Home inspectors take on a lot of responsibility. Home buyers are looking to the home inspector to provide accurate information on the property that they are considering to purchase. With homes being well above $150,000 in many cases. It is hard to believe that some inspectors charge so little to be responsible for so much. It is harder to believe that some buyers will look for the cheapest most hard up inspector
A few years ago the average price for a home inspection was $320.00. However there are home inspectors out there that offer to do any size home for two hundred dollars. This is crazy. Obviously these low ball inspectors are new at the business or they expect to spend very little time actually inspecting the home ant writing the report. I thorough inspection should take at least two and a half hours to do. Plus the time it takes to write and finish up the inspection report.
I have read some of the marketing materials that other home inspectors put out. One claimed to have completed so many inspections in the past 3 years that I decided to do some math on it. I calculated that working at the home inspections 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, that this inspector spent on average 45 minutes at each house. If I was the home buyer I would certainly feel cheated if the inspector spent 45 minutes in the home and expected me to pay him $300.00.
When doing a home inspection sometimes the home seller is present. One home seller commented to the buyer that he appreciated that I was doing a detailed inspection. The seller stated that when he bought the place five years earlier that his inspector missed a lot of issues. His inspector spent only thirty minutes in the home and gave no report. I would have refused to pay that person for such a terrible job.
I asked the seller what the inspection fee was. He stated that he did not remember. I bet that he did remember. He was just too embarrassed that he paid so guy for far more than he was worth. The inspector was apparently a cheap one, Most sane people would refuse to pay a guy $320.00 for 30 minutes of work and no report.
If you want a good inspection then you need to find a home inspector that will take the time needed to do a thorough job. It takes time, effort and training to become skilled at home inspections. If you want a poor cheap inspection that is your choice and your risk. If you want an thorough, accurate inspection of the home you are buying then you need to expect to pay for that level of quality. Low priced inspectors give low quality inspections and spend little time inspecting the home. They are cheap for a reason.