Newbie flipper here just have a quick question. Looking to get into flipping this year, I’ve gather a good understanding on the whole process. My only real question is how does one go about playing what renovations should be done to the property? Are we just seeing what is popular in the area off comps? Should we use realtors to help with this? Or interior designers?
Flip to the area the home is located in. Having a realtor with knowledge of what area remodels look like and sell for can be very helpful.
You shouldn't need an interior designer unless you're working with luxury/high-end homes that sell for something in the 7 figure range.
@John Smith I would put this in the "knowing your market" bucket. Comps are a great starting point. What sold immediately, and what sat? What went for well over asking? etc.
A designer is not needed, but a poorly designed house in most markets will sit. New cabinets alone don't necessarily make you money. But again, know your market. My wife is a designer and we flip in areas (not high end) where unique design sells for premium to other "standard flips". We also did a flip in a neighborhood that was much more budget conscious, so her design did not get the premium we hoped for (thankfully, we still made money).
If you do not want to do the research or trust yourself in finish selection, there is no harm in hiring a designer to help, as long as you budget for it. My wife works with 3 flippers that pay her to do all the design work for them. They set the budget and she gives them a full packet of notes to hand off to contractors and lists of where to buy everything. She charges several thousand dollars for this, but to these flippers that cost frees them up to find more deals.
Of course, as Bob mentions, you don't NEED to hire a designer and many flippers do well just picking finishes and working floor plans themselves.
Definitely design for the market and price range you're in. It depends on your skill in choosing design materials and/or your GC. If neither of you have much experience in designing then it will show when you try and put together cabinets and tile that don't necessarily match. As a designer and a Realtor, I've seen so many flips on the market that have obviously been done by a male (sorry guys) with no experience in design concept. These tend to sit and you lose money. You can hire a designer that works specifically with flippers so they understand the need to keep costs low and what needs to be handed off to the contractor (like mentioned in the above comment).
Happy to help if you have any questions!
Hi John, great question! You should definitely get familiar with what is expected in that area. As some others mentioned, you might put in a premium material (marble or granite) when the comps say you could have used a more cost effective material. In this aspect, this is something you can do yourself by looking at what else is for sale and what recently sold but a real estate agent can help with this. Most will be happy to do a consult with you. However, they are not going to choose designs or materials for you, they are just going to advise you on what's popular in the area. Make sure to do research here and get a real estate agent who is familiar with that neighborhood.
A designer could be worth it but they can get pricey. You would have to decide if you have the budget for it and if the expense is worth freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of the flip, or your flipping business in general. Whichever route you choose, make sure you are paying attention to what they say and get familiar with products and designs so you can feel more comfortable in your future flips! Good luck!