Keep Change Orders in check, have a plan and stick to it. Change orders will cause delays and increase costs through the roof.
Also dont just get three bids, make sure they are Licensed check with the CSLB and insured, both general liability and workers comp.
I would also like to add that with todays market you should be able to really haggle with real estate agents since the market is down so much, heck you could probably get 'em down to 1.5 percent and 1 in 10 Californians has a real estate license ( Yes this is directed at you Michael Tessaro, thanks for devaluing our work, when almost all agents were responsible for the mess we are all in)
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