- Get at least three written estimates.
- Check references. If possible, view earlier jobs the contractor completed.
- Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
- Be sure the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
- Make as small of a down payment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
- Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
- Check that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t. Also, remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
- Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will be involved too.
- Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.
- Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
- Guarantee that the materials that will be used meet your specifications.
- Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work.
Source: National Association of REALTORS®
- They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.
- They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
- They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process.
- They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.
- They don’t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.
Source: Real Estate Checklists and Systems, www.realestatechecklists.com.