The #1 Thing That Determines If Your New Home Purchase Is A Positive Experience….(and other Top Tips)

The #1 Thing That Determines If Your New Home Purchase Is A Positive Experience….(and the other Top 5 Tips)

This afternoon a new agent in our office asked to meet with me to get the lowdown on selling new home construction.  She’s been working with buyers who have found a new home they love.  And because she wanted to make sure she was representing their best interests, she wanted to learn the questions to ask and the potential pitfalls to avoid when selling new home construction.  Because Brian and I sold new homes for over 15 years combined and Brian also built new homes many of the things I told her were second nature for us to consider…  But I figured why not share our experience with everyone?    This is what I told her…

#5- Most builders have their own contracts and they will not change the verbiage in the contract for the buyer.  Unlike the standard NC Offer to Purchase, these sales contracts are many pages long (like 60-100 vs 12).  The contract process will take anywhere from 2-4+ hours so if the buyer has small kids getting a babysitter is typically a good idea.

#4- Many builders have their own “in house lender”.  The builder will typically offer some sort of incentive to use the in-house lender… such as contributing money towards closing costs.  Contrary to what many believe, the in house lender can often beat other lender’s rates and more importantly everything seems to run much smoother with the builder’s in house lender.   While it is an in house lender is profitable for the builder, the control of the process is the main advantage for the builder and that is reason for the closing cost incentive.

#3- Most new home builders will offer their own home warranty (industry standard is 6-10 year for the structure, 2 year for the mechanical systems of the home and 1 year for a pretty all inclusive warranty).  Larger builders will have their own in-house warranty departments.  There are advantages to both in house and 3rd party warranty companies.

#2- Many new home buyers will ask about home inspections and whether to get one during the construction process.   In my past life as a sales rep, I didn’t see this as common practice, although some buyers felt better having a 3rd party unrelated to the builder look out for their best interest.  The majority of folks felt that between inspectors and the builder’s quality control process they felt comfortable without having a home inspection.  A home inspector typically WILL find issues regardless of the quality of the home, so we do always recommend a home inspection even on a new home.  Recently we have found that lots of folks choose to have a home inspection done around month 10 after closing and the comprehensive list can be given to the builder for the items to be covered under the 1 year warranty (if there is one).

#1- By FAR, the #1 thing to do when buying new construction is to have your builder sales rep clearly explain what IS and IS NOT included in the new home you are purchasing.   The sales rep will most likely say something at time of contract like, “You may see things in the model that will not be in your house, you are not buying the model, and we are building this home off the blueprints and your option selection sheets”  Everyone always smiles and nods as they know their house won’t look like the model, but many don’t consider the details until they see their home under construction not featuring upgrades they assumed were standard:

drywall opening New Home

Non Cased (Drywall Wrapped) Opening

 

cased opening  New Home

Cased Opening

For instance, the model had ceiling fans in every bedroom, but your house doesn’t  even have a ceiling fan prewire in all of the bedrooms, or the opening between the family room and kitchen has casing in the model but is not in your house.  Or like on the option list I saw today….the Master Bathroom had Granite Level 1 countertops included and Cultured Granite countertops in secondary bathrooms.  At first glance, one might think all bathrooms have granite but there is a difference.

 

 

 

Or maybe the model you saw had a half porch and the flooprlan you are building has a full front porch- do you realize that perhaps your third bedroom is 2’ shorter to accommodate the porch?  These are the small (sometimes not small) details that will always irk you about your home if the proper expectation was not set up front.

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