Several factors can affect the cost of your home inspection. Here are a few:
Local market: Like any other business, home inspectors need to pay attention to what the competition is charging and set their prices accordingly. That being said, in every market there is the “$199 inspector” who will undercut everyone else to get the work. More about choosing an inspector strictly based on price a little later. In the Richmond, VA market, home inspections generally start around $300.00.
The inspector’s training and experience: Experienced and well-trained inspectors may charge a bit more than the new guy who is just starting out.
The inspector’s pricing structure: How does the inspector determine their fees? Some inspectors do it by square footage. For example, a house between 1200 – 1500 square feet might cost $350.00 to inspect. Other inspectors may charge extra for inspecting a crawl space or detached outbuilding with electricity.
Add-on services: Services such as radon testing (which by the way IS NOT a required part of a home inspection in Virginia), mold sampling, and sewer scope inspection are offered by some home inspectors and will obviously add to the cost of your inspection.
The inspector’s service area: Most home inspectors don’t mind driving, but if the job is outside their normal service area a mileage fee may be added to the base price.
Dos and Don’ts:
Conclusion: Shop carefully, choose wisely, and hire the home inspector who will get you and your family off to a great start in your new home!
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Here is some information to help you understand your home inspection agreement.
Minimum requirements (see Part IV, Section 120):
Some of the items that a Virginia home inspection should contain are: (1) A listing of all areas and systems to be inspected, including those inspections that are either partial or limited in scope. (2) A statement that the home inspection does not include a review for compliance with regulatory requirements (Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code or other codes, regulations, laws, ordinances, etc.) (3) Any exclusions or exceptions, such as the condition of systems or components that are not readily accessible, the remaining life of any system or component, the causes of any condition or deficiency, and predicting future conditions or failure of any system or components.
I strongly suggest that you click on the above link to see all of the items that Virginia home inspection agreements are required to have. This will better prepare you to understand your agreement and reduce the likelihood of unpleasant surprises.
Additional language and requirements: Most liability insurance carriers that work with home inspectors require additional liability and coverage-specific language to be in the inspection agreement. This is to protect the inspector from frivolous complaints and help the client set and manage reasonable expectations.
Timing: Most, if not all, liability insurance carriers will not cover the inspector unless the inspection agreement is signed before the inspection begins. Most inspectors use software programs that allow them to email the agreement to the client ahead of time so the client can read the agreement and call with any questions. The program I use, ISN (Inspection Support Network) allows the client to sign the agreement digitally and receive a copy for their records.
1. Read your inspection agreement thoroughly (I can’t stress this enough).
2. Don’t stress over the language.
3. Don’t alter or modify the agreement.
4. Don’t hesitate to contact your inspector with questions or concerns. They should be willing to help you understand what you are signing.
Conclusion: The home inspection agreement is an important part of the inspection process. Reading and understanding your inspection agreement will help you have a less stressful inspection and get a jump start on enjoying your new home.
Call us – We’re always happy to answer your questions about home inspections!