? re repair estimates for those doing short sales - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by Del-Ohio on October 05, 2003 at 20:53:37:

I have been looking for estimating software. What software do you use?


? re repair estimates for those doing short sales - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on October 04, 2003 at 17:11:36:

For those investors making frequent short sale proposals, how do you handle the need for repair estimates? I realize the need to include “high” estimates in the short sale package, and I know which contractors in my area will tend to bid on the expensive side.

But obviously, if the short sale proposal is accepted, I’m not about to hire the highest bidder to do the work. It seems to me that after a few of these estimates, and never getting any jobs out of the deal, most of the contractors would be disinclined to keep providing “free” estimates for future projects.

How do you get around this obstacle?

I’m in a small town, so the number of contractors is limited. I’ve put together a few short sale packages before, but it’s either been close to the auction, or few repairs were needed, so I’ve skipped including estimates. But if one is doing short sales with any frequency, it’s clearly a necessity to include. Obviously an estimate from a licensed contractor is going to be far more persuasive than my own “guess”.

Brian (NY)

Re: repair estimates for those doing short sales - Posted by MattFL

Posted by MattFL on October 05, 2003 at 20:03:28:

I think the best thing you can do is get some cost estimating software. That’s what I do. It’s wonderful. It uses national averages and adds labor, material, and a markup for profit. I don’t have to bother any contractors. I don’t have to burn any bridges. I measure the house inside and fill in the gaps with guesstimates. You just need to punch in the square feet or total items needed and the software does all the work. I then print out a very detailed and very professional looking repair estimate. It’s really the same thing a lot of contractors use. Shop around though. Once you use it, you’ll swear by it. I do. Good luck!

repair estimates for those doing short sales - Posted by Dee-Texas

Posted by Dee-Texas on October 05, 2003 at 20:00:05:

Hey Brian!!
We have a construction company. People want bids all the time. If hubby has the time to do them we charge $150.00 for the bid on our letterhead to your specifications. If we get the job we credit it back to the job.
It’s just business, no problem at all.
Great $uccess,

We do our own - Posted by MoniqueUSA

Posted by MoniqueUSA on October 04, 2003 at 22:26:30:

Hi Brian,

We deal mostly with discounting junior lenders. Every short sale proposal we’ve submitted has had our own estimates. Most of the time we don’t even detail the estimates. We’ll just say “needs an estimated $15K in repairs” as a line item in the offer letter.

We’ve had a pretty good hit rate with getting short sales accepted, particularly lately.

If you need something more rigorous, consider paying your high cost estimator $75 to $100 for his time in preparing the estimate. Of course, you’ll demand that you if you use his services, the cost of the estimate must be credited back to you. :wink: So what if you never use him.


Re: ? re repair estimates - Posted by rm

Posted by rm on October 04, 2003 at 19:27:31:

I asked my contractor to go through the first 10 homes with me.

Took extensive notes.

Now, I know how to estimate repair costs.

You can write up a bid on his stationery, or you can simply write up a “contractor’s estimate” on a template form.

Always bump your figures to the high side, so you’ve got your margin for error.

estimates ~vs~ cost - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on October 04, 2003 at 18:57:18:

I’ll share a tid bit I’ve picked up with my extremely limited short sale experience.

I have one contractor, who draws up estimates.
He covers everything, knowing that some things we will sub out.
When he makes the initial estimate, he is to make the house the best it can look.
This goes to the lender.
He lists everything on there, and the really do make a nice bang.
When we got the last deal, we made some changes to the original plan, drastic changes.
The estimate was WAY off, but he was happy, because he got another gig, and will get more.
When I ask for an estimate on repairs for a home to bring it up to top market value, that is what I get.
When we get a house ready to sell, not all those fancy items are needed.
The last one, we reused the doors, just painted them.
Looked fine, but the estimate accounted for all new doors, and windows, brand new.
We also got windows from the local “poor guys slightly used construction supply store”.
So what is the rear windows are a different type than the front, same color, and look the same from more than 15 feet back.
New looking too, and most importantly, CHEAP!

I would understand getting estimates from folks, and then not ever using them.
Estimates would surely cost you a few bucks more after a few of those.

I’m not sure if an estimate from you would be a good idea.
I think one printed out from my contractor on his corp. letterhead just makes the short sale offer go over a little better.

As I said, I’m very new to the short sale arena, as I’ve only done a few, by chance really.
My two cents, just the same, keep the change,
Jim FL

Re: ? re repair estimates - Posted by jerrod

Posted by jerrod on October 04, 2003 at 18:23:16:

Do your own estimates. Learn the business by following a few contractors around and asking lots of questions and buying them lunch. Know the difference between “structural repairs” and “cosmetic repairs”. Always figure on the high side for peace of mind. If you are making appropriate short sale offers, your spread will be large enough to accommodate a few unforeseen obstacles.