"How Much Do You Charge?"

This is often the first question prospective home buyers ask a home inspector. You have spent a lot of time researching for a home that's just right for you, but how much time will you spend researching for the right home inspector? Do you really want the cheapest, most inexperienced person to inspect one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make?

What are the inspector's qualifications and experience? What kind of testing equipment will the inspector be using? What kind of report will they provide? Have you viewed a sample report? Does it include photo documentation?

Have you verified that the inspector has a valid Wisconsin Home Inspector's license? Do they have any complaints on record at the Wisconsin Department of Commerce?

Assuming you have done all the aforementioned, now the question about the home inspection fee can be asked, however, there are a lot of factors involved when it comes to how an inspector calculates the fee. This includes the inspector's level of experience and talent. The type of report produced. The size, design and age of the property. (Some homes / condos might take 2 hours or less to inspect. Older, larger homes might take 4 or more hours. Some inspection reports might take less than two hours to complete, while others might take 4 hours or more.)

Some so called "informational" web sites state that home inspection fees run from $180 to $230, however, these "low" fees are usually based on an inspector doing 3 inspections per day and completing on-the-spot checklist type reports. As a service to prospective buyers we have uploaded portions of an actual checklist inspection report from a low cost home inspection company. (These documents were scanned & converted to a .pdf file. None of the scanned pages have been altered, these are exactly what the client received.)
Click to view 3 pages of a $200 inspection report.

Having a hard time trying to understand the handwritten comments on those pages?
Do you see any photos? Do you think this kind of report is useful? Brochures from "low cost" Wisconsin inspection companies can be found in many real estate agency offices. Do you think when real estate agents go to buy a house for themselves that they will use one of those "low cost" inspectors?

If a thorough inspection, full narrative report and photo editing of an average size home takes 5 to 6 hours, (not counting travel time) how "thorough" is the inspector who does 3 inspections & reports in one day? What's the alternative to a quick, low cost, practically useless inspection and handwritten (difficult to decipher) checklist report?

Click to view sample inspection report from a $300 inspection.

Money: Let's put things in perspective: If you're buying a $200,000 house and the inspection fee is $300, that's less than 0.2% of the cost of the house! Most real estate agencies charge 3% to 6% to sell a house, that would be $6,000 to $12,000 for a $400,000 house! The cost of a home inspection is a bargain, even if you paid $700 for the inspection, and most are less than half that! If the owner of a house is willing to pay a real estate agent a $6,000 to $12,000 commission to sell the house, how much are you willing to pay to know exactly what you are buying?

The real value of an inspection and report should be measured by its usefulness. If a home inspection report fails to help a prospective buyer fully understand what they are buying or if it doesn't provide accurate, detailed information, which the client could use in the real estate negotiation process, what good is it? See what some clients of ABC Home Inspection, LLC have said about their home inspection experience. Client Comments.

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ABC Home Inspection, LLC
Central and Northern Wisconsin

Kevin McMahon --President (WI License #1445-106)

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