How much will the inspection cost?
This question comes up at every inspection. Sometimes this is an easy question to answer—-other times not so easy. Many inspectors have fixed fees, some have fixed fees with modifications for size , and some have sliding fees depending on the home’s age, where the house is, the square footage of the home, the number of bathrooms, the number of kitchens, the number of attics, the number of crawl spaces and so on. I fall in this later group.
How long will the inspection take?
This is the next most popular question, and has a much simpler answer.
The inspection always takes as long it takes.
I would say that most of my inspections fall in the 3.5 hour range, a condo might be closer to 2 hours, and some big houses have taken as long as 6 hours to inspect. A condo might take closer to 2 hours to inspect. That said, I do try to give some guidelines, and all of the information I can obtain about the property ahead of time is helpful in both determining how long the inspection will take as well as what it will cost.
In spite of the best information, I sometimes get surprised by the extra crawl space that no one knew about or the extra attic. Crawl spaces that nobody knows about are especially problematic because this could mean nobody has been in it for a long time. This could translate to extra inspection time—-not to mention the extra time involved in reporting on the extent of issues. In this picture a shower drain had been leaking into an “unknown” crawl space for years and a main support post was completely rotten away.
When the inspection takes longer than expected, I like to have extra snacks for everyone—-too fend off the attacks of e low-blood-sugar.
Agents should refrain from quoting costs to the buyer—–as the information they give may mislead the buyer. This puts the inspector and agent in conflict—-setting the stage for loss of confidence in both the inspector and the agent. I am keenly interested in providing as much meaningful information in the context of the short time I am at the home as I am able. I do my best to give an accurate cost of the inspection when I book the inspection. I have recently started letting the buyer know ahead of time that if there are significant extenuating circumstances the price may have to be re-negotiated. This rarely happens.
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