Lately I'm wondering that myself.
Normally we provide the first "scope of work" then bid the job, and put it out to bid to contractors but lately we are being undermined by the home buyer. They think they will reinvent my job and do it their way... and it is costing them money.
Buyer give us a budget then walked through the home together... they wanted this and that and it got to the point where we were well over their budget and they continued to add more and more work... Interesting, but "no cigar". While I had asked for a termite report they were dragging their feet on ordering one... why? It seems they wanted to see my bid first then they would order the termite report and possibly add things into the mix.
1) I had to do my write up...
2) Then go back and do it again with the termite report
3) Then go back and start cutting items to get it back down to their budget
So, now they want to go back to the seller and try to renegotiate the sales price. My fee is based on the amount of the construction - the highest amount it reaches and I price out before we start cutting it back...mmm. $800 + mileage for example - Inspection time is about 1.5-2 hours, in this case 2 hours. Time to prepare report 3-4 days then add the termite report an other day or so - 5 days typically. Now they want to go back to the seller and try to renegotiate the price, if there is no movement on the seller's part then the deal dies. Client is out $800 + mileage.
Same home doing it a different way
Feasibility Analysis instead of a full report - Cost for this service is $350 no mileage charge. The purpose of a feasibility analysis is to provide a report. Inspection time 30 minutes, write the report and turn in the next day. Agent negotiates with seller with a tool in his/her hand that lends credence to the reason for doing so. If the deal dies here the client is out only $350, if they are responsive then we do the full inspection, sorry the $350 is a separate fee and doesn't apply to the full report.
Sellers arent' typically interested in a buyer's wish list... only in the FHA MPS (Minimum Property Standards) so they won't negotiate based on a new kitchen if the existing kitchen meets the MPS.