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Contractor Hiring 101: Tips, Tricks, and Red Flags to Avoid

Young couple talking to construction worker about housing design plans at construction siteOne of the most difficult aspects of investing in Lexington Park single-family rental properties can be locating competent and dependable contractors for property maintenance and renovations. Few investors are willing to spend time or money on a contractor that will merely do subpar work. But in actuality, there are people out there who will try to con you out of your money and then abandon you. Fortunately, finding trustworthy, fairly priced contractors is achievable if you are aware of a few straightforward methods and ideas as well as what to avoid.

Ask for Referrals

You need reputable contractors who can finish the job if you’re a property owner. It’s a good idea to hunt for industry experts you’ll want to work with on a regular basis. The time and money you save will be substantial. But you must first conduct research in order to locate contractors with whom you can establish a long-term business relationship. To get started, go seek out reputable property managers, real estate brokers, and other property owners for recommendations. Online research of prospective contractors is also possible. Numerous websites make an effort to aid in the screening of contractors using client reviews or even expert advice.

Ask for References

Asking for references is yet another tip for locating a top contractor (or two). A good contractor will be pleased to give you the contact details of one or more previous clients who may offer input on their experience. Once you have a list of potential contractors, be sure to inquire about their dependability, cost, responsiveness, and adaptability. Did they adhere to the agreed price? How did they handle your issues and changes? Keep looking if you have any lingering concerns about the responses you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

Do a comprehensive background investigation on a candidate’s credentials and internet reviews before deciding to hire them. Consult your state’s licensing authority and local court records for your contractor’s name. Use of unlicensed contractors is not advised as this may expose your rental property to significant liability. A high volume of grievances or legal actions is very negative news. The same holds true if you cannot get the contractor to answer their phone or return your messages. A few missed calls here and there might not necessarily suggest trouble, but if more than 24 hours go by with no reply, it’s time to search someplace else.

During the bidding procedure, there are additional red flags to watch out for. For instance, keep an eye out for negative internet reviews or suspiciously cheap costs, and avoid the business if you discover them. Additionally, it’s wise to stay away from any contractor who requests a sizable upfront deposit. Anything above 15% should be cause for alarm. The same holds true if the contractor indicates that they will require limitless resources (time and supplies) or make broad declarations about how much they can accomplish in a short amount of time. While efficiency is important, it’s as important to hire someone who continually keeps project expenses and completion dates in perspective.

Focus on Quality

Once you’ve vetted a number of prospective contractors, request bids from them. The quote will give you an idea of the cost of the job as well as the methodology used by each contractor to determine their rates. Even while it could be tempting, resist the urge to accept the lowest offer, especially if it is much less than the others. Very low bids can indicate that the contractor is trying to get your business by offering a low price only to tack on extra fees later. They could also be an indication that the contractor does not intend to obtain the necessary work permits. Keep in mind not to overpay for your contractor’s work. Aim for the middle bid because it is likely to be the most realistic.

Starting out, it may be time-consuming finding the highest-quality contractors for your investment property’s renovations and restorations. But once you know who you can trust to do the work, that part of your property management strategy can turn into a quick and easy procedure. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Gold, who has established contacts throughout Lexington Park. Call us at 301-392-2172 for more information today.

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