Vetting Your Contractors…and Your Agent
Updated: May 6
A construction job is YOUR responsibility whether it’s work on your own home or an investment property.
Use these tips to vet your contractors.
1. Examine their past and current performance: Licenses, history, and references. Look for any public data on lawsuits, disputes, complaints, or bankruptcies.
2. Ask what their workload is in the coming months: Make sure they aren’t too busy or that your job won’t overextend them. Ask about their safety procedures. Ask about their financials; can they handle the size of your job, can they pay their subs while they wait for a draw, etc.
3. Investigate the team of sub-contractors and their employees. Are they licensed? Are they permanent or temporary? Have they used these team members before? Do they have any felonies or serious drug or other problems that might make them unreliable?
4. Get proof of their worker’s compensation insurance, or you may be liable if there’s trouble.
5. Ask about their warranty and rework policy. Your job needs to be certified and have a standard quality of work.
6. Demand a written contract. This protects your investment and outlines the agreement including: Scope of work, Change orders,Time frame, Cleanup, Payment arrangements.
Vetting your real estate agent is as important as vetting your contractors!
Picking an agent could spell financial disaster if you choose the wrong one. After all, the goal is to make money on your home or investment - not lose it.
Because signing with a real estate agent is the same as hiring someone to perform a service, so treat it like a job interview. Ask questions and be SURE they are a good fit for you.
- Pay attention to how they communicate including how well they listen. Your real estate agent’s ability to understand your needs as a client is imperative to selling--and possibly buying - a home or investment property. Listen for how they communicate, follow up and respond to your needs.
- Check out the agent’s reputation. Remember, in real estate you want to work together to come to a win-win situation. We are in a changing market; make sure they are up-to-date on the latest market statistics and ways to sell.
- Go with who you trust. Your agent will be privy to personal and financial information about you. Choose someone who you can maintain a relationship with and develop a long-term connection.
- If you’re planning to make income from the investment, make sure you find a reliable investment property Realtor.
Over the years, I’ve helped clients build portfolios from buying their first property all the way up to 50 units. It’s all about trust and service between agent and client.