Real Estate Rehab Checklist: How To Quickly Estimate Repairs

Key Takeaways

  • Completing a solid scope of work is a crucial step in rehab real estate.
  • You won’t want to miss getting your ultimate property rehab checklist.
  • Learn how to be able to quickly estimate repairs so that you can jump on your next rehab deal.

Investing in a property with the intention of upgrading it and selling it for a profit is an excellent way to make money in real estate.

This process, also known as real estate rehabbing, consists of finding a property, assessing the property, making the necessary repairs to the property, marketing the property, and selling the property for, hopefully, a profit. You are probably familiar with this real estate exit strategy from popular TV shows on HGTV; however, the process is not as easy as these TV series’ make it seem.

Not to worry, our flipping a house checklist was designed to help you succeed.

House Rehab FAQ

Due to the popularity of flipping houses, this exit strategy can be an intimidating prospect for aspiring real estate investors. However, be careful not to let common misconceptions prevent you from pursuing your goals. Before you decide whether or not you’re ready to dive into the house flipping world, let’s get a few commonly asked questions out of the way.

  • Q: What is the 70 rule in house flipping? The 70 rule in house flipping can be used to determine a maximum purchase price of a given property by accounting for repairs and closing costs. To calculate it, multiply the after repair value (ARV) by 70 percent and then subtract estimated repair costs.

  • Q: Can you really flip houses with no money? It is entirely possible to flip houses with little to no money, you just need to be ready to pursue creative financing options. Investors can rely on private money, a business partnership or even hard money lenders to finance deals.

  • Q: How much money do you need to start flipping houses? The amount of money need to start flipping houses will depend on your financial situation and real estate market. Keep in mind there are a number of sources to help estimate costs and raise capital.

  • Q: Do you need a license to flip houses? There is not a specific license to flip houses; however, regulations will vary depending on your state. There are also a number of certifications investors may find helpful, such as a contractor’s license or real estate license helpful.

Property Checklist: Scope Of Work For Rehabbing

No property rehab checklist should come unaccompanied by the scope of work. A scope of work is an essential document that lists out the work to be done on a rehab property in careful detail. One might even think of a scope of work as a “house flipping checklist” of sorts that helps the investor communicate to contractors exactly what needs to be done, and how.

In the section below, you will find a house flipping worksheet that is designed to help investors know exactly what to look for and check as they perform their walkthrough. Upon using this rehab a house checklist, you yourself should be able to create a list of specific areas of a property that needs work. This list will then form the foundation of the scope of work. The scope of work document then takes this list into further detail by specifying exactly how this line item is to be repaired or rehabbed, with detailed instructions on how to do so, including what materials to use. As a result, this document serves as a critical ‘flipping a house’ checklist that allows a rehab real estate team to work synergistically while avoiding confusion caused by miscommunication. To get started, follow the real estate rehab checklist below.

[Thinking of flipping a house? Download “The Real Estate Rehabber’s Essential Contract Pack” for FREE ]

Rehab real estate

Your Ultimate Property Rehab Checklist

  • Pull comparables from the MLS and other websites.
  • Find a contractor and bring them to the property walkthrough.
  • Bring essential tools like a camera and flashlight.
  • Review the exterior, paying careful attention to structural issues.
  • Check interior walls for layout and cosmetic changes.
  • Decide what type of flooring will suite the property.
  • Survey kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
  • Review the condition of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.
  • Examine interior doors and trimming.
  • Stage the property and get ready to sell.

The best way to succeed as a real estate rehabber is by minding your due diligence before getting started in any deal. You must draft your business plan, find the perfect contractor, and market your finished property. If you need advice on the steps to take to achieve success, follow these 7 steps. Estimating the repairs for a given property takes experience and expertise, which is why every real estate rehabber should always have this checklist on hand. I also want to encourage you to craft a real estate rehab business plan.

Especially during your first few years as an investor, it is never a bad idea to keep several handy real estate checklists in hand. In his book “The Checklist Manifesto,” acclaimed medical surgeon and author Atul Gawande discusses how carefully designed checklists helped transform the medical system in the U.S., helping save more lives. His writings beg the question of what could unfold if even the most seasoned professionals in other industries also enacted the use of simple checklists. It is no secret that any process in the real estate industry is complex, involving many steps and sometimes many people. When a lot is at stake, making use of a real estate checklist to ensure complete thoroughness and accuracy is not only helpful, but a smart business decision.

This idea, of course, applies just as well to when you first getting started on a rehab project. Never be caught off guard by problems with the foundation or issues with the HVAC system again. Check off every item on this checklist for flipping a house and you can be sure you haven’t missed a thing:

Rehab checklist


Rehab properties can offer attractive profit margins to real estate investors willing to execute the right steps. If you find yourself eager to pursue this exit strategy, familiarize yourself with our flipping a house checklist to make sure you’re prepared for the process. Be careful not to underestimate the workload of flipping a house and read up on commonly asked questions to educate yourself. If you put work in, rehabbing houses has the potential to offer you a strong financial future.

Did you find this rehab checklist and corresponding pro tips helpful? Is there anything you would to see added? Let us know in the comments below.

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