Do any of you give estimates like this non-member's reports do?

You have to be kidding!

Yes, sometimes. Guesstimates within inspection reports are very common in South Florida, and you will often see them in the Tampa area too.

This guy used to, but I think he stopped.

Never. Too many variables. I just recommend to the client to get at least three estimates by reputable repair persons/companies.

So does this statement in his report protect him if he underestimates the prices?

Estimates are not bids, nor intended to be used as such. Buyer’s Protection Service and its employees may not
perform repairs of defects noted on inspection report in order to avoid conflict of interests. Sum of estimates
should take into consideration, reductions for servicing more than one item by same contractor

No I don’t but I did like his report. Glancing over his site I liked what I read.

I hope you are joking.

No i wasn’t. This was all I read.

One threat made to inspectors, who rely on referrals from agents, goes like this:
“I will never be able to use you or your company again if you don’t pass this roof, which you know is perfectly fine, and nobody in my office will be using your company again either.”
I have heard this many, many times from prominent agents over the years. It is often just that blatant… or worse.

Objective inspectors like myself sometimes end up on “Black-Lists” and are omitted from the lists of inspectors for buyers to choose from. I get almost no referrals from agents. Does that mean I am a terrible inspector?

There are good, ethical agents who do recommend me to their Buyers, but even they don’t recommend me to their sellers.

Never. Estimates should only be provided by qualified contractors licensed and intending to do the work. Smart homeowners get more than one estimate. Real estate agents who push inspectors for estimates are lazy and uninformed.

After a quick review I must say I did today for the first time. See post

I do not like it or want to do it but did it to satisfy a client today. It seems every real estate person in South East Florida wants and expects this service. It would be great if there was one source we could get info from to put in the reports when requested. It is my opinion that it is impossible to do accurately without getting all the details for each defect. You never know what else is there you do not see and what a qualified contractor will deem necessary to do. I know of no other way to get to work from some Realtors without providing the same useless information.

If someone has a great solution that will make everyone involved happy I am all ears.

Nick, I never give estimates.

I tell them to contact the qualified person to evaluate!

This is why Public Adjusters use software that they have to purchase each and every year to do “estimates”. The price tag is hefty plus the cost of training to learn the software makes it outside the reach of most home inspectors. An adjuster would not dream of doing estimates w/o the up to date (that day’s) prices for materials, fixtures and components as they would most likely end up being sued. The software data is so location and item specific the new specs has to be downloaded for each job in insure accuracy. I don’t like it when real estate agents “estimate” my prices as I am sure contractors would not appreciate me guessing at their. That is just one of the reasons we tell folks to get at least three estimates, because there is going to usually be a significant spread. The only person who comes out looking stupid is the inspector unless he or she is trained and has the support like Xactomate software to back them up. Oh yeah, don’t forget to figure in labor…if you know it.

Right down to the $15 dollar stuff. Come balance the fan at my house… there’s $15 waitin for ya.

I have had investors and commercial property buyers query me about cost’s. But, significant items are discussed, that I am comfortable giving a guideline of costs. “Estimated” imply’s something that is a no-no in of itself and a customer may rely too heavily on such… which is a disservice to all concerned. A premise should also be discussed that while a guideline may be provided, it is not a substitute for having the tradesperson who may make repair/upgrades/replacement advise on cost’s and scope of work.

Slippery Slope and generally a no-no in my opinion for a residential customer.

Agree…that is not just a slippery slope, that is a greased telephone pole.

When a real estate salesman insists upon repair or replacement estimates, perhaps we should suggest in the report that the client insist upon having their agent provide them with written estimates of closing costs, loan fees and an exact closing date.

The bottom line to all this is…if you’re not the one doing it, you’re guessing - not estimating.

This is scary we are agreeing again. :smiley:

To guess and to estimate are close enough in definition to be interchangeable.

How many have you ball parked something…Like say a roof repair FOR EXAMPLE…you know they pressure you into a BALLPARK and you say “About $700” only for the Realtor to but in and say “I can get it done for $250”. I love it when this happens! I then leave ALL estimates to the Realtor and tell them to use her and her contacts for estimates because they can apparently do thing for much less than the typical contractor.

Like Joe said, most people expect estimates here in south florida. I will provide one on a seperate report upon request which may include a fee. Having done residential remodeling as a full time profession previously, its not a major poa… but requires extra work, thus deserving extra$ imo. It can create drama, but this can be avoided by discussing the items and everyone’s expectations beforehand.