A new trend has come up with Home Inspectors providing a "3rd Party" Estimate on Repairs. Basically, they advertise, to get you to use them for a home inspection, they will send your inspection to a 3rd Party Contractor to provide a neutral and objective cost for repairs. They say it gives the buyer and the seller a good idea of how much the cost will be and make the process of getting bids faster and easier.
I have seen a few of the Cost Estimates and to me, they look to be a computer generated report and not performed by a local contractor. Below are just some of the Computer generated cost that were just way out of line were;" One of the companies I saw was called Repair Pricer.
- GFCI repair/replacement "Repair Pricer" cost $163 Each, What an actual local repair cost est. $75.00 or less
- Replace Gas Line to Furnace connection "Repair Pricer" cost $350. What actual local repair est. $50-$100
- Caulk around a Tub Shower "Repair Pricer" cost $195, What Local repair cost would be around $25
- Insulate Exterior Water Pipe from Ground to House 2', "Repair Pricer" cost $106 What local repair cost $15
- Roof Flashing Missing or improperly installed 6' "Repair Pricer" cost $600 What local repair cost $75
- Place cracked Glass pane in window 5x9 "Repair Pricer" cost $900 What actual cost $75
- Replace 4 ton A/C system "Repair Pricer" cost $10,000 What actual cost would be $6,000 or so.
So you can see that if this Cost Estimate was submitted for a repair request, the Buyer would love it, but the seller would be very hesitant to go along with such over priced repairs. This would cause a large disparity for the seller to agree to the repair request from the buyer and the home sale could be jeopardized to the point of falling apart.
One of the important jobs of a realtor is to have a good understanding or what repairs are needed and how much they should cost. Realtors should also have a list of good, honest and competent Handy Men, Contractors,, Electricians, plumbers, Pool Repair companies and such that can provide accurate, and competitive bids on repairs.
Inspectors perform a very important function in a Home sale. They are to report accurately and completely any defects they find in a home. They are not to provide suggestions on who to get to correct the defects. I personally would never recommend any inspector that provides any type of guidance towards repairs.