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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 siteThe hiring of qualified, trustworthy contractors to handle your property modifications and repairs might be one of the most difficult aspects of investing in single-family rental properties in Walnut Creek. Few investors have the time or resources to hire a contractor whose work is merely substandard. However, the truth is that there are con artists and other people out there who will try to rob you of your money and then abandon you. Fortunately, it is possible to find the trustworthy, reasonably-priced contractors you need for every project if you know a few basic tips and tricks – and what to steer clear of.

Ask for Referrals

In order to complete the work, you as a property owner need contractors you can trust. It’s a good idea to hunt for industry experts you’ll want to work with on a regular basis. This will help you save a ton of time and money. But you have to start with research in order to choose contractors with whom you may develop enduring business ties. Requesting referrals from respectable real estate agents, property managers, and other property owners is an excellent location to begin. Online research is another option for finding a contractor. Through consumer reviews and even professional recommendations, a number of websites attempt to assist users in vetting contractors.

Ask for References

Another tip for locating an excellent contractor (or two) is to request references. Top-notch contractors will be pleased to give you the names of one or more former customers who may share their feedback. Once you have a name, make sure to ask detailed questions about the contractor’s dependability, affordability, responsiveness, and flexibility. Did they charge the agreed-upon amount? How effectively did they address your concerns and make adjustments? It is in your best interest to keep looking if you have concerns about the responses you receive.

Research Your Top Picks

Before deciding on a candidate, it is essential to examine their credentials and online reviews thoroughly. Check with the state licensing board and local court records for the name of your contractor. You should avoid using unlicensed contractors because doing so could expose your rental property to significant liabilities. 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. Even while a few missed calls might not necessarily indicate danger, if more than 24 hours go by without a response, move on.

Other red flags to look out for throughout the bidding process include the following. 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 is true if the contractor makes bold claims about how much work they can complete in a certain amount of time or indicates that they would require unlimited time and supplies. Not only do you need someone who can work efficiently, but you must also discover someone who is consistently realistic regarding project costs and completion times.

Focus on Quality

Once you’ve screened a few possible contractors, get bids from them. The quote will give you an idea of how much you may expect to pay for the service and how each provider determines their rates. Don’t accept the lowest bid, particularly if it’s substantially lower 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. This may also indicate that the contractor has no intention of obtaining the necessary work permits. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to avoid paying too much for your contractor’s services. Aim for a realistic average bid.

It can take some effort at first to find the perfect contractors for the upgrades and repairs you need to make to your investment property. However, once you determine whom you can rely on to complete the task, this aspect of your property management strategy can become streamlined and effective. You can save yourself time by contacting Real Property Management Diablo Valley, who has established contacts throughout Walnut Creek. Call us at 925-658-5755 for more information today.

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