Nearly every day, someone you know is letting a vendor into their home to complete repairs or improvements and – they do not have a clue about this person’s background or qualifications. Oftentimes, we’ll ask a friend, receive a flyer on the door, write down the name off the side of a truck or see an ad in a local newsletter.
After an initial meeting, agreement on price and giving a deposit, the vendor is off and running to the bank with your check and, hopefully to the store to purchase the materials for the work to be completed.
BUT - Hiring a vendor without verifying criminal records, insurance and financial standing can result in poor work, fraud or lost money. It’s always a risk but becomes even more so at 3 a.m. when there is a major plumbing issue and a new contractor has to be hired because your newly selected vendor can’t be reached.
Every day in your neighborhood and surrounding area, new vendor relationships are forged. But the problem is that vendors aren’t always fully vetted, which puts your home or rental property at risk.
A non-credentialed vendor may refuse to take responsibility for poor workmanship or damage, and you may have no recourse but to hire an attorney or accept the loss and move on to find someone else.
What to do at a Minimum -
Before you give your money away or sign a contract, be sure the vendor has the appropriate license to do the work needed. If they do not have it with them, you can check their license status at:
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Most city and county jurisdictions also require a “Contractor’s License” for any work to be performed that cost in excess of $1,000. In order to have a license, the contractor must also be bonded.
Depending on the type and amount of work, a permit may be needed. Call your county or city permit office to verify; do not leave it up to the contractor. Un-permitted work completed can cause a snag or other major problems when you try to sell your property.
Ask for and check local references.
There are many more ideas and considerations to look at when hiring someone to work at your home. Google, Home Advisor and other web sites provide additional specific questions to consider. If we can be of further assistance, please let us know.
Also contact us if you would like to receive:
- Market information about properties in your neighborhood
- A competitive market analysis for your personal residence
- A rental or sale market analysis for an investment property
- Assistance with a 1031 Exchange
- Information about affordable property management services
- Names of recommended home repair and remodeling services
Find any property in Northern VA at: http://www.highlandagents.com/
Highland Realty, Inc.
5317 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207
Dave Rosenmarkle Erika Echegaray
Broker/Owner Property Management Specialist
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