A Simple Property Inspection Checklist I’ve Used for Years [FREE DOWNLOAD]
You've come to the right place because we're giving away another tool that you can swipe and deploy to help you level up your REI game, hooray!
Hey there, JP here… coming at you with a document that’s extremely practical for every real estate investor.
But hang on a hot minute…
In case you don’t know already, there’s an entire “Swipe & Deploy” goodies category over here—which we’re always adding to, and currently gives you everything from an agreement for subcontractors and a contractor lien agreement to an affidavit of equitable interest, a transfer property letter and a simple real estate contract.
Plus, a tasty option agreements, a letter of intent template, MLS keywords, a seller phone script & voicemail script — even some marketing goodies like one of our favorite motivated seller letters and seller postcards too.
Check those ⮅ out to better equip your business with super-helpful tools.
OK, before moving forward with our swipe and deploy, I have a question first: When you’re out there on the scene, looking over a property, what’s on your mind?
Yes, of course, you’d like to be 100% focused on looking at every detail of the property. But you may also be trying to discuss matters with the potential seller. That can be a big distraction.
So, how do you keep your mind focused? How can you be sure you’re not missing an important element of the inspection?
If you’ve ever had that scattered feeling, you’re going to love this property inspection checklist that I’ve been using for years. It’s saved me hours of time, and sometimes even saved me from making an expensive mistake.
But, wait, there’s more…
In addition to letting you swipe this list, I’ve created a detailed video for you that explains exactly how I put this list to work in my own real estate investing business.
After you watch the video, you can then customize not only the physical list, but also the manner in which you use it.
Press play, friends…
So you've got a great deal that just kind of fell in your lap — a property that hit your radar and, you know, time is of the essence. You need to get out there and size it up quickly, make sure that what looks like a deal from afar and smells like a deal, actually maths like a deal. That means you or somebody you trust has to go out and lay eyes on that property and make sure that the numbers work.
But when the pressure is on, in times of the essence like that, how do you make sure that you don't accidentally overlook or forget to inspect something?
Would it be great if you had a cheat sheet, maybe a seasoned investor's cheat sheet that you could just have in your bag of tricks, pull out and make sure that all the boxes are checked? What if you could get access to that free of charge, no strings attached, and even get a quick walk through so you really understand how to read it and use it?
Let's talk about that.
Hey, what's up, guys? JP Moses here. Hope you're doing well. In this video, I just want to kind of quickly run through a neat little form I put together many moons ago and we still use… we use it a little differently than we used to, though.
It's the Property Inspection Summary that you see here before. It's a pretty darn simple document, so there's really not a lot that I need to explain to you, but I think it may be helpful to walk through a couple of elements on it and explain how we use it today.
So originally I put this together. I had, like, a gazillion of them printed and stuffed in this normal size manila envelope that I kept on hand in the car. And the idea is I would use this form to quickly assess a property, just get all the necessary info that I need to size it up all on one side of a single sheet of paper. And then I would maybe use the back for anything extra that there wasn't a space for on the front, something like that. And then armed with this document, I would get in, get it done, and get out as quickly as possible, especially if it's one of those days where I printed off like 15 different houses that I want to see.
So I would aim to have this thing filled out and maybe snap some digital pictures on my camera all in about 15 to 20 minutes. And sometimes I actually accomplished that. And then I would also keep a copy of this filled out and tickler file, even if my offer was turned down. That way I could go back and quickly size up the house and what my last offer was and that kind of thing, and then see if I might want to follow up with another offer.
Personally, I found this little piece of paper particularly helpful when I'm making a lot of offers on houses. Really just helps keep everything organized and in one place. So originally I filled it all out.
Nowadays, my business is set u/houses, and he is not very good at filling stuff out… and we use Podio now. And Podio didn't exist back in 2001 when I created this document. So some of what you're about to run through, we do on Podio now instead of this document. But some people are just not digital folks. Some people don't really like computers. They like doing things on paper or whatever.
Even if you are using something like Podio for some of this information or some other software, at the very least, and this is more how James uses this today in our operation, this is a good checklist so that you don't forget to review things when you're at the house.
I don't know about you, but when I'm out at the house, I am really trying to focus hard on the seller and building rapport and uncovering motivation. And I'm focused on every ninja, Jedi, mind trick and connection technique that I've ever learned. And when you're doing that, sometimes it can be hard to remember everything about the property that you need to look at.
So there's been many times when I didn't have this to use as kind of a mental checklist or a written checklist. I guess it's not mental. And then I ended up going I don't really remember if there were foundation issues because I totally forgot to even look at the foundation. Obviously, that can be an expensive mistake to make. So even if you don't fill out paperwork like this, I would recommend that you have this handy to use as a checklist.
So let me just walk through it. Whether you use these kind of sheets or not, when you visit a property, obviously you got the street address. If it's an MLS listed property, I find it very handy to have the MLS number on this document, the area that it's in. So, like, in my area, I might say Collierville, or I might just put it the zip code right there, or west side of Main Street, if that matters. Whatever it matters to me about the area, I'll make a quick note of that.
Whether it's a single family or a two family or something else, I want to put the date so I can remember when I was there. The square feet, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, any other rooms, and whether it's vacant or occupied. So quick little rundown.
Now, you can also, by the way, have your bird dogs fill this out. This is a great little form. If you have bird dogs bringing you leads, you can even create a digital version of this if you prefer to have them fill it out online. But you can use this as a template for the information that your bird dogs need to give you before you'll even look at a deal from them.
Okay, so let's just run through this real quick. Roof repair, replace. And the idea on this form would be that you check here if it needs work and that you would check here if it's okay and in good condition. And then any comments? Obviously, you're not writing a novel. Just any quick notes that you want to make about the roof. You would make it here, and then if you're comfortable estimating the repair cost just based on what you know roofs for this type of house and size are going to cost, then you can go ahead and supply it right there.
Then you just run down the list. You lay your eyes on the exterior and see what the condition of the paint and or siding is. Do the windows need to be replaced? Does the foundation needs any repair. Garage or other parking? What's the condition of it? Does it even exist? Does it need landscaping? Obviously, that's going to vary depending upon what's going on in your area, depending upon whether it's a rental or going to be a retail exit strategy.
Does the exterior have some debris that needs to be cleaned up? Interior debris, interior paint, carpentry, any woodwork that needs to be done on the inside. What's the condition of the heating and cooling system? I can't tell you before we had James using this checklist, how many times he would say, I don't know, really, I don't remember if it had central air or not because he just forgot because he was building rapport with the seller.
Lay eyes on the electrical system. Is it updated or not? Are we dealing with fuses? Are we dealing with breakers? Are we dealing with some kind of, like, crazy hybrid? What's the plumbing situation? Carpet, vinyl? Needed anywhere. Kitchen? Does it need any repairs? Bathrooms? Septic tank, oil tank. Well, anything else?
So there's your checklist, right? And then you can add up all your repair items and then give yourself an estimate. Any other comments, there's a spot for that.
Down here I created these little areas so that I could do some quick calculations. And the retail calculation, this is just your classic MAO formula, right? ARV. What do I think the ARV is? Make a note of it here. Obviously, I'm going to look at some hard comps to determine that. Times 70%. What is times 70%? Less estimated repairs, less anything else I decide I might want. Like my wholesaling fee, for example, could go here, and then my maximum allowable offer, I input here.
If you are looking at this as a rental property, not a retail analysis, then this is a type of formula that I have used to calculate a rental MAO. It may or may not apply to your area. Each area tends to be rather specific as to what the landlord's formulas need to be. So you're going to want to probably tweak this a little bit to match what landlords think is a good deal in your area. That, by the way, is why I'm giving this to you as a Word document, so that you can edit the crap out of this if you want to. But you have a good framework to start with.
And then ultimately you're going to make a note over here of the asking price. Like, if it's a listed property, they have an asking price and the listing agent, who the seller is. And then down here at the very bottom, just an opportunity for you to make note of any offers that you've made whenever you make your first offer, the date, if they counter, the date that they counted and how much, second offer, all that kind of stuff. It's pretty self explanatory.
I found this section especially helpful when I was dealing with a lot of MLS offers, and there was a season in our business where we did almost exclusively deals from the MLS.
So take this document and revamp it. Make it your own. If nothing else, you could just use the left side here as a checklist. Like I said, when you go to the property, or you can print it off and use it the exact same way that I used to use it. Like I said, we don't fill this out on every deal anymore. It was a great aid to me earlier in my career, though, and at this point, the biggest value it has for us is James uses it as a checklist. So it's yours to do it as you will.
Guys, if you haven't done so lately, make sure you check out all the other goodies that we have available for you in the Swipe and deploy section of the site. And look at all of the awesomeness. I'm talking scripts, checklists, contracts, affidavits, all kinds of stuff pulled right out of mine and Patrick's real life real estate investing businesses.
And call to action here after you download this form and add it to your arsenal. If you have anything that we haven't already given you that you would like us to consider for a future Swipe and Deploy, please leave it in a comment below. We'd love to know. I'm always wanting to deliver for you guys what's going to help you the most based on where you are in your business right now. So if you don't have something like that, some kind of form or checklist or whatever that you would like, raise your hand tell us what it is by leaving a comment below.
All right, thanks, guys. Appreciate you. JP out.
Property Inspection Checklist: Get Mine Now 🙂
Once you start using this checklist, no part of the inspection will ever slip by you. Why rely on your memory when you can be using this incredibly detailed list?
I hope you'll use it improve the way you do business. So, ready to just grab mine for your own bag of tricks?
Awesome, here's how…
Step 1 ⤸
“Like” our Facebook page please?
Step 2 ⤸
Just leave a comment below sharing your honest feedback on the property inspection checklist I'm freely sharing with you. Whatever you think after hearing my thoughts behind it in the video above. Good, bad, and anywhere in between. Seriously.
Alternately, I’m also interested in hearing anything else (another resource or tool) that you’d like us to share in a future “Swipe & Deploy” like this. Do tell.
Step 3 ⤸
Then Chuck Norris will hand you over my template.
Totally serious. Just try it. 😀
Have at it… swipe away, my friends. And don't forget to be awesome today!