GC says "You're a waste of my time"
GC says "You're a waste of my time" - Forum on BiggerPockets.com
Well, to be honest you probably are wasting the GC's time if you don't have the property under contract.
What are the chances once you get the GCs bid, the numbers are going to actually work in the deal to make an offer? What are the chances you make an offer? What are the chances your offer get's accepted? Probably pretty slim!
Let's say you actually managed to get the property under contract, are you going to use the original GC that gave you the original proposal or are you going to shop around and get 2 to 3 more bids from other GCs?
So the GC is supposed to spend an hour visiting the property and spend another few hours putting together a detailed estimate for your property that you don't own and have a very slim chance of ever owning, for FREE?!
From the GC's prospective there is a very slim chance that you will actually get the property under contract and actually award them the work, so in their words, you are a complete waste of time!
Now, once you get the property under contract that is a whole different story! I wouldn't expect to pay GCs to provide an estimate on properties I own because the chances of me hiring the Contractors is much higher.
So you either need to learn how to estimate rehab costs yourself, or you should offer to compensate the GC for their time to put together an estimate, especially if you don't have the property under contract.
Here is the process I recommend for learning how to estimate rehab costs:
#1 Read the Book on Estimating Rehab Costs
JScott's 'The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs' is a great resource for new rehabbers to learn how to Estimate Repair Costs on 25 common rehab repairs.
#2 Explore Lowes and Home Depot to Learn About Material Pricing
Take a tour through Lowes and Home Depot (or their websites) and look at finishes materials and fixtures that you will consider using in your rehab projects. This will help you get a better idea of what tile, hardwood, carpet, plumbing fixtures and light fixtures costs for your rehabs.
#3 Contact Local Contractors for Pricing
Call local Subcontractors and get budget pricing for common repairs on your typical rehab project.
For example, call a roofer and ask what their average cost per Square of Architectural Asphalt Shingle Roofing would be on a 1,500 sf house, with a 6/12 pitch.
Note: Some contractors will be reluctant to share pricing without seeing the property, but tell them you are just looking for a rough budget number you can use on future projects.
#4 Compile Your Prices into a Spreadsheet or Estimating Software
Once you start to get a better understanding of Labor and Material costs you will want to store this data into a spreadsheet or software that you can use to help you streamline the estimating process.
The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs comes with a spreadsheet that you can use to help you populate your own database of labor pricing and material pricing. Or you can download my estimating templates I have in my Biggerpockets fileplace:
Detailed Estimating Spreadsheet
There are other Estimating Softwares available as well which can help you manage the Estimating process as well...
#5 Practice, Practice, Practice
Walk through potential rehab properties (or find properties virtually online) and practice creating detailed scopes of work, quantifying repairs and estimating rehab costs for the projects.
If you are not willing to put in the time to learn, then you probably need to pay a GC to put together an estimate for you.