D.S. Berenson is the Washington, D.C., managing partner of Johanson Berenson LLP (www.johansonberenson.com), a national law firm specializing in the representation of contractors and the home improvement industry. He may be contacted at 703.759.1055 or [email protected].
Many contractor documents contain language indicating that the job being presented to the consumer --and its pricing -- is just an "estimate" or a "proposal." These agreements usually go on to state that if the consumer signs the agreement, it is up to the contractor to "accept" the proposal, usually within 30 days, at which time the parties will be in a binding contract.
Contracts come in any number of shapes and forms, but there are a few essential items you should consider including in yours. These can go a long way toward stopping a problem before it starts and preventing small problems from becoming nightmares.
In an open-end, or "revolving," credit sale, the contractor enters into a relationship with a manufacturer, large retailer, or financial institution to offer the consumer access to a line of credit or private-label credit card with that third party. In a typical open-end credit sale, the contractor will complete a credit slip and credit charge application with the consumer when making the sale.