Lang Realty/Delray Beach
Susanne D. Leonard, PA, Lang Realty/Delray BeachPhone: (561) 926-7653
Email: [email protected]

Signs to Look for in a Good Contractor

by Susanne D. Leonard, PA 10/20/2019

Photo by Michal Jarmoluk via Pixabay

Home décor and styles change all the time. One of the main things to remember before getting ready to completely remodel is choosing the right contractor. Although there are many contractors in the area, making sure they are able to do the job correctly makes all the difference. What are some things you should be looking for?

  • Recommendations

Getting input from friends and family, or a reputable association of contractors can help you create a list of contractors that could handle your project.

  • Interview

Once you have your list, it’s time to interview those contractors. Ask the following questions: Can you handle a project of this magnitude? Do you have samples of your work? Can I speak to previous clients? Do you use subcontractors? Are you licensed? Do you have insurance? This step can help you narrow the list even further and decide who you want to meet in person.

  • Meet the contractors

Once you’ve established who made the cut, it’s time to have a face-to-face meeting. It’s during this meeting where you will determine whether they are a good fit. They should be able to answer any questions you have with ease, provide their licenses, and start to formulate a quote.

  • Do your homework

Call the references the contractors have given you. Did the contractor ask to see the blueprint when you had your meeting? If they didn’t, they aren’t your ideal contractor. A quote can’t be made if they don’t know what they will be working on. Also, you want to discard the lowball quote. Quality work isn’t cheap.

  • Discuss the project and finances

Once you’ve selected the final contractor and agreed upon the estimate, it’s time to find out how their billing structure is set up. You should never pay a contractor all the money up front. Even with glowing reviews, contractors can slip up. Don’t put yourself in that position.

  • Timelines and agreements

The contractor should be able to provide a firm timeline on what will happen and how long the project will take. Everything you two agree on should be outlined in the contract from the very beginning. This protects your interests. The contract should detail every element of the project, from payment schedules to materials being used. The agreement should include proof of liability insurance, as well. You should require lien releases from the contractor to protect you from subcontractors and suppliers that may go after them if they don’t pay their bills. If there are any changes, it must be outlined in the agreement.

Following these steps should help you choose the right contractor and get the home of your dreams.

About the Author
Author

Susanne D. Leonard, PA

If you are looking for a real estate broker with proven experience, an intuitive mind, who takes a professional no-nonsense approach to your real estate investment, please consider my experience and credentials when buying or selling your next home.

Before I pursued a career in real estate, I was in accounting and then recruiter for large multi-national companies. In both accounting and the corporate world, attention to detail is a must. My favorite part of my recruiting career was putting the pieces together, finding just the right person for a position. As I moved into real estate, I realized that was the part of the role I loved the most – solving problems for my clients and helping them move forward with their goals.

As your real estate broker, my goal is to provide you with the research and education to help you strategize and make the best real estate investment choices for you. I have sold over $50 million in property and my experience is what you need to get your home sold or to find and negotiate to buy the right property. It is my goal as your full service real estate company to provide you with superior service at all times. Most of my business comes from referrals from my clients which is a testament to how I serve buyers and sellers. Between my childhood and high-energy careers, I have moved 32 times in my life and consider myself a well-seasoned mover. I understand what you are going through. Therefore, I strive to make your real estate transaction smooth, efficient and successful.

My background has led to several international moves as well. I am familiar with a number of different cultures and customs, having lived in Germany, Great Britain, England, Wales, Spain, Dubai, and, of course, the United States, giving you a unique advantage with any relocation needs and when working with people from a number of cultures.

I differentiate myself from other agents by conducting business concurrent to the values of RE/MAX International. These values dictate that real estate brokers operate under the principles of trust and excellence, never taking their clients’ business for granted.

Not all agents are committed to ongoing education. However I am unique in that I strive to keep myself on the cutting edge of advances in real estate rules and legislation that could affect my clients’ real estate transactions. In addition to achieving the SRES, CRS, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CNE, CIAS, CIPS and E-Pro designations, as well as my position as a Public Notary, I am responsible for education and mentoring of agents within my office.

I also offer free staging and Feng Shui consulting services. I have found that these are abundantly helpful in getting homes sold.

Whether you are selling a condo or buying that waterfront home of your dreams, put my expertise and experience to work for you. 

Designations and Awards

I believe that keeping at the industry forefront is critical in making sure your transaction runs smoothly. I do that through not only continuing education, but also through higher levels of education called “designations”. Below is a list of the designations I have achieved and how they benefit you.

Designations

  • REALTOR® – not every real estate broker is a REALTOR®. REALTORS® adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and are part of the largest trade organization in the country, making sure home ownership remains a strong part of our economy.
  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) – For agents who want to take their buyer skills to the next level, the ABR designation provides tools and systems to help me help buyers find the right home right now.
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)  – Brokers with their CRS Designation have access to cutting-edge education, results-based tools and resources, and access to a large referral network so we can find just the right agent should we need to look out-of-area. This designation is also known as the “PhD of Real Estate” with less than 4% of all agents attaining it.
  • Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) – Some of the 32 addresses I have had in my life are international. I was born in Germany and have lived abroad in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, and Spain. This is just one reason I have obtained the Certified International Property Specialist designation. This allows me to work with international buyers and sellers, opening up the world market for your next home purchase or sale.
  • Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certification (SFR) – The economic downturn affected many homeowners in our area. If you think you might be facing a short sale or foreclosure, you need an advocate on your side to work with you and the bank to learn your options.
  • Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
  • e-Pro – Since 92% of homebuyers search for homes online, it is critical that your real estate broker harnesses the power of the internet when it comes time to searching for the home of your dreams or getting your home market exposure to get it sold. My e-PRO designation has taken my tech savvy to the next level.
  • Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) – As a CNE, I have taken in-depth training on the art of negotiating, making me a stronger advocate for your needs during the transaction. My goal is to solve any problems that may be a barrier between parties in getting the transaction closed and both parties satisfied with the outcome.
  • Certified Investor Advisor Specialist (CIAS) – If you are an investor wanting to add property to your portfolio or are new to investing in real estate, my CIAS Designation will help you achieve your goals.
  • Institute of Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) – I have received the training for my ILHM designation and this is currently pending final approval. This highly-sought after designation provides ongoing training for representing buyers and sellers of luxury properties as well as a network of like-minded brokers in the event we need a resource outside the area.

Awards

  • Promise of One Award from the Susan G. Komen Foundation
  • RRA Excellence Award
  • RE/MAX 100% Club 2006-2018
  • RE/MAX Platinum Club 2014
  • RE/MAX Hall of Fame 2013