5 WAYS TO FIND CONTRACTORS
Where do you find good contractors?
One of the top questions that I get is where to find reputable contractors. I run my real estate business a little differently than most in my line of work. I’m sure that outsourcing jobs to contractors is NOT suggested by some houseflippers who prefer to do the work themselves.
But, I’m here to tell you that I love working with contractors and creating jobs for other people. At some point in the game, you will probably have to use them. Unless of course you know how to do roofing, plumbing, electrical work, and HVAC repair yourself.
I don’t know about you. But, I am not getting up on a roof in my five-inch wedge sandals anytime soon. Also, a lot of townships require permits for major repairs and will want the work to be completed by certified contractors.
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So here’s the number one rule: Never ever give a contractor the money up front. Period. Like ever!
I hear so many horror stories about people who gave a contractor the money before completing the work and the contractor took off with the money, never to be seen again. Don’t be one of them.
Here are some of my best tips on how to find quality contractors.
Where do I find quality contractors to do the work on the house that I am flipping?
1. Check out some websites online. Start with Angie’s List. Here you can put in the area that the property is located in and find lots of reviews for contractors there. You can also see photos of their work.
2. Ask your friends and family for referrals. Is your cousin’s boyfriend a landscaper? Great. Is your friend’s dad a roofer? These are all people that you can try out.
3. Social Media – put a post on Facebook and mark it as “looking for a recommendation”. Tell your followers that you are looking for referrals for contractors in your area. You will get a lot of responses. I found an awesome flooring guy this way.
4. Talk to a realtor and ask them if they can recommend any good contractors.
5. And this is my favorite. Place an ad on Craigslist or your local newspaper’s website. Put, “Handyman wanted. Bring your own tools.” Your phone will ring. Get 3 referrals from each contractor and call their past clients to see what they say. Ask the contractors to see photos.
The contractor is asking for money up front. What do I do?
Let me explain this again. Never give the money up front. If you have to make a deposit for the contractor to start the work (and buy the supplies), then pay in thirds.
Give one third before the work begins, another one third once started, and the final one third upon completion. But, never pay 100% up front. Even if it is your cousin’s boyfriend who is the contractor.
This is the exact system that I teach in the Rags to Riches - A Real Estate Investing Video Course
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How do I know if it’s a good price that I’m getting?
Always get estimates from 3 contractors. (Or at least 2). Get the estimates in writing. Then compare what each one has to offer based on the prices and services that they provide.
So for example, if a house needs a new bathtub and plumbing. Then you will call 3 different plumbers to schedule a time to look at the bathtub and provide estimates. Next, you’ll compare the 3 quotes to see which one that you should use.
Can the contractor charge me more than what originally promised?
This is why you got the estimate in writing, sweetheart! Look I get it. Stuff will come up and unexpected repairs happen all the time. But, a good contractor will notify you of these things as they discover them and should get your approval before repairing any major items that might come up.
Make it clear that they should not be fixing anything (other than what is on the estimate sheet) without your permission.
Once the final work is completed and right before you make the final payment to the contractor – have them sign a mechanic’s lien waiver form.
Do you need one? I am giving away one as a FREE BONUS with the real estate course here. This form is necessary so that the contractor cannot come back later and put a lien on the house by saying that you owe them money.
If they refuse to sign, then tell them you will not release the final payment until it is signed. Watch how fast they sign!
Don’t be scared of contractors and do not let them push you around or try to take advantage of you because you are a girl. Remember that you are the boss! You are paying them for a service and you can fire them at anytime.
With that being said. I love working on investment properties with great contractors who do quality work. It’s an awesome feeling to know that you are creating jobs for people by providing work for them. Once you find a good one, then you can continue to work with them on future properties.
Welcome to Hey Rich Girl!
Hey girl! I'm Cynthia Cuccuini, a self taught real estate entrepreneur. I've been flipping houses, landlording (Is that even a word)? and designing homes for over 10 years. Come along the journey as I educate entrepreneurs how to invest in real estate.