To retain control when having work done on their properties or depending on a real estate agent to market a home for sale, consumers must make sure that all the details are in writing in case the services do not meet their expectations. Although oral contracts are legally binding, details should be in writing to avoid “he said, she said” disputes. Agreements should be as detailed and specific as possible so any deviations can be identified right away, and they should use a partial-payment schedule so that progress and quality are monitored on an ongoing basis. They should question contract terms that favor the other party and find out why an agent or contractor might be unwilling to put certain things in writing. Additionally, they should take pictures of the home throughout the process, place the signed and dated agreement in a safe place, and keep notes of any details negotiated orally. | Read More