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general_contractorYou know how important it is to encourage buyers to envision a home’s potential and sellers to recognize the drawbacks of an outdated house. But what if your clients are ready to make updates now? Are you ready with advice that can help close the deal?

You can help make your clients’ renovations easier — and enhance the service you provide—by sharing these tips with them for selecting a general contractor:

Check licenses and insurance. Reputable contractors won’t hesitate to provide proof of their general liability insurance, proper licensing and worker’s compensation policy. Tell your clients to consider verifying a contractor’s license with the local licensing authority.

Get itemized quotes. A single total helps clients determine a budget, but an itemized bid allows them to make more informed decisions about the cost of changes that may be made during the course of the work.

Ask about permits. Your clients should ask potential contractors who will be responsible for both the time and money needed for permits. They should also be wary of any contractors who tell them that permits aren’t necessary—work done without a permit can result not only in fines, but in having to tear out work that’s been done.

Get references. Multiple references should be obtained from customers who had similar projects done by a contractor, and those references should be verified.

Set expectations for communication. Your clients should ask the contractors they’re interviewing how often and by what method they’ll keep your clients informed on progress.

Ask for a guarantee. A general contractor’s word isn’t enough to protect your clients from defects or poor workmanship. Advise your clients not to hire a contractor who won’t provide a clearly written warranty.

Greg Johnson is vice president of national sales manager for Contractor Connection. He brings more than two decades of business development and leadership experience to the company, where he leads the evolution of its insurance channel and consumer platform.

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