estimating repairs on a house NOT under contract

Hi to all you pro’s out there from yet another newbie…

I just got through looking at a potential home…it is in foreclosure. The Co. who owns it want’s 142k and it’s valued at $200,600.00 The realtor who went out with me guess at least 30-40k worth of repairs are needed to get this up to looking halfway decent (drywall, roof, carpert, pool, etc…)

My question is, how can you go about estimating repairs before you have a contract??

I have seen some estimators on the internet (ServiceMagic) and others, but is there any others???

Thanks in advance!!

Scott Jackson
Houston, TX

Be glad to come and help you figure it out for $250 dollars. I will give you a detailed estimate to fix and repair the entire project. Can be there tomorrow!

Happy Holidays and Thank you,
Ted P. Stokely Jr
11505 Sw Oaks
Austin, Texas 78737
512-301-9171 home
512-587-6177 mobile

It makes no sense to spend an minute of your time inspecting a property you don’t have under contract. Rookie mistake.

Write it up using your best guess, give yourself plenty of room, and once that’s accepted you get the thing inspected to confirm your estimates. You can then reopen the negotiations when the inspect prove to be worse than you’d imagined.

Not surprisingly, it always is, if you know what I mean.


Understandable about the ‘rookie mistake’ I’d like to make a little better than my ‘best guess’ because I have no idea how much materials or labor even start out as. Something I may think is only 2,000 turns aout to be 5-6000 and I’m out that much more. See my problem??

If comfort level is more important than time, drag a contractor or handyman through the place with you. Grill them to death while they’re writing it up. Do that a few times. Once you’ve done a rehab or two, you’ll soon have that comfort level of estimating by merely talking on the phone.

“carpet needs to be steam-cleaned” = total replacement = sq. ft. x whatever your guy’s number is

“paint needs touch-up on the exterior, a bit on the interior, and one room needs to be painted” = total repaint = whatever your numbers are

Joe’s point was to make your best guess on the phone, get it under contract subject to inspection, and modify as needed after inspection. It’s a big time-saver.

Thanks Tim, that makes things simpler!! ;D The simpler the better!!


You can hire a handyman and pay him for his time to make an estimate of repairs.