Help Your Homebuyer Estimate Renovation Costs During A Pandemic

It’s the fall and many would-be springtime and summer buyers were forced to push their aspirations due to COVID. Add in the increased interest in suburban towns just outside of metros and you have the recipe for a hot real estate market. For many folks interested in buying the average American home, this means buying an older house that is in need of renovations. According to a 2016 survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, the average home in the US is almost 40 years old and 96% of buyers complete at least one renovation project after move-in.   

Why is it important to know how much remodeling projects will cost before purchasing?

 To fully understand the true cost of the investment your client is making, they must at least have a general idea of the cost for each project they intend to complete in the house, prior to making an offer. An investor doesn’t buy a property without knowing what it’s going to cost to make the necessary upgrades, so why should your client!? This doesn’t mean they have to complete all of the projects the moment they move in, but knowing these costs can help with price negotiations, especially if crucial parts of the home need replacing, like the roof or furnace. Helping your client save money on the purchase price to reinvest into their home will pay dividends with a great referral.  Having a general idea of renovation costs will also help inform their financing options Talk with your mortgage broker about rolling the cost to renovate into their home loan or if you’re client is getting an FHA loan, see if the home is eligible for the FHA 203(k) program.  When the market is hot, an offer can be accepted within a week of the open house, if not sooner. This is hardly enough time to get a contractor to come take a look at the house and write up an estimate, even without the coronavirus pandemic. Many contractors won’t even look at your project if you don’t at least have an accepted offer. Some contractors will give you an estimate, but since there’s no guarantee you will use them for the project, or even close on the house, they will understandably charge a fee for their time.  As an agent, how can you help your client get renovation estimates if homes are selling quickly and contractors are busy? And what about the added challenges of viewing a home during the COVID-19 pandemic?  

Of course, use Remodel It! Remodel It automatically identifies relevant renovation projects and provides ballpark renovation cost estimates from the photos of homes listed for sale on Zillow.

 Contractors can be very busy. So, Instead of spending weeks coordinating with a contractor and then waiting days to get an estimate, your client can instantly understand the true cost of their investment to quickly make important decisions. Not only is this is a great way to better serve the client and help them move quickly and confidently through the process, but empowering them with this information opens the door to homes they may not have otherwise considered. Use Remodel It to help your clients make the biggest investment of their life with confidence!

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