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Today I wanted to talk about vendors, what to look for in one, and how to hire them.
Fixing houses and getting things done with vendors is pretty tricky in Texas. In Texas, general contractors aren’t licensed like they are in other states. Plumbers, electricians, and air conditioning technicians are licensed, but general contractors are not.
When you hire a vendor, I recommend you use the acronym R.O.T.S. Start by researching the project, then obtain a list of vendors who do that work. This can come from anyone – friends, co-workers, or a handyman at a hardware store. Then, always get three quotes. Sometimes a lot of vendors will give you a high quote (even if they’re good and honest) just because they don’t want to do the job and they don’t want to say no to you. Finally, sign a detailed contract with a complete list of materials and a complete breakdown of the scope of the job.
To find a great vendor, use the acronym R.O.T.S.
I like to share an excel spreadsheet with a vendor on detailed contracting work to be sure that we’re both in agreement on exactly what we’re doing. Sometimes this doesn’t work well because you may have contractors who don’t speak English very well or they are just not technical at all. With some vendors, I actually use Google docs to share the excel spreadsheet.
Here is an example to give you an idea of how it works.
Also, realize that with vendors, there are three things to look at: quality, service, and cost. Are they good, are they fast, and are they cheap? I always tell people that those three things can’t all intersect; you can only have two of the three.
There is one hack you can use to get a vendor who is good, cheap, and fast, and that’s to find a great vendor with good service but high prices – sometimes these vendors will give you a discount to fill in a gap in their crew. If they have a large crew and they have a gap in their schedule, you might get a 10% or 20% discount.
On my website, I have a vendor list that you can use to see vendors that I recommend.
If you have any more questions about vendors or about the Austin real estate market, give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help.