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Contractors: Tips, Tricks, and What to Avoid

Greensboro Contractor and Property Owner Shaking HandsPart of the most difficult and challenging element of investing in Greensboro single-family rental properties could be recruiting qualified, reliable contractors for your property improvements and repairs. Not many investors have time or money to spend and waste on hiring a contractor that just doesn’t give high-quality work. Happily, you can detect the best contractors, and those to completely avoid, by understanding well a few simple tips and tricks.

As a property owner, you need to have contractors you can trust to do the work and do it well. It’s an excellent thought to seek industry professionals you’ll want to unhesitatingly hire to do work for you over and over. You can save a great deal of time and money this way. But to find contractors you can build long-term business relationships with, you first need to do your research. A perfect starting point is to solicit endorsements from trusted real estate agents, property managers, and even property owners. You can additionally research potential contractors online. A lot of sites make an effort to help vet contractors with customer reviews or professional recommendations.

One other really good advice when looking for a great contractor (or two) is to seek a referral. Quality contractors will be enthusiastic to give you one or more names of former clients who could speak about their past experiences. As soon as you secure a name, be sure to ask specific questions as regards to the contractor’s reliability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. Did they adhere to the agreed price? How well did they react to your concerns and changes? If you ever still have even a bit of doubt about the answers you’ve collected, it is in your utmost interest to continue with the search.

If you have numerous potential contractors vetted, ask them to give you a bid. The bid will provide you with a picture of how much you can expect to pay for the work, together with how all contractors calculate their rates. Even though it might be tempting, don’t accept the lowest bid, particularly if it is lower than all the others. Very low bids can at times be a hint that the contractor is making an effort to invite you in with a low price then covertly tacking on additional charges later. These would also be a clear sign that the contractor does not plan at all to obtain required work permits. On the other hand, it’s vital not to overpay for your contractor’s work. Aim for the middle bid, which will likely be the most realistic.

While going about with your investigation, be aware of potential warning signs, for instance, awful reviews or skeptically low prices. Check with your state licensing board and search local court records for your contractor’s name. Unlicensed contractors should not be used and could potentially open you up to serious liability with your rental property. A large number of complaints or lawsuits are a very telling clue. The same goes if you are having a difficult time getting the contractor to answer their phone or respond to messages. Despite that, a few missed phone calls are not a sure sign of trouble, if more than 24 hours pass without a response, move on.

There are a few more warning signs to keep an eye on within the bidding process. As an example, abstain from any contractor that demands a large deposit upfront. Anything more than 15% should be cause for concern. This is also true if the contractor implies that they will need unlimited time and materials or make big promises about how much they can do within a specific timeframe. Granting that you do need someone who can complete the work properly, it’s likewise necessary to discover someone who is constantly sensible and realistic regarding project costs and completion times.

While doing research on every potential income property is a lot of work, Real Property Management of the Triad can help lighten your load. We offer free rental property analyses for investors, which can help you more easily identify whether the income property you want to buy is a profitable option. Contact us online or call us at 336-355-6677 or 336-777-7444 to learn more!

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