Do You Know A Good Contractor?

As a real estate agent, I must get that question three times a week. And why wouldn’t I? After all, people are buying homes and chances are they’ll need repair work or construction. Who better to ask than a real estate agent, right? Surely, the agent would know a good contractor. The answer is yes and no. Believe it or not, it’s getting harder and harder to find a good contractor. I think that like most consumers, I am looking for a contractor that “does what they say, say what they mean, meet deadlines, and do good quality work.” One would think that given the economic circumstances, contractors would be jumping at work and giving superior service.

As many of you know, if you have been following this column for the last two months, I have been updating my home. As such, I needed to meet with a lot of contractors to get bids. Here is the experience I have had so far:

• The tile guy said that he would come over Wednesday night to look at my job and give me a bid. He never showed up. I got him on the phone and he said that he would be over the next night. He never showed. Then he stopped responding to my phone calls and emails. This guy came highly recommended.

• I called three hardwood floor guys for their bids. The first guy came over and told me that he would send over a quote on email. It never came. I called, emailed, and three weeks later, he sent a bid. The second guy came over and after a month, I still couldn’t get a bid. The third guy came over and said that he would give me a bid on email, but again never sent one. I did get him on the phone and he said that he decided he didn’t want to do my job. I asked him if he ever intended on telling me that and he hung up.

• I called a painter to paint the inside of my home. He did show up on time, but again, he never sent a bid. I ended up calling a second guy and I am still waiting for him to show up.

What’s the moral of the story? Yes, sometimes the real estate agent does know a good contractor, and sometimes we are in the same boat as you. If you do find a quality contractor, hang on to them, pay them well and treat them like gold because they are a rare and dying breed. I know that there are good contractors out there doing great work, and if that’s you, PLEASE TELL US HOW TO FIND YOU!

Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at and

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