The more active the housing market becomes, the higher the chances that your clients may encounter unethical home remodeling contractors. Help them avoid being a victim of home improvement fraud with these tips:
Special or limited-time “deals”
Any pressure placed on a homeowner to rush into a project in order to receive special discounts should raise a red flag. Well-established, reputable contractors may certainly offer savings, but they shouldn’t put a short deadline on pricing or signing a contract for work.
Some scammers show up at the door with a story about working just down the street and noticing that the homeowner needs work done. This is a very common ruse and one that is, unfortunately, often successful. Homeowners should never accept this approach at face value; thorough vetting of such offers and the contractor presenting the offer is a must.
Advance payment demands
The requirement to pay for a project in full before work can begin is a deal-breaker. Down payments for materials and initial labor, and phased payments as work is completed, are standard practices, but no ethical contractor would expect homeowners to risk 100 percent of their money before any work is started.
Unverified licensing or insurance
Anyone can show a homeowner paperwork and references that appear to be in order, but it is critical that all credentials are verified. Advise your clients that the key to a successful project is identifying the right contractor to work for them. Getting references from neighbors and friends is not enough. It is important to make sure that any contractor they plan to work with has been fully vetted, including verification of licensing, available insurance coverage, proven financial stability, and quality of prior work completed.
For a hassle-free way for your clients to find a qualified contractor, Contractor Connection offers a free service that matches homeowners with a top-quality, thoroughly vetted contractor whose workmanship is warranted for three years.
For more information, visit ContractorConnection.com.
My favorite and most common scam is the one that gets you to agree and then they drop off all the materials and disappear for weeks. They get us committed and then leave us hanging…not really a scam I guess but not a lot of fun waiting for people to show up.