6 Ways You Can Help New Construction Buyers
New construction buyers are a different animal. They don’t require the same wheeling and dealing as existing home clients do, and there’s also no real home search — no poring over listings, scheduling tours, or driving from house to house.
Still, that doesn’t mean there’s not work to be done.
Buyers of new homes still need professional representation from a real estate agent. They need help traversing the confusing construction and mortgage processes, negotiating new construction upgrades and pricing, closing costs, and finally, doing walkthroughs and demanding fixes.
Do you have a new construction homebuyer in the works? Here’s what you can do to help them along.
New construction buyers and how real estate agents can make the process smoother
1. Know your local builders.
Not all builders are created equal, so do your research, and determine the best ones in the area. What communities do they build in? What types of properties/styles do they offer? What are their price ranges? Know all the details, and dig into the reputation of each home builder, too. Look up online reviews and ratings, and consider talking to other agents about their experiences with local builders. The more you know about a builder, the better you can inform your clients.
2. Have a good handle on the process.
It’s unlikely your buyer is familiar with the home construction business — nor how a new build actually works. This is where you can be of immense help.
From the start, set accurate expectations of how the build for the new home will go. How long will it take? What stages will the home go through? Are homes usually delivered on time or could there be delays? Set the stage, and make sure they understand the full scope of the process.
Understanding the building process will also allow you to ask better questions and protect your client’s interests at every turn.
3. Guide them on lot, location, and upgrades.
There are a lot of choices that go into building a house. New construction buyers will select their lot, the layout, the exterior colors and elevations, all sorts of materials, and, of course, all the features and amenities that go inside the house. Not all of these are easy decisions — especially without a fundamental knowledge of real estate.
Help guide your clients on the best decisions for their goals and money. Do they plan to have kids in the home? Choosing a larger, corner lot may be the best bet. Are they concerned about eco-efficiency? Choosing a home with fewer East-facing windows could help.
You should also advise them on the value of the various home upgrades and amenities they choose. Will they get their money back on those when they sell the home later on? Will a certain upgrade improve the home’s value? Which could hurt it?
4. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
New homes typically come with a base price — as well as add-on fees for various upgrades and customizations. Still, that doesn’t mean builders won’t budge. In many cases, they’ll negotiate just as much as a traditional home seller would — especially if the market’s slow or the build has been delayed.
Many builders also run specials, so be sure and do your research, too. They often have specials for certain holidays, almost-finished communities, using their in-house title company, and more. These can all help your clients snag a great deal.
5. Attend any meetings and walkthroughs.
Sales agents at new home communities are employed by the builder. Their job is to sell homes and make their employer money. Though they can certainly help new construction buyers choose their upgrades and draw up a budget, they’re not doing it with the buyer’s best interest at heart.
That’s where you come in. Buyers need someone working on their behalf — not the builder’s — when traversing the new construction process, so make it a point to attend any meetings, walkthroughs, and other events with your client. You can also ask to be looped in on any calls or emails for full transparency.
6. Keep them updated.
The construction process can be a long and drawn-out one, leaving many new homebuyers worried, anxious, and wondering — especially as time drags on. To keep these worries at bay, make sure to check in on the build every few weeks and give your new home buyer an update.
How far along is the home? What step is next? When is the home inspection? Has a closing date been set yet? Stay ahead of the game and keep them abreast of everything that’s happening. Remember — the first rule of real estate agent etiquette is to communicate fast and often
The bottom line about new construction buyers
New construction certainly differs from your traditional home process, but buyers still need your help. Educate them, guide them, and keep them informed, and you’ll have a happy client (and probably some good reviews and ratings), once all is said and done.
Do you need more advice for growing your business and better serving your clients? See our real estate agent resources now.