When is Low Price a Warning Sign?
Getting a low price on a bid can seem like you’re getting a great deal, but how do you know when low is too low? Our experts sit down to discuss how to know when a low price is a warning sign and what to do after.
Details on ‘Low Price’
[Sean] It’s another Ask an Expert where we answer important questions about all areas of home improvement, so today I’m with our Resident Expert, Gregg Cantor, from Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel and Scott Ferell from Black Mountain Plumbing. Today we’re talking about price and sometimes price can be a warning of a variety of different things. Gregg in your opinion are low prices sometimes a red flag?
[Gregg] Very much so, especially if it’s 10 to 20 percent less than the other quotes that you get.
[Sean] So how many quotes did someone you normally get on job?
[Gregg] Well you’re going to want a reasonable price. It’s just anymore then it’s hard to keep track of what each person said and what they’re gonna do for you so that way you’re getting a variety of opinions and a variety of prices to choose from. I’ve seen people get 8, 10, 12 quotes and that’s too many.
[Sean] How do you keep track of that?
[Gregg] Yeah, very difficult but if you have three quotes and one of them is abnormally below the others
[Sean] What are some of the warning signs that go with that? How could somebody be offering that price- what could be going on?
[Scott] Oh there’s lots of reasons but there should be a red flag view if there’s something really low. There’s probably a problem and it’s not in your best interest.
[Sean] Why would they be offering that kind of a low price?
[Gregg] Either they’re using inferior materials or they’re using labor that’s not qualified to do the proper installation to code and everything so they’re going to cut some corners with the materials that the job itself won’t be done the way the other companies would have done it with the regular normal price and also a big part of it is having insurances and coverage that the homeowner for you know it protects the homeowner and companies that are that cheap or probably cutting corners there – probably getting corners everywhere usually something is too good to be true is too good to be true for a reason
[Sean] Is there also circumstances Scott where the company may be offering the low price knowing they’re gonna add on things later to be able to get to a higher price?
[Scott] a lot of times if it’s not specified about all the different line items and what they’re gonna do exactly they’re leaving you wide open for all kinds of add-ons and extras so what are some of the signs of that a vague quote or what are what are you looking at
[Sean] what should you be noticing there
[Scott] well if they’re not specifying the fixtures if they’re not specifying known disclosures are they gonna have to do some abatement you know or they did they even write that down the house was built in 1960 they didn’t even write that down wait a minute they missed that right off the bat that’s a huge sign and another big warning sign is if somebody says you need to sign this by July 1st to get this low price so if the low price goes with pressure that’s another big warning sign
[Gregg] right so low price is very rarely legitimate if it’s gonna be that much below what the normal price from reputable companies is going to be and that you should avoid that because it’s probably gonna cause you problems in the end exactly good summary
[Sean] Thanks thanks so much we help guys if you have questions for our experts or want to see more information and previous questions visit approved home pros comm in our ask an expert section