Figuring out who to hire for your flip is key. If you don’t have a contractor to do the work, then you cannot sell the house. Don’t let this part of the process keep you from even starting. Here are the tips you need to know to make sure you choose the right contractors:
1. Ask People You Trust for References
Recommendations from a friend in the business, a colleague, or a neighbor is the best source for finding reputable and trustworthy contractors. By asking people you know you are likely to get input from those who are comfortable with and you know will provide an accurate account of their experience, including communication and timeline for the work.
2. Have the Contractor for Client References
Ask the contractor to provide 3-5 references for people that he has completed work for. These should people that you are also able to contact to confirm how the overall experience was when they worked with the contractor. Also, ask for photos or even better, ask if you are able to tour the home where the work was completed. This is especially helpful when you are hiring someone who works with other house flippers.
3. Get a Minimum of 3 Bids
Provide each contractor with the same scope of work. They should each be basing their bids off of the same work. Put these items into a document that you can provide them when they walk through the project. Not only will you be sure to include all the details, but when you comparing the bids you will be accurately comparing apples to apples.
4. Don’t Always Assume the Lowest Bid is the Best Bid
Contractors may occasionally bid a project on the low side in order to get the job. To make up for it, they will charge for additional items as the project moves forward. These additional costs, or change orders, can add up and soon the project may be over budget.
5. Check to Make Sure Proper Licenses & Insurance are in Place
Request proof and then check with your state’s contractors licensing board to verify. There are contractors that may be operating their businesses without the proper licensing and insurance requirements. This step will screen a potential contractor and give them the opportunity to update their information. It’s an extra step, but absolutely worth it before you hire a contractor.
6. Treat the Bid Meeting as if it Was an Interview
This is your chance to see how they operate when they are putting their best foot forward. Are they on time? Do they seem prepared to walk through and take measurements? Did they answer the phone when you called? Or did they return your message? Ask specific questions to see how they answer and if their answers are addressing your concerns. Above all, go with your instinct. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, move on.
Ideally, you’ll be able to find someone with plenty of experience flipping houses. Why? Because one of the basic ingredients in the recipe for a successful flip is a solid structure with the right upgrades. You’re new at this, so you want someone who can advise you on what they’ve seen work in the past. If that’s not possible, it can still work out. Treat this like the very serious business relationship that it is and choose wisely. This may be a relationship that lasts through several house flipping projects.
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