Realtors – Stop Asking Your Home Inspector for Discounts

By Kevin Wagstaff • June 11, 2020 • 3 min read

home inspection discounts

Realtor commissions should be lower.

Think about your immediate reaction to that statement.

You feel a little emotion right?


“I’m worth it. I have years of knowledge and experience.”

“I have a high touch approach focused on customer service.”

I’m not saying you don’t. I used to work with (and know) tons of great Realtors that are worth every penny.

This is what you’re 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 by home inspection companies being sustainable. Being sustainable is charging a price that allows them to stay in business and grow.

Why shouldn’t they get paid what they’re worth?

Reframe How You Think About Home Inspections

Think about it – many home inspectors have worked in construction or “the trades” for 10-20 years. They’ve accumulated decades of experience.

They’ve seen the ins and outs of major systems of homes. They know how to fix things from doing it themselves.

Home inspectors find issues that allow you to negotiate for thousands in credits or repairs. They give guidance on issues that might save your buyer 10s of thousands of dollars.

And we’re still balking at what they charge? It’s a bargain either way!

But My Clients Are Paying A Lot Already

Trust me, I know the plight of the homebuyer (remember, I used to be an agent and have bought homes myself):

“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 your counsel. It’s your job to prepare them for future costs.

Why should a home inspector’s business be affected by that?

Real estate agents should prepare their buyers on ALL the costs involved in buying a home. Then you won’t feel the pressure to ask for discounts when it comes time to book. Set expectations that you buyer doesn’t want the cheapest inspector. Paying for quality is a logical investment.

Get past thinking about the home inspection of something that stands in the way of your payday. It’s education for your client. It’s a means to saving them money.

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 your 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’re still in business). We all know how unpleasant that is.

The Bottom Line

Prepare your clients ahead of time. Make sure they mentally prepare to pay for quality for a home inspection and additional services (Radon, Mold, Termite, etc).

And please do not put your partners in the same position that new flat-rate brokerages are trying to put Realtors in.

You’re worth it and so are they.

Do you agree? Disagree? Tell me why!

8 replies
  1. Christian Roncketti
    Christian Roncketti says:

    Sounds great. That just happened to me yesterday. I’m trying to get established and the realtor wanting a discount for his client. Doing older homes and spending a long time at these houses.

  2. Bullet Tromblay
    Bullet Tromblay says:

    I agree Kevin✌🏼🎯
    – as we have discussed in our phone conversations and while featured in your podcast – you know our posture in this when people ask for discounts we say “I understand your concern, however, I hope you’re not questioning my value in the industry”.
    Also agreed, “a race to the bottom benefits no one“.
    Not to make light of this but you also get what you pay for.

    We should all strive to a level of mastery and have a professional and confident – not cocky, posture.

    Continue to serve wholeheartedly and you will be rewarded.

    Our goal in business should never be to please people -rather – to amaze them.

    Carry-on and greatness, may we all strive for excellence and mastery in what we do in service to our clients, your work will be your witness and as we have experienced, the frequency of being asked for a discount will soon fade away and never be considered again.

  3. Gary Smith
    Gary Smith says:

    * I’ll buy your house back?
    * I’ll offer you a 90 day warranty?
    * Your next inspection is discounted?
    * Today, I have a coupon worth 25% off?

    What do you think agents think after all this crap is introduced to their clients – day after day after day after day?

    Get that BS out of our profession and make it harder for inspectors to enter this business. Raise the bar. Stop the insane idea that if an inspector gives his/her business to enough people they will somehow “win”. That’s a fool’s business model.

    The definition of “agent”: a person who acts on behalf of another person or group.

    The agent’s role is to cut a deal, work for the client, negotiate, protect their client, advise their client. Obvious to me – the agent is a prime candidate for asking the inspector for a discount.

    A good agent can also offer sound advice by teaching the client the true meaning of value. Sometimes value isn’t seen in price, especially when buying a professional opinion. The true value of an inspection is usually not seen for months or years!

    This is an inspector issue, not an agent issue. Teach the inspector how to be the best inspector they can be and the marketplace will respond. Teach the inspector to leave the idea of discounting his service to the retail industry. Inspectors aren’t selling fruit. Their product (experience) doesn’t have a shelf life. Nothing in their business will spoil if they say “No. I don’t do discounts”.

  4. Barry Cohen
    Barry Cohen says:

    This is a great article that ALL inspectors should read, and then read again. There are too many inspectors that are giving away their services which in turn is hurting this profession. Our base fees should be way higher overall.

  5. Mike
    Mike says:

    Believe me, I would die to get $400 for an inspection. I am competing with over 100 other home inspectors in my city. The only way I can get noticed is to offer my services at a reduced rate. If I charged $400 I would get lost in the crowd. I do not have any overhead except the typical software and insurance expenses. No office, no employees, etc. I offer inspections at $289 plus a trip fee for certain distances. I offer mold and radon testing at the going local rate. I work for myself and I figure $289 is a reasonable return on my time. If I could keep my present level of business AND get $400 I would be flippin’ out.

    • John
      John says:

      “The only way I can get noticed is to offer my services at a reduced rate.” – This Mike is your problem, and I apologize if that seems harsh or offensive. You have been brainwashed to think the only way you can compete is with pricing. Would you not rather charge twice as much and do half the number of inspections? More time to work on marketing your business, adding professional certifications, and building your expertise. Find your unique selling points / strengths and charge what you are worth. If you are a good inspector and provide great customer service, the inspections will be there. Forgive me because this cliché has been overused, but if you were in need of life or death surgery would you shop around for the cheapest surgeon you could find? Don’t focus so much on your competition and what they are charging. Charge what you are worth, and analyze what you need to charge to be profitable and grow your business.

  6. Paul
    Paul says:

    I just tell the ” agent ” , sure I can do it for a discount. As long as whatever I find, and your client gets a credit for I get a percentage of that credit. Let’s be real, I found it and I made you look good as the agent and put money in the buyers pocket. So what percent would be fair?


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The following two tabs change content below.


Co-founder at Spectora
Kevin spends his days chatting with home inspectors, writing, making videos and working with a kick-a$$ team of folks that are delivering value every day.
Share this article: