The Honest Broker: Homework
From time to time, buyers and homeowners will ask me advice regarding companies that can do maintenance, repairs or contractor work. My answer is always the same. Do your homework! A homeowner should utilize, online referral companies, referrals from friends and relatives that have used a contractor or company, and most importantly use the internet to do some research on your own.
Online referral companies such as Angie’s List, Yelp, etc., are sometimes used by people and are a good place to start. However, I caution the use of these companies for the sole basis of the decision. The referral companies depend upon the consumer to join or register to their “service” before adding their recommendations to the website. If the consumer does not register, then their recommendation cannot be “verified” by the company thereby having their recommendation fall into a “non-verified” category. I have found that there is hesitancy among some consumers to formally register on these websites. This leads to an undetermined group of satisfied customers for a company which haven’t gone through a registration process.
Referrals from friends and family can “go a long way.” Ask around to the people closest to you about the particular service that needs to be done. It is important to ask about the company’s follow-through, work standards, costs, unexpected problems or difficulties during the project process and ultimately, if they were satisfied with the end result. Your family or friend will tend to be very honest about their experience and will have your best interest at heart.
Basically, it is essential to do your research on the internet. Educate yourself on the job at hand. Do an online search about the job. The results of the search will be astounding; how the project should be done, the regional cost of the project, and options of how to do the project. There will probably be videos on “you tube” so that you can see how the project is done. The internet is an amazing place to get familiar on what to expect. It is also where you can do a search of the company itself; for example, going to the
“Better Business Bureau” (BBB) to see if complaints were lodged against the company and for what reasons.
Finally, and most importantly, I recommend getting 3 companies/vendors to your home and receive a written estimate of the project and what it includes or excludes. All in all, do your homework and take your time to make a decision regarding any home repair or construction to be done.
Diane Lott, Broker
Paradise Found Realty, Inc. of Palm City
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