For real estate investors who are rehabbing properties, finding the right contractor is imperative in being successful with your fix and flip properties. Ideally, you want your contractor to have experience, be trustworthy and have all the necessary licensing and permitting.
We’re providing tips and questions you should be asking when hiring the right contractor.
How to find the right contractor?
When searching for a contractor you should always consider their reputation with previous clients and online.
- Do you know anyone who has hired them before?
- What have previous clients said about their work?
- How is their communication and punctuality?
A good contractor will understand that you may have a lot of questions and if they’re not willing to answer your questions that will be a huge red flag.
If you’re not careful and do not take the time to do your research, it could cost you everything. We’ve all heard the horror stories and some of you may have experienced it first-hand. We advise the following:
- Get Multiple Estimates – Preferably 3 estimates.
- Go Local – Local contractors will be familiar with local building codes.
- Check for proper licensing – If a contractor is unlicensed, they won’t be able to pull for certain permits.
- Check their past work – Look up your contractor on the Better Business Bureau. Feel free to ask for a list of references.
- Utilize best payment practices – Don’t pay in cash or the full total upfront. Be wary of a contractor who demands either.
Questions to Ask During the Interview Process:
1. Are you licensed and insured?
Ensure their licenses are up to date and are registered in the state you’re in.
2. How many people work for you?
This will give you an idea on the support they have available.
3. Will they be using subcontractors, or will they have their own crew?
4. How often do you communicate with your customers?
5. How many projects do they have going on currently? How many jobs can they handle at the same time?
You want to make sure they can meet your deadlines.
6. What would our contract look like?
Not every contractor will use a contract so it’s important to have this conversation in the beginning. A contract protects both parties.
7. How and when do they like to be paid?
8. Have you ever had to deal with lawsuits?
If the answer is yes, you‘ll want to do more research on the outcome and how it was handled.
9. Have you ever had serious accidents occur on the job site?
10. Have you ever had to declare bankruptcy or operate under a different business name?
Vetting your contractors can be a long process but the time and effort is worth it. Your goal is to hire a contractor that is proficient in his field and can get the job done in a timely manner. We hope these questions and tips will better prepare you for the interview process.