Real Estate Companies and Cabinet Estimating
Periodically local real estate agents will call looking for an estimate for doing home improvements to the kitchen or bathroom cabinet areas of a home. Generally they introduce themselves as a Realtor working for their client. The typical pitch is that they want to update the kitchen or bathrooms so that the home will show better because the cabinets are outdated.
There is a lot of adlib at this stage of the game. It took me several years to learn that most agents are just fishing for a figure (or, “estimate”) that they can use when they are showing the house to prospective buyers. Sometimes the call will bring a real legitimate sale. But don’t get your hopes up until the contract is signed and the deposit has been paid.
Be Careful Not to Waist Time
I’ve had to learn the hard way that these types of calls should be screened very carefully. You should ask several questions before you commit to meet the agent or owner at the house. It’s important to really listen to what they are describing to you and discern whether or not this has the potential to be a real sale or not.
Some Good Questions to Ask the Real Estate Agent
- Do you have the house on the market already?
- Is the home undercontract for sale? If so when will the closing be?
- How soon do you need the work to be done?
- Who will be paying for the work, the buyer or the seller?
Once you have asked the realtor several questions you will be able to decipher whether this is a call worth taking time out of your busy schedule and away from your family to peruse. I have gotten a few really good jobs from real estate companies and I have also wasted tons of time assembling estimates that never produced any sales. It’s true that the condition of the kitchen cabinetry plays an important part in selling a home. Realtors oftentimes just want to know the cost so they can have more leverage when they are trying to sell the house.
Sometimes a realtor will need a few repairs done in the kitchen or bathroom. These are generally good money makers for the small cabinet company that is a one man operation. The main point I am trying to make is save your self a lot of time by asking plenty of questions upfront. Don’t just jump in the car and go racing off the meet with the realtor at the home that is for sale and start making all kinds of promises as to when you will be providing an estimate. A good sign that they are wasting your time is when a real estate agent asks you to estimate the kitchen and bathrooms several different ways.