Estimates in Reports

Hello to all. I know all of the reasons why we should not put estimates in home inspection reports but it seems all real estate folks in Southeast Florida expect it and are completely shocked when I deliver them a report without the information. I have several questions and would appreciate any info you can provide regarding them. Thanks in advance to all who choose to offer their advice or opinions. I believe it is completely wrong that we are asked to do this as most home inspectors do not provide construction or repair services and I have never seen where they are trained to do so. I know in Florida law it states that we do not have to do so. After all that being said I would like to have real estate professionals deal with me because they seem to love every aspect of doing so until they see what they did not receive and then I can tell we are done doing business. :smiley:

  1. How do you provide accurate numbers without knowing the extent of damage other than what is visible.

  2. How do you figure cost of materials when there is 10 different ways to do most things.

  3. Do you have some disclaimer that you put on the reports when you provide this information.

  4. I there any “one source” to find all of the information needed to give these people an acceptable number.

For those reasons, I do not post cost. The variable is too large. It a lose-lose situation. You give them an estimate, they will want a hard number, if its too high YOUR WRONG. Why set yourself up for failure?

What do you do after giving them your report and they state that in all the reports they have ever received this is the only one without the information. Is it not what most do in your area? She even stated how do I negotiate as it is stated in her contract. Apparently they have some formula they use with the numbers provided? I agree it sets me up for complete failure but how do I keep the customers that desire it or is it just not possible.

Ask this guy.

I tell the client it is not required by law and the estimate I give you would not be accurate, so why do you want an estimate from an person who is not going to do the job. I have seen inspectors estimates and they for the most part are so far off it is a shame to lead someone in a direction of uncertainly. Unless that person giving an estimate is a contractor he or she should not be responsible for the cost of renovations to someone property.

I think it might be best to tell the client that …

I have made a deal with the local contractors. They don’t do home inspections and I don’t do job bids.


Alfred I agree completely and she responded then how was she going to negotiate as per her contract. I have no idea what she means and assume there is some formula they follow. Do your new clients expect this? How to you make them happy when they do not receive the info and was expecting to? I find all of this extremely bothersome as I always wish to have happy satisfied customers and this seems to kill my chances of working with those who have come to expect this service. The hard part is I have no idea they expect it until after they receive the final inspection. Today’s agent was sent to me on a referral and I know if I did a report for the person in the past I did not provide estimates. Heck I am not even sure I have done a full home inspection for the person she mentioned but did not want to appear not to remember the lady.

i had a realtor get pissed for not including repair cost, and I recommended a replacement cost estimator because the house was such a pos

When I find out they want it it is to late and I am just trying to keep a previously satisfied customer.

Mike, realtors in Florida have this mentality that they get what they want and are only trying to get rid of a product, basically I mention my position and I will not be told to do something that is not required by law and I think it doesn’t have any purpose to my inspection except give them a tool for his or her benefit. My expertise is to inspect not renovate.

That is how I feel but I also feel that I am letting down a customer that would likely do business with me again had it not been for this. How often do the Realtors request this from you 10% or 100% I would like to increase my business with them and this seems to hold me back.,

About 60%, Mike do not worry I have increased my business by being honest.

I am always honest and the sad thing is it is killing me with some clients. They just seem to need certain things to continue to do things the way they are accustomed to and do not wish to change based on how I do things.


E-mail her a link to this web site from James and tell her/him that’s why !

Forget trying to satisfy the sales associate, satisfy your customer explain to them why you don’t give estimates. The sales assoc. will forget you in a New York Minute anyway. Tell the customer to get an estimate from a licensed Florida General Contractor that is unbiased ;-);-)that way it will be higher than the unlicensed person they will end up hiring anyway and they’ll be covered. :wink: Hope that doesn’t sound too cynical :mrgreen:

Not all FL realtors expect estimates. The ones here in the panhandle don’t, or least none of the ones I have done business with these past 17+ years. Sometimes FL is like two different States…kinda like CA.

Imagine this; You give an estimate for repairs, they buy the house, they find out it going to cost $$$$ more than your estimate. They decide to sue you and their claim is, they would NOT have bought the house had they known it was going to cost them this much. They want you to make up the difference. Don’t think it hasn’t happened.

My job isn’t to make them happy… it is to inspect the home and report the findings…period.

I do not provide cost estimations within a Home Inspection Report.
I have provided estimations when contracted to provide Cost to Cure estimations.

For these, I use **RS Means **as a reference.
Also, my estimations are provided on a “Remove and Replace” basis. These will generally be much higher than a “Repair” estimate.

Hey Mike,

I think you being a GC and all, with all that superior training would be able to provide a more accurate estimate than the HI’s?

On a serious note, I have come across this many times down here and some insist that you provide estimates for repair or replace items. If you which to do so REMEMBER cover your butttttsss with disclosures and again they are “+/-ESTIMATES” No one will arrive at the same numbers…

I could not let this one go M&M no disrespect indented its TGIF have a great weekend to all…

I Would take days and do it accurately and then charge them 100.00 per hour minimum for the time. None will pay that so they just give the 0 to 500 crap to their customers. Another reason I do not do repairs, estimating is a pain and by the time I tell them what it would take to have me involved they get the handy guy from down the street to do it half-assed.

I tell the RE agent that I am not allowed to include information in my report by regulations of my insurance company as this is beyond the scope of a home inspection.

I offer to verbally provide estimates or list on a separate sheet of paper with NO business heading. My estimates are based on 35 years in HVAC, Electrical, plumbing and construction. I still provide a range of prices with a disclaimer that prices may vary up to 50% due to the amount of overhead and profit for a single handy man to a large corporate business.

Great ideas Ralph i really like the first one.