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5 Signs of a Contractor You Should Avoid


5 Signs of a Contractor You Should Avoid


If you’re looking to make improvements to your home before you put it on the market, and the enhancements you want are more complicated than a DIY project, you’ll likely need to enlist the help of a professional. But before you choose a contractor, beware of these five signs that you should avoid hiring their services.


Sign #1. Not Being Licensed or Insured

If the contractor you’re considering isn’t insured, continue your search. Professional contractors should have insurance and be able to furnish a certificate to prove it. All states don’t require that a contractor be licensed, but here in Florida they must have a license. There are two types: a certified license and a registered license. A certified license applies statewide and allows a contractor to work anywhere in Florida. A registered license applies only to local jurisdictions.

Related: 5 Major Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling


Sign #2. Not Creating a Written Contract

A professional contractor will ensure that a scope of work is established so that everyone is clear about the job that is expected to be performed, including timelines and milestones, and one major factor—cost. These terms are documented in a contract, and without one you’re less protected if problems arise. Any individual who says that a contract isn’t needed should be avoided.

Related: 3 Big Problems to Look for When Buying a Home


Sign #3. Not Starting Work Until They’re Paid in Full

If a prospective contractor asks that you pay for your project in full before they start work, scratch them off your list of potential hires. Paying in full before a contractor’s services are performed or completed sets you up to be taken advantage of—for someone to take your money and disappear just as quickly. You may be asked to pay a deposit for materials, which is typical—after you both have signed a contract.

Equally as sketchy is a contractor who asks you to pay them in cash, rather than paying a company via check or money order.

Beware of all of these red flags.

Related: 3 Big Home Staging Mistakes That Could Sink a Sale



Sign #4. Not Replying to Your Inquiries

During the process of vetting-out potential contractors, you may need to reach out to an individual on more than a couple of occasions to have your questions answered. A contractor who doesn’t reply to your emails or phone calls within a reasonable period of time is cause for concern. Although they may spend a significant amount of time away from their office while working at job sites, a contractor should answer your inquiries within a reasonable time frame. If days go by without hearing from them, move on—because it’s a harbinger of how your working relationship will be.

Related: 7 Super Simple Bathroom Staging Tips to Make Buyers Fall in Love


Sign #5. Not Getting Remodeling Permits Themselves

Any contractor who says it will be your job to secure permits to remodel your home, instead of doing it themselves, is likely not legit and should be nixed from your list of candidates.

Related: Here’s the Perfect Formula to Add Color to Your Interiors Before You Sell Your Home


REALTORS® Alexandra Janz and Juergen Haeringer Are Your Premier Real Estate Brokers

At Alexandra Janz AJ International Group Naples, the team of Alexandra Janz & Juergen Haeringer, Broker Associates & Luxury Properties Specialists with William Raveis-Florida, LLC, help clients realize their dreams of purchasing a luxury home and basking in the glow of the Naples and Southwest Florida luxury lifestyle. Alexandra is not only an expert in the real estate market in Naples and Southwest Florida, but in international markets as well.


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