Your Two Best Friends When Buying New Construction
Don’t buy a New Construction Home without these Professionals by your side
Considering buying new construction? Don’t hesitate to hire an independent Realtor and a Home Inspector.
Although the promise of owning something brand new can provide the initial hope of a perfect or “no fault” home, a newly constructed home is not immune to issues or building flaws. It can actually have far more problems than an older home if it wasn’t constructed well in the first place.
In these situations, there are two people who are going to be your best friends when guiding you through the world of new construction: your independent Realtor and your Home Inspector.
Your independent realtor, not the one already at the model home waiting to persuade you, but one that is unbiased and can help when contracts come out and bigger decisions need to be made. They’re an advocate for YOU (vs. advocating for the builder) and make sure you don’t miss any fine print or crucial information before signing your life away on possibly the largest investment you ever make.
Keep in mind… having your own Realtor does not cost you any money. Most builders have a separate commission they will pay to your independent Realtor (although more recently, some of the larger builders have begun to drastically cut Realtor commissions or take them away all together). The key is to find a Realtor BEFORE you go to open houses. It’s best practice to bring your independent Realtor with you to the open houses. If your Realtor cannot attend, bring their business card so you can hand it to the builders’ Realtor when you attend the open house. Open house Sign-In Sheets will often have you identify if you are working with a Realtor. Another reason to hire your Realtor BEFORE you start looking at open houses, is that most builders will not honor you bringing a Realtor at a later date in the process. Being up front and prepared will help to foster a relationship of good communication and transparency with the potential builder of your new home.
There are a few other important reasons for hiring an independent Realtor as part of a new construction home search:
- Finding a builder that is a good fit for you. Not all builders are created equal, but based on your budget and the type of quality home you expect, your Realtor can help you navigate the options available. Their real estate connections enable them to have insight on the reputation of the builder, whether prior clients have been satisfied with their customer service as well as the quality of the build, and many other details that can help you make a wise choice.
- Understanding your agreement of sale contract. They will help you read through this contract with a fine tooth comb. The builders agent WILL have a different perspective on certain items compared to an independent realtor. For example… we have heard many stories of MISSED checkboxes for the ability to hire an independent home inspector. You may hear from the builder representative, “you will have a township U&O inspection – you don’t need a home inspection”. Those who are more experienced with the home buying process understand a U&O is completely different from a home inspection, but many new home buyers will not know this and can be misled.
- Handling negotiations or tackling issues with the builder. A Realtor helps you handle pricing negotiations with the builder as well as helping you with challenges that arise during construction. Most of us do not enjoy being up at night on a phone call discussing missed deadlines, a pricing issue or a challenge seen during the construction of the home.Your Realtor will speak on your behalf and they have been trained and practiced at tough negotiations.
- Assisting you with Financing. While the builder may have financing already, it doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you. Your Realtor will help you understand other options that you may have to finance your home.
One big step in the process that some people look over when eagerly closing in on a deal is getting a home inspection. Home inspectors dive deep into all of the parts that keep it looking, functioning, and feeling like a home. From the status of your roof down to whether or not the foundation is compromised, a home inspection can inform you on things you may never have even considered that can make all the difference when deciding on a purchase. Many of our larger builders are working with tight deadlines, strict budgets, and many, many subcontractors. While there is quality control, there are very few project managers within each development to ensure that each component of your home is built with the utmost of care. Fortunately, Home Inspectors have a trained eye to spot what might be improperly installed, broken, or simply missing… and protect you from moving into a brand new home with challenges right at the starting line.
Don’t let the word “new” deceive you. What’s important when buying a new home is that you have the most knowledge you can to make a proper decision when the time comes. Independent realtors and home inspectors are amazing resources for this exact thing.
Musselman Home Inspection offers a host of other services. If you’re curious check out our Services Page to see what is available.