace Inspections, LLC - Spring Hill, TN
Home Inspector, Middle TN

Jack, your example is a good reason that I do not offer discounts.  Why should I discount my service?  To be nice?  Nobody, ever offers me a discount simply because they want to be nice.  I had an electrician out to my home a few years back, three times in one month.  Each time was to repair a problem that was not related to the work that was done before.  He never offered a discount and I did not ask for one.

 

Mar 01, 2009 03:46 AM #5
Rainer
29,209
Jack Feldmann
Clayton Inspection Service, Inc. - Knoxville, TN

Scott, I guess I will offer them once in a while, because I have been given discounts at different times.

I have a coffee place I frequent, and they will give me a scone or other pastry once in a while, just because.

There is a home repair guy that I use on our condo's and I refer him a lot of work. He will do "no charge" things once in a while.

It's funny, I resent when someone ASKS for a discount, but I will often offer one, just because I can, and I understand the financial straits some of my clients are in. IN the same vein, I have told someone they owed me nothing for the inspection. This happened when I learned something about their life that caused me to want to do something for them. 

Of course the other side is when the clients turn out to be jerks and I wished I had charged more, mUCH MORE.

Mar 01, 2009 04:08 AM #6
Rainmaker
179,897
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

You can't blame them for trying.  We all do it, and when someone does it to us we feel a little put out. I've felt the same way as you, it took my wife to bring me around.  With 3 you get egg rolls, it's just business.

Mar 01, 2009 05:36 AM #7
Rainer
7,846
Kevin Welch
American Bulldog Home Inspection Inc. - Rutland, MA

I have no problem offering a discount once in a while if I feel it client, but I have a problem with someone who expects it just because it is the second inspection I have done for them. Often times, they freely admit that my report saved them several thousands of dollars, no one has ever offered to split that with me.

Kevin

Mar 01, 2009 10:18 AM #8
Rainer
134,569
Scott Patterson, ACI
Trace Inspections, LLC - Spring Hill, TN
Home Inspector, Middle TN

Good points for offering a discount, and I have done the same before.  I stopped giving discounts after I realized that many expected a discount and were not grateful when one was given.  I have done pro-bono inspections as well, and the folks that were the recipients of them were so grateful that I still get a Christmas card from one family.

Mar 02, 2009 01:53 AM #9
Rainer
67,462
David Helm
Helm Home Inspections - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp

My god Jack, You gave them a discount when you went out and checked out the sump pump.  I certainly would not have given them the 10% in that situation.

Mar 04, 2009 02:01 PM #10
Rainer
29,209
Jack Feldmann
Clayton Inspection Service, Inc. - Knoxville, TN

UPDATE!

I just did the inspection. I remember them now that I saw them. 3 kids and one on the way. Nice couple. She brought me a plate of cookies. 

You win some, you lose some. 

 

Mar 04, 2009 09:57 PM #11
Rainmaker
59,401
Dana Bostick
True Professionals, Inc. - North Hollywood, CA

For second or even third inspections I will often give a smal $25 discount.  If they ask for more I simply tell them the "discount" was included in the $20K I saved you on the last one! I also let then know that MY costs are not less on a subsequent inspection so I'm actually loosing money by giving them one.

I love one guys comment about "which 10% of the inspection do you want me to skip?"

Mar 08, 2009 01:26 AM #12
Rainer
84,106
Andrew Haslett
Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI - Fort Knox, KY
Heartland of Kentuckynulls, Best Home Inspector

Charles thanks for your comment about asking the client which 10% of the inspection they want left out.

Jack, thank you for the post.

Pricing in the home inspection industry is not a science; it is an art.

Most realtors take 6% commission on the sale of a home. They don't discount. They don't think less of themselves for it. Most realtors won't budge of the 6%, so sellers pay it or not.

We can't put our heads together as home inspectors and set a price that we won't discount -- that's price fixing and racketerring, I think.

I was at a training session recently, where one of the topics was the cost of doing business.

Inspired by that, I am increasing my fees, but still can't get the kind of fees suggested by the facilitator. Maybe with time ...

Mar 14, 2009 06:04 AM #13
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