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How To Negotiate With Contractors And Keep Your Cool

Aug 17, 2007
One of the most frustrating aspects of getting an investment property ready for resale is dealing with the contractor. The right contractor can bring you in ahead of schedule and under budget, but these contractors are in high demand and tough to secure. In most cases, contractors need a little bit of prodding and nudging to get the project finished on time. Do it right and you get your project finished ahead of time; do it wrong and you get a ticked off contractor who can make your life miserable.

Before negotiations with any contractor can begin, you will have to go through an interview and selection process. Be sure to select a contractor that you feel comfortable communicating with. A pushy contractor, no matter how outstanding his credentials, can be a hassle to deal with. A contractor that you can communicate with, on the other hand, will likely be open to any suggestions that you have and any criticisms as well.

The first negotiation that you will have to make in any real estate investing project involves the total cost for renovations. This often comes in the form of a quote from your contractor and includes the cost of materials, labor, and other expenses. Never go into this type of negotiation blind. Research for yourself what materials will cost. This will give you leverage to negotiate if you think the estimate is too high.

When bringing a discrepancy in the proposal to the contractor's attention strive to keep your comments neutral. Never attack the contractor personally or use a tone that will turn a potentially good working relationship sour. Remember; keeping good contractors is vital in the world of real estate investing.

Opportunity for negotiation might also arise during the construction phase of the real estate investing project. These negotiations may include scheduling conflicts, issues with crew members, and general misunderstandings regarding materials or other matters. To be able to discuss these matters with your contractor easily, you need to first have a working
relationship with him. Do not merely show up on the job site and begin issuing orders. Instead, take a genuine interest in the project and remember to give praise where praise is due.

Do not be a stranger on the job site. Show up regularly to spot potential problems before they get out of hand. A contractor will be much more obliging to exchange the kitchen tile for a new style or color before it has been laid than after his crew has spent hours on the
job.

And remember to always treat your contractor with the respect and decency that you yourself wish to be treated with. A kind request sandwiched with praise will be honored a lot more quickly than a short command given in anger.
About the Author
James Klobasa, once broke with no job and $20,000 in debt made a choice that changed his life forever. That choice was investing in Real Estate. With the founder of, The Little Building Co. you too, can learn at Real-Real Estate Investing
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