Basically: Ask the agent what you can do to improve it and how much you would get, then have a few contractors come over and give you estimates. Difference obviously = profit potential
You also might want to look at a few finished products to see what others have done and the kind of prices the work reflects.
I think the real trick will be timing for you. Most of the professionals I know will want you to have found and contracted on the property you want to work on.
I am not only a realtor, also an investor, general contractor, do majority of my design work bring homes fashion forward. Many options made available however a review of entire property what works best for resale and potential new home buyer.
I do this on a consultant bases. Best to have a professional work with you prior making any financial mistakes.
National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lynn911
If you have a great Realtor in DFW, then they know the builders who are doing such projects, as the builders come to the Realtors to solicit clients. A contractor isn't going to roam all over town looking at homes with you. Find a good Realtor who can help you find the home with the right bones for a remodel, keeping in mind that LOCATION is still key to making the best selection. Then, get the contractor to go to your 2nd showings on your favorite 1-3 homes. You are right that not every person, no matter their profession, can see the potential beyond the cosmetic or structural issues. But, we work with a ton of clients in Dallas who do major remodels at every price point of home, and investors who buy to flip. We're used to contractors and designers coming in on final home selections and adding their input. These jobs are a labor of love, even if the work is contracted out. They bring back neighborhoods to their former glory, and if done right, they don't devastate the original character of the home in the process. We Realtors appreciate those types of projects and the people who can take them on.
Have a blessed day!
Ronda Allen, Realtor and Certified Purchasing Manager
CEO of comingsoonhomes.com
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs
Hope that helps.
Your Realtor should know neighborhood values, be able to give you a good estimate of your ROI (return on investment). You do not want to proceed without these numbers.
If I can be of any assistance let me know.
Mary Beth Harrison
The Harrison Group
Keller Williams Realty
If you are looking for someone to go with you as you look at each individual house, that may be costly. Your Realtor should be able to have enough vision and knowledge of what is desirable to let you know how things can be rearranged or designed to be functional. Once you have a couple picked out, it may be cheaper then to bring in contractors or decorators then to give you idea, if certain things can be done structurally and what their cost would be. I assume you do have a Realtor, but if not I definitely have the vision and ability I am talking about. As well I rebate 20% of my commission to all my buyers.
Thanks and good luck