I was discussing with my husband this morning some issues one of my Alexandria VA Home Sellers is grappling with right now as he works on getting agreed-upon home inspection repairs made when my husband made the comment it reminded him of the old Fram oil filter commercial. The message in that 1980s era commercial was if you pay for quality in the first place, you won’t have to pay for repairs down the road.
Unfortunately, the various companies and folks he hired to do some of the work were not stellar, which is coming back to haunt him these days. He’s watching thousands of dollars going out of his pocket to essentially repair issues caused by work he had already paid someone else to do originally.
The moral to the story? Most of the time, you get what you pay for.
Now, while I’m not an auto mechanic and can’t speak to the validity of that comment when it comes to oil filters, I can certainly say I have seen plenty of examples of this being true when it comes to having work done on your home.
Especially if you are not handy with a hammer, it pays to insure you are working with an ethical, well respected company when doing any kind of repairs on your house. There are just too many potential problems that can be caused by shoddy workmanship and inferior materials.
So, do some homework before calling around for quotes. Comparing prices is not the best way to find the best company to handle the work you need done.
First of all, ask friends, neighbors, co workers for the names of companies whom they trust. Don’t stop there, though, google them and see what online reviews have to say. You can check the Better Business Bureau, too, of course.
Cough up a few bucks and buy a subscription to Angie’s List, where you can read real life reviews on a wide variety of companies.
Then interview a few companies and see how you feel about them, and what your gut says. Ask for a list of references and then check them out.
Make sure the company or person you choose to do the job is licensed and insured. Read the contract carefully to make sure they carry liability insurance, too, and that their employees are covered by workman’s comp.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Be sure to note if the contract includes clean up and if the work is guaranteed. Get it in writing.
It is especially for hard working, ethical, honest people to believe anyone would misrepresent themselves or not deliver on a job as promised. Unfortunately, it does happen. The best thing a home seller can do to protect himself is to do his homework and make sure the “deal” he is getting is not too good to be true.
Because when it seems too good to be true, it almost always is.