Sawyer Home And Land, LLC

Avoiding Home Improvement Fraud

by Karyl Sawyer 09/29/2019

Do the echoing thumps of a hammer, or the high pitched-squeals of a table saw trigger any Deja-vu? That is right, the season of home improvement is officially here. Whether you are adding a deck, installing a new window or perhaps replacing a roof, the fact is you're most likely going to hire a contractor to make this happen.

To avoid falling victim to home improvement fraud, you need to know how they operate and the techniques they use. Once equipped with this knowledge, it's tough to become a victim of the scam.

It's crucial to research and ask questions about their services before hiring a contractor. However, you can never be too careful, so brace yourself with these tips on how to identify a contractor that is trying to defraud you:

  1. Your contractor states that their service to you is going to be a demonstration. 
  2. They prefer you pay in full before work commences.
  3. They give a lifetime or unrealistic warranty.
  4. Their business number is unregistered on any directories.
  5. They pressure you into making hasty decisions.

Contractor scams are one of the most significant issues in the contract industry, and those who fall a victim, end up spending thousands of dollars to remedy the situation. According to many victims, scammers work by putting you off balance and luring you into a vulnerable position that allows them to drain you out financially before you even know what's happening.

A common trick used by scam artists is to knock at your door and offer to do a free inspection. At the mention of free, you let your guide down and in turn, pay for things you know nothing about later.

Another example of contractor scams is the roofing scam. These scammers are popularly known as storm chasers. They travel the country, looking for desperate and vulnerable homeowners to scam under the guise of roofing. They do a poor job and most often, leave the town afterward, thereby ensuring the homeowner is stranded and swindled.

From the above tips, you can understand how they work and counter their manipulative techniques without any hurdle. In addition to being informed, whenever you’re in doubt, always remember not to be in haste to make decisions. Avoid the offer of free home inspections without proper verification and lastly, don't permit work without a duly signed contract. Knowledge is power, and that is the best tool you have against contractor scammers.

About the Author
Author

Karyl Sawyer

 I grew up on a family farm just outside of Weiser, Idaho, then moved to Moscow to attend the University of Idaho and stayed for 33 years. I moved back to southern Idaho in 2016 and look forward to expanding my relationships down here. I hold a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, and a M.Ed. in Counseling and Human Services.

I am married to Charles (Buck) Sawyer, and as a blended family we have four adult children between us. We love to travel, bike, kayak and snowshoe while enjoying time with friends and family. We recently moved from Eagle to Wilderness Ranch just off Idaho State Highway 21. We feel fortunate to have experience across all of southwest Idaho.

I obtained my Idaho real estate license in 2003 and went to work at a boutique brokerage in Moscow. After 4  successful years, I along with 3  partners established RE/MAX Connections in Moscow in 2007. I bid farewell to them the end of 2016 and moved to Boise to join my husband and establish Sawyer Home and Land. Exciting times! It’s good to be home.....

Business Approach: As your Agent and Broker, my job is to assist you in achieving the goals of your transaction (price, timing, etc..). I will do my best to help you find the right property for you and your family as a Buyer, or present and market your property effectively as a Seller. I have expertise in negotiating the best price and terms, and guide the process and paperwork to a successful conclusion. Unlike many agents I do not represent both Buyer and Seller in the same transaction (dual agency, or double-ending). I cannot effectively give both parties the benefit of my experience if I try to represent both at the same time.

My listing fee is no more than 5%, and always negotiable. As a local full service brokerage, I provide excellent market presence and exposure through several forms of internet and print advertising, photography, signage, Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, and more. As a local Owner/Broker I can control and direct the marketing according to your needs rather than a national model.

Let my experience and dedication work for you!