Whether you’re a buyer or seller, the contractor you work with matters.

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As a Real Estate agent for almost 2 decades, I’ve experienced many different types of contractors during my career. Many that are great and many that are, to be kind, not that great. Whether you are a buyer who just purchased a home and thinking about doing a room addition or general work or a seller who is fixing up their home to get it ready to sell, I have a few tips that might save you tons of time, aggravation, money and stress.

Referrals are the best. Ask a friend, co-worker, neighbor or family member who they used for renovations and if they were great. Yelp and the other sites who rate contractors can be deceiving. Many individuals and companies hire people to write fake reviews, so take their recommendations with a grain of salt. Please don’t make your decision based on cost alone. I have a neighbor who selects his contractors based on cost only and is constantly hiring and firing people. In the long run it costs him twice the money and twice the stress.

Let’s pretend you are doing a room addition and you have been referred a contractor from a friend and you meet with them and he/she has the experience, you like them and they sound great for the work you need done. Now here is the key (I don’t care what they do – Real Estate Agent, pools, patios, room

additions, bathrooms anything), ask them for 2 to 3 referrals–and not just any referral from the past, because anyone who has been in business for any length of time can find 2 people that will say they were great. Ask to speak with and visit their last 3 clients and physically view the work they did. This way he/she cannot hand pick the only 2 people who liked their work. You absolutely want to speak with who they are working with now and the last two jobs they completed.

I know this sounds super simple, but it really works well and will save you money, time and stress.