How Columbus Homeowners Can Avoid Contractor Scams

How Columbus Homeowners Can Avoid Contractor ScamsThere are many things that every Columbus homeowner will need for their home at some point. One of the most common is professional help to make a repair or get a project of some kind done around your home. Research shows that it is not uncommon for the average American homeowner to hire a contractor's help and end up in some sort of scamming situation. 

In fact, a very recent study found that about one-tenth of homeowners end up hiring a less-than-reputable contractor. Unfortunately, there are several different types of scams that hired help tries to pull on the unsuspecting homeowner. This does not mean that every contractor is going to perform bad work, but it does mean that Columbus homeowners should be aware of the possible signs of a bad contractor. Here's how to tell. 

Warning Signs of Scamming Contractors

 Experts who have made it their duty to help weed out and lower the likelihood of contractor scams say there are a few identifying characteristics of a bad contractor. Many times you can spot these before the job starts or gets too far along. 

Watch Out for "I Was in the Neighborhood"

If someone you have never met rings your doorbell or knocks on the front door and tells you they are just around the corner doing some work at your neighbor's house and thought they would visit everyone on the street. Or that they noticed you may need some help with x,y, or z on your home, don't entertain it. These, most often, are contractors who are desperate for work and are looking to prey on anyone ready to believe their story. 

Some companies that offer acceptable work may send out new and young salesmen to do this to drum up business, but it is a very low chance that any job that starts with someone you don't know being in the neighborhood and noticing your house needs help will be done for a fair price. 

Asking for Full Payment Before the Work is Done

This is the biggest and most obvious scam sign. if a contractor gives you a quote and expects you to pay the full amount for the entire project before they start work, run the other direction. This means that they are pulling the "take the money and run routine". Too many homeowners have found this out the hard way after making the payment and then never see the person again and their phone someone never works again. 

Some large projects may understandably require a deposit to secure materials and rent needed equipment. Any project that asks for more than 20% upfront should be met with caution.

No Written Agreement

A true professional will have everything in writing that was talked about concerning the work in your home. This protects both you and them if any issues arise. Not having proof on paper about the work that was agreed upon and the price for that work can lead to trouble. a trustworthy contractor is going to back up their words with documented proof. 

Permits

If a contractor asks you to contact the local governing authorities to get permits for the work they will perform this could mean that they are not properly licensed and would not qualify to get a proper permit for the work. Qualified and reputable contractors will always take the permitting process on themselves

A Low Quote

If the quote for the work sounds much lower than expected or is considerably lower than other contractors have quoted this is not a sign to hire them. This is often too good to be true. Most contractors will charge around the same price. A lower quote that is trustworthy is not going to be considerably lower. 

Not Asking for Your Budget

A great contractor is going to ask you a few questions as well beyond what work you are looking to have done. They will ask you what the budget for the project is. They will want to know how much you are hoping to spend and let you know if they can get the work done within those parameters. They will care about being able to do the work within your affordable means because a great contractor cares about providing a great service to their customer and also wants to ensure you will be able to pay for the work they perform. 

If you are looking for a contractor to do work so you can get your home ready to sell make sure you do your homework. If you are looking for advice on preparing your home to sell I can help. Contact me any time for the best Columbus home selling strategies and any information on Columbus real estate. 

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