Welcome to trustshare! Here’s our 3 top tips for first time trustshare users:
1. Agree the terms of the project clearly before getting started and have it in writing:
We’ll protect your money in the dedicated escrow account until you’re happy to release it to the seller but it’s really important to clearly agree with the other party what the job entails and what counts as a good job. Most disputes occur because everyone wasn’t on the same page and perhaps felt misled.
If it’s a delivery, make it clear that the item needs to arrive in a good condition. If you’re buying a used car, perhaps agree that the MOT check needs to be completed in order to release the money. If it’s some work around the home, the builder needs to understand what is part of the project and what isn’t.
If you’ve discussed this in person or over the phone, it’s best to jot down a short paragraph in plain English and send it over to them over email before you get started and ask them to confirm it. It’ll mean that everyone is on the same page.
It’s always better to be clear upfront for everything to run really smoothly. Our disputes service acts as a fall back option to give you protection and common sense of course applies.
2. Using top-ups and milestones for more complex projects
Most of our escrow transactions are completed with a single payment in and a single release once the job is completed. However, you may sometimes be faced with more complex or even multi-stage projects; this is when our top-up and partial release functionality really comes in handy!
Say you’re getting a 3 month extension completed - you may want for example to release money each week for the work completed if certain milestones are reached (make sure you have this in writing!). You can do this by pressing release and then choosing partial release. You may also want to hold back some funds for a limited amount of time to test that the item works correctly. You can either do this by withholding the whole payment but sometimes it makes sense to hold a smaller amount back. It’s vital that you have already agreed this before you’ve started the project because you may trigger the other party to raise a dispute.
Although it’s best to pre-agree the amount for the payment, sometimes this is not possible and you may need to top up a bit more. You can do this at any time by clicking top-up and checking out.
Together partial releases and top-ups can give you flexibility for even the most complex of projects. However, it’s best to keep things simple so don’t get too inventive in terms of structuring payments!
3. Only release once you are happy
Our final top tip is to only release funds, once you are completely happy. After you’ve released funds, we can no longer help you. If you agreed that the site would be clean after your home improvement work, release money once this is completed. Speak to the other party if you are waiting to release funds. As long as you have been clear and followed the first 2 tips, the seller should complete the project as agreed.