Fear of renovating can cause homebuyers to pass on listings that would be a good fit with a little TLC. In inventory starved markets, ruling out these properties may unnecessarily limit a home hunter’s possibilities.
A real estate website widget from home renovation marketplace Kukun is designed to eliminate the skittishness. It makes estimates of the cost and return on investment of renovation projects available on listings.
Intero Real Estate Services, a San Francisco Bay Area brokerage owned by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, recently added the widget to its property search site with the aim of curing buyers of “Renophobia,” the company announced.
Early results suggest the tool is a hit. About 30 percent of listings on Intero’s site have received cost estimate requests, and one out of 10 users of the tool choose to search for contractors through Kukun, according to Intero Real Estate Services.
“The Kukun solution not only offers the cost but the equity you can build and also the list of contractors that the neighbors have used so you can vet them,” said Derek Overbey, director of innovation at Intero Real Estate Services.
“The partnership should address the hesitations that homebuyers have when they buy properties that need work, which is quite frequent,” he added.
Homebuyers can click a tab on interorealestate.com listing pages and then specify a project type. That generates estimates of the project’s cost and return on investment, as well as an estimate of what the home’s value would be after the project.
After viewing a renovation cost estimate, buyers have the option to click over to Kukun to try and hunt down a contractor to perform the work.
They will also be able to view project permits in a home’s neighborhood. That way, they can home in on popular contractors in the area.