Paying a deposit up front can be pretty daunting, however, it’s becoming more and more common because of upfront material costs for professionals. Here’s some tips to protect yourself:
- Set expectations in writing. Both you and the professional should be on the same page about what is expected (including time frame to start & complete) before paying a deposit. If you’ve discussed this on a site visit, just ask for them to send a follow up email so there’s no downstream confusion.
- Pay by credit card if possible but whatever you do, don’t pay in cash. And make sure you get an invoice before doing so, and a receipt afterwards as a record of payment.
- Use your common sense. If the deal sounds too good to be true and/or they want a large amount of money upfront, then steer clear.