Real Estate Scam: Home Improvement
By Elli Davis, February 28, 2010
Another week, another article about real estate scam! This one will be concerned with home improvement scam and a concrete example of one of its most common types.
Very, very common. It might just happen that somewhere, somehow you see an advertisement regarding chimney cleaning, for a very reasonable price, of course. After checking the chimney out, the sweeper tells you it is in a terrible state and definitely needs to be repaired or replaced. But be careful. It is always better to hear the opinion of another expert before agreeing with the repairs or replacement of your chimney.
Sometimes it is better to pay higher price, but get higher quality. Yes, it sure is great to find an ad about cheap chimney cleaning, but you should not trust everything. If they clean your chimney and everything is just alright, good for you. But as soon as they mention your chimney needs repair, watch out and ask someone else before investing to the repair. Especially, if you find their advertisement on some coupons in a magazine or some advertisement directly in your mailbox. Even more dangerous is just randomly offering you their services saying they are working in your neighborhood or something similar. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but be careful.
In general, be careful if a repairman, sweeper – simply your contractor:
-just suddenly appears offering you their services – saying they are just working next to your home or just passing by and want to help you (attracting you on good prices)
-tells you they offer you a great price for their services, partly because they have some materials left over from their previous work
-try to persuade you have more and more things in your home repaired by them – it may start with something small but you might well end up having your whole home reconstructed, even if it’s not really necessary (of course, think about the money you will pay for it)
-wants their payment before the work is done – they might never finish it or just provide poor quality work, if you pay them before they even do something
Also, trust your instinct. Expect the mentioned suspicious behavior stated above, you should just get some feeling from the situation and if you have doubts about the contractor just do not use their services.