If you’re getting ready to flip your first house and now you’re hiring your first contractor…you’re in for a real treat. It will be a crash course, and life lesson all rolled into one. In fairness, most contractors are dedicated professional who will do they best job they can, but there are some out there who are not so scrupulous. Hiring a contractor for the first time can be intimidating there’s a lot of money on the table and for most flippers, it’s not your money you’re playing with either. Since your profit depends on the contractor doing his job well, let’s explore some tips to make the experience a positive one.
Your contractor should be able to provide easily references for you to check and if they can’t move on. You need to look online for reviews as well, check sites like Google, Yelp and Angie’s List to get a better idea of their work. You need to make sure they will show up on time and do the job properly.
Get it in Writing
Make sure to get any and all bids in writing. As nice as it would be to do business with a smile and a handshake, there is too much potential for miscommunication. A contract outlines exactly what is expected of both parties and should there be a dispute in the future you have the written agreement to fall back on.
Make Sure Your Contractor is Licensed and Insured
As the property owner, you are ultimately responsible for what happens on your property. Insurance and licensed are the cost of doing business for a contractor and they should be able to show that to you without issue. Make sure the information is accurate and up to date before they even begin working on your property. An unlicensed contractor can end up costing you a fortune in liability and fees should something go wrong.
Watch the Money
One of the biggest fears in hiring a contractor is that they won’t show up when they are supposed to, and the other is they suck money out of the project that you can’t afford to spend. The only real way to stop this from happening is a contract that spells out payment schedules. Don’t release final payment until the job is completed. Releasing payment before the job is done doesn’t offer much of an incentive for the contractor to complete the job quickly and if they decide not to finish at all you’re stuck paying for the work twice.
Most contractors are honest, hardworking people trying to make a living, just like you. Having clearly defined expectations in place right from the beginning can ensure the project runs smoothly and is profitable for both of you.