Welcome to the series of posts helping Introverts with buying a home, selling a home or investing in real estate. I tend to be an introvert more than an extrovert so I thought it would be appropriate to give some advice to others like me on how they can succeed in real estate without having to go outside their comfort zones.
If you are reading this post in the series, you have been rejoicing as of late, because you executed a contract on your home. After the bother of showing the home, it has paid off and you have a contract in place with a buyer. Beware! The next step is the step that most sellers (and buyers) find the most stressful. The buyer is going to inspect your house and then send you a list of repairs they want done before they will purchase it. Why is this so stressful? As the owner of the house you are selling, you are proud of it. You cherish it for all the hard work you put into keeping it in a condition you think is fine. For a buyer to send you a list of things wrong with your house, it is nerve wrecking. No one wants to be told their house is not perfect.
There are some tricks you can try to help alleviate the stress of the process. First, you have to tell yourself in a convincing way that the house no longer belonged to you once you put it on the market. The house now belongs to whomever is going to purchase it from you. If you put yourself in this frame of mind, it will hurt less when you get the repair amendment because you are not getting negative feedback about your house, you are getting ask to make repairs for the buyer. You can also make a list of repairs you know need to be made to the property. Hopefully, you had the property inspected before putting it on the market so already have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done to the house. However, if you decided to forego the inspection, a laundry list of things you know is wrong with the house would help you to mentally prepare yourself for the ask to fix them. Of course, you can get all of these repairs from the Seller’s Disclosure Notice where you are required to disclose all of the things you know are wrong with the house. You can jot down all the things from the Seller’s Disclosure Notice on a piece of a paper and hang it on the fridge. In this way, you are consistently reminded about the repairs. Please remember that inspection reports will probably still include items not found on your Seller’s Disclosure Notice. Every inspector will find something different that needs to be fixed on a house. You should reinforce this idea in your mind before getting the repair amendment from the buyer.
You can also be rest assured that there are plenty of ways to find out how much repairs are going to cost you, which will also help with the stress level. You do have to have the repairs done by a licensed technician so it will cost you money. Here are three online tools to find out how much repairs will cost you.
1. HomeAdvisor True Cost Guide – This tool is my favorite when it comes to estimating repair costs with your home. I use it from time to time for clients and find it to be easier to use and accurate in its estimates. The nice thing about this tool is it bases its answers on over 1 million data points from homeowners versus from the skilled vendors. Home repair costs are available in three different ways. You can search for a specific repair via their search engine, which also requires you to input your zip code. You can also easily browse through 300 of their most requested repair quotes, which is done via a picture slide show. Finally, you can browse via their more granular categories. No matter how you find your home repair project, the tool gives you some great data on the project itself and the different components of the repair process along with several possible costs for the project. It is a great page to use as an introvert when trying to ascertain repair costs before calling the actual vendors.
2. Homewyse Installation Cost Calculator – You will sometimes get requests to replace an item which requires installation of the item. The Homewyse tool is a wonderfully quick way to find some more common installation costs. The estimates have a lot of detail to them so you should have a good idea before calling vendors how much you should expect for the installation. It is an easy tool to use. The initial page has some broad installation categories like Appliances and Countertops. Once you click on the heading, you are given some specific installation projects like with appliances you get everything from refrigerator to washing machine. You get the estimate when you click on the specific installation project. Overall, it is a great way to get some estimates without having to call a single vendor.
3. Fixr Remodeling Cost Guide – Once in a blue moon, you might get a request to remodel a section of your home for the buyer. When this occurs, Fixr remodeling tool is a great overview of what it will cost for the remodel project. The report provided is a wonderful breakdown of cost and considerations one needs to take when doing the remodeling project. One neat bit of information with these reports is how labor costs for the project has changed in different parts of the country. It works very similarly to Homewyse that you have a broad category that you can narrow down to a specific remodeling project. Overall, it is a good general introduction to possible remodeling costs for any one project. I wish there was more projects, but hopefully this will grow more over time.
In conclusion, there are plenty of ways to get prepared to do repairs on your house when required by buyers. The three tools we introduce to you can be used individually or together. It makes sense you might use all three tools to get a sampling from each how much repairs will cost you. Just remember that repair requests do not have to stressful if you do your homework on the costs and know what to expect when it is requested.