Realtor asked to oversee a condo rehab

14 Replies

Hi!  I am a real estate agent and have been asked by my investor/client (currently out of the country) to oversee a rehab condo project.  Has anyone done this before? The project will take approximately 3 weeks to complete. My client is using one contractor to perform the work. I will primarily be driving to and from the site taking pictures and/or video, checking in on the progress, etc.  I would love to hear your feedback on how much one usually charges to oversee such a project.

@Lynn Wilkerson doesn't that seem to be a little out of the realm of an agent. If things go wrong it seems like you would be on the hook for agreeing to oversee the project.

The risk doesn't seem worth the few bucks you will make. Disregard what I said if you are a licensed contractor haha

@Brandon L. I really appreciate your feedback. Lol.  Nope! I'm not a licensed contractor only a licensed RE agent.  I have thought about liability issues.  However,  I am not sure how much of a liability issue it would be if I'm only poking my head in to take pics, possibly opening up for the contractor, and documenting the progress of the rehab and reporting back to the investor.  

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Get in writing exactly what your responsibilities are for this. One person's definition of "overseeing a project" can mean pictures and videos....another can be "project manager". Huge difference.

Get in writing exactly what your role and responsibilites will and will not be so there are no misunderstandings later on.

@Lynn Wilkerson

Keep it simple and ask the client exactly what they want and then email them something that sates exactly that.  If it's pictures and video only, say exactly that. If they come back to you and say they want you to also do x, y and z then tell them there will be a fee for that also.   As for a typical percentage fee; I would simply "google" What is a typical percentage fee to charge for overseeing a condo rehab project. 

You may be surprised at what you see people typically charge for this versus what your clients are asking. 

Be careful with the title you give yourself in the agreement. I work at a company that does similar work on larger projects. We have been told by liability insurance reps over and over that we are "observers" who "observe" the work, NOT "inspectors" who "inspect" it. An observer is someone who oversees and reports to the owner with little or no say in the contractors means and methods. Calling yourself an inspector implies you have some knowledge of the construction.

In your case where you are not "managing" the project, a percentage would be irrelevant, and not appropriate.  It's essentially an hourly rate for your time....nothing more, nothing less aside from fostering a relationship.

As everyone else suggested tread very carefully. I personally would not do it at all. Overseeing a project or "observing" a project is not worth risking my real estate license and career. 

Hey @Lynn Wilkerson ,

You've received some great feedback from @Brian Garlington , @Eli Molloy and @Wayne Brooks .

I have personally run into this as I work with a number of out of state, and some out of country investors, and I simply charge an hourly rate for my time.  I provide referrals, as I'm sure you do, but do not certify or guarantee the work in any way.  I simply take photos and videos, coordinate times and provide updates.

In my opinion, this is a very valuable service and allows you to distinguish yourself from 99% of other realtors.  

Oh how appreciate BP! All the support and great advice coming from you all is much appreciated. The owner/investor is working on a specific list of responsibilities. Once received I will determine how to move forward.

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Do not be scared of liabilites, to me there is none, I am thinking the investor only wants you to be his eyes, ears, and mouth, i do not see that he will hold you responsible if something goes wrong, ultimately that's the contractor's contract that's on the line. What he meant might be for you to be just a documentation representative, now on things like that, depending on hours, I usually charge the whole day, or at minimum half a day, it is not only the time that I'll be on site, you need to include travel time.