Whether buying a fixer-upper or updating their home to sell, clients may be interested in home renovations. If it’s their first renovation-rodeo, give them some guidance on where to start when hiring a contractor.

Average cost. Your clients should do their homework to figure out how much the job has cost other renovators recently in the local area. This prevents cost surprises. The True Cost Guide from HomeAdvisor.com is one resource to suggest to your clients.

Apples to apples. It’s smart business for your clients to obtain at least three bids. In order to properly compare bids, each should contain the same information, or the cost comparison will not be accurate. Recommend that your clients outline in writing a specific job scope (including cleanup) and material finishes for bid consistency.

Dig deeper. The lowest bid may seem attractive but can indicate lack of experience or other issues. Encourage clients not to make choices based on price alone. Experienced contractors will usually supply a reference list of previous customers, proof of insurance, business licenses, state contractor’s registration, along with other relevant paperwork. Many will also offer a warranty on their workmanship.

Get benchmarks. Your clients should receive a written agreement that includes a payment schedule and scope of work deadlines that must be met before making further installments.

Sources: ActiveRain, Angie’s List

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