Realtor commissions should be lower.
Think about your immediate reaction to that statement.
You feel a little emotion, right? I might even suggest defensive…
“I’m worth it. I have years of knowledge and experience.”
“I have a high touch approach focused on client service.”
I am not saying you do not. I know and have the privilege of working with tons of great Realtors that are worth every penny! In fact, if you are reading this, it is likely because you are one of them.
Aside from the military, first responders, and the occasional special case for which we already discount services as a token of our appreciation, isn’t this what you are doing to home inspectors when you ask for a discount for your client?
Be an Ally
If you are in this for the long haul, you benefit from Home Inspectors being sustainable. Being sustainable is charging a price that allows them to stay in business and grow. To provide employee the best in tools, to provide employee benefits, to pay for insurance – all things that further support you. In fact, most multi-inspector firms have thousands of dollars in monthly overhead for these things and the bills and employees get paid before the Owner. Probably sounds familiar, maybe it is the same as your own business as a Realtor.
Shouldn’t we get paid what we are worth?
Think about it – many home inspectors have worked in construction, “the trades”, or have an education and training that equates for 10-20 years. We have accumulated decades of experience, and in the case of multi-inspector firms lend that experience to our Inspectors.
We have seen the ins and outs of major systems of homes. We know how to fix things from doing it ourselves.
As home inspectors we find issues that allow you to negotiate for thousands in credits or repairs. We give guidance on issues that might save your buyer tens of thousands of dollars.
Yet, people still price shop and balk at our fees. In Greenville, the average home sales price. According to Realtor.com (Realtor.com Greenville SC Overview) the average home sales price is $244,000 currently. So, if we take the average home inspection, CL100, and Radon fee of $500, then the inspections are a mere 0.0020 percent of the purchase price. It is a bargain either way!
But My Clients Are Paying A Lot Already
Trust me, I know the plight of the homebuyer. As a homebuyer myself, just add in being self-employed and the story just gets more fun…
“They are already spending X on a home; this will set them back” or “They are already stretched buying a home that costs Y”.
They are adults making a financial decision based on our collective counsel. It is our job to prepare them not only for the cost of buying a home, but for future costs. Realtors and Inspectors should prepare our Clients on ALL the costs involved in buying a home. We should set proper expectations. If we do not, and the Client finds the cheapest inspector then they are getting what they pay for. Paying for quality is a logical investment. In fact, in the current market if they find an Inspector who can get out there in the next two to three days, that alone should tell them something. Good Inspectors are backed up and are running around a week out currently. Even with 5 Inspectors – and 2 Apprentices helping – we are struggling to keep up.
They are paying for an education – one that is saving them far more money than they are spending. In fact, I routinely tell people that a home inspection is the best thing you will ever waste money on if we find significant issues the seller is not willing to repair.
A Race to the Bottom Benefits No One
Searching for the cheapest home inspector creates a ripple effect that hurts everyone. Inspectors taking concessions leads to them feeling the pinch to remain profitable. This means booking more inspections. Which means less time spent with our clients. Less time leads to lower quality inspections and potentially missed defects. Missed defects leads to unhappy clients. Unhappy clients come back to you and the inspector (if they are still in business).
The Bottom Line
Help us make sure the Clients mentally prepare to pay for a quality home inspection and additional services (CL100, Radon, etc.). And please do not put your trusted Inspectors in the same position that transaction brokerages and flat-rate brokerages are trying to put Realtors in.
You are worth it and so are we.