One of the most important elements of flipping a house is the team you put together to work on it. An ideal team is made up of knowledgeable, trustworthy individuals that aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Your team is likely made up of a design guru, a plumber, an electrician, and a contractor—or five.

A contractor or contracting team is one of the most important additions to your team and its crucial that they’re trustworthy and accountable. If not, you could find that deadlines aren’t met and work is sloppy. But how do you know if a contractor is trustworthy? Here are five guidelines to follow when hiring contractors for your fix and flip.

1. Meet with them in person

It’s far easier to get a read of someone in person than it is via email or even over the phone. Meeting with a potential contractor in person allows you to get to know them, ask questions, and see how they communicate.

Your contractor should be easy to talk to, laid-back, and most importantly, prepared to give you answers to the questions you have. If they can’t seem to give you info about any previous projects they’ve worked on, or how long they’ve been in business, it’s best to keep looking.

2. Ask fellow flippers who they trust

There’s nothing better than a seal of approval from people that you trust. If you have friends in the business, don’t be afraid to ask what contractors they use and would recommend.

Not only can a fellow house flipper shed light on who is a great contractor, but they can share insight on who might not be a great choice. Good or bad, it pays to know what other people’s experiences have been with a particular contractor.

3. Ask for proof of insurance

Before signing on the dotted line with a contractor, you’ll want to be sure that they are a licensed professional and that they are insured. To do so, you can ask them for proof, and you can also go to your state’s licensing board to ensure that they’re legitimate.

It’s not unheard of for contractors to try to operate without a license or insurance, so it’s crucial that you filter them out early in the selection process.

4. Ensure they have the capabilities to handle your project

If you want a trustworthy contractor, it’s important to know that they can get the job done.

Talk to them about your property and provide a list of everything that you expect regarding work. Talk to them in depth about the kind of work they do and ask them if they have the capabilities to handle your job. A contractor that was recommended to you by a friend who had their kitchen remodeled may not be the right fit for your project if you’re trying to get work done on the garage—different contractors have different areas of expertise and you want to make sure you hire someone that fits the bill.

It’s extremely beneficial to ask them if they’ve ever done work on an entire home before, or if they’ve ever helped with a house flip. This step ensures that you’re not hiring a contractor that has only done work on a bathroom but has experience with the entire fix and flip process.

5. Get multiple bids for your job

You should never hire the first contractor you speak with, right after talking to them. It will always benefit you to see what multiple contractors have to offer, what they can provide, and what they charge for their services.

Look over every bid you receive as if you were conducting an interview. A trustworthy contractor is professional and upfront about their pricing.

Compare the bids you receive. If one is extremely low and stands out among the rest, that contractor may be severely underestimating the scope of your project or they might have hidden fees. The cheapest is rarely the right option.

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