If you’re buying a new home then you may have instructed a home inspector to assess the property to identify any issues with structure, plumbing, electricals, roofing, foundations, adjoining land, and a whole host of other items.
Alternatively, you may have instructed a home inspector before selling your property in anticipation of putting it on the market.
The home inspection is a key part of buying or selling any property and most lenders will refuse to offer you a mortgage without proof of an inspection being completed.
If your home inspector is attending your property, or the one you hope to buy, then you might be wondering whether you need to tip him or her.
This article explores the customary practice of tipping when it comes to home inspectors and looks specifically at whether you need to tip, how much to offer if so, home inspectors’ average salaries, and the typical cost of a home inspection so you can make your mind up with the full facts at hand.
Let’s take a look…
Do You Need to Tip Your Home Inspector? The Short Answer
You do not need to tip your home inspector. It is not customary to do so and you won’t be frowned upon if you don’t tip. Home inspectors earn a respectable, above-average income so there is generally no requirement to tip, bar in limited circumstances which we’ll cover.
Home Inspectors’ Average Salary
According to ATI Home Inspector Training, the average yearly salary for a home inspector in the US is $58,000 depending on which state you live in.
This can rise to $91,000 per year in some areas.
According to Jobted, the average yearly salary in the US as of 2022 is $53,490 so it’s clear that home inspectors earn above that and well in excess of that in some cases.
Average Cost of a Home Inspection
Another important consideration for anyone looking to tip their home inspector is what the cost of the home inspection will be.
According to journalists at BankRate who interviewed a home services expert, the average cost of a home inspection is $300 – $450.
This is likely to increase if the property is larger than normal, if there are many defects/issues to deal with, or if numerous inspections are required.
On that basis, you will be spending a considerable sum on something you ultimately get no joy from. It’s a rather mundane but necessary additional expense on top of the numerous other conveyancing costs you’ll need to budget for.
How Much to Tip if You Want to Tip Your Home Inspector?
If you are dead set on tipping your home inspector despite the above, then the going rate in the US is generally 10-20% of the total cost of the goods or services.
That would mean a tip of around $30 to $90 on the basis of the above $300 – $450 cost of an inspection.
Alternatively, you should offer a fixed sum not based on a percentage, essentially a figure plucked out of thin air.
Other non-monetary options might include:
- Flowers or chocolates;
- A thank you card or gift;
- A Google review or positive testimony;
- A referral.
When and When Not to Tip
There may be occasions where you certainly think a home inspector warrants a tip and, of course, others where you will want to withhold one.
We’d suggest tipping your home inspector if:
- They’ve done an exceptional job. For example, if they’ve noted things that other inspectors have missed;
- If they have been professional and courteous;
- If they’ve carried out the work at a reduced or discounted rate;
- During the holidays.
Think twice about tipping if:
- The inspector has failed to spot defects;
- The inspector is rude or unprofessional;
- You’ve been charged more than expected or quoted.
It is not customary or expected that you will tip your home inspector so it’s very unlikely they will take exception to you not dipping into your pocket.
Home inspectors earn a reasonable and above-average salary and there is no need to supplement their income with tips.
If you are going to tip your home inspector then 10-20% is the accepted rate across the US but a non-monetary gift will certainly suffice.
In fact, a simple review on Google or a referral to a friend or family is what is commonly provided as a demonstration of gratitude in this industry and will usually be enough.
The cost of the inspection is already high enough at $300 – $450 and there’s no need to add to that cost, especially when most people are on a set budget when moving home.
When moving house there are other workers you’ll likely hire who will be expecting a tip and will arguably be more deserving, such as movers and contractors. We suggest saving your tips for them.