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New Construction Myths Busted

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Just when I think I have mastered the art of communication when it comes to explaining the home buying process to my clients and potential clients, I get reminded that there’s room for improvement. The topic I’m writing about today has come up several times in the past couple weeks and has been on my list to write a blog about. But just this morning, a buyer I’ve been sending listings, doing research, and providing information to for over a year just told me that he was going to rule out new construction so I could represent him. Me: “Wait, what?!!  I absolutely can represent you.”  Let’s talk about this:

Myth #1:

Buyer’s can’t have or don’t need buyer representation when purchasing new construction. 

Fact:  The listing agent or on-site agent works for the seller and has a fiduciary duty to represent that seller’s best interests. If a buyer wants their best interests represented, they need a buyer’s agent. New construction agents are often very knowledgeable about their product and they are usually really nice people, but they do not and can’t put a buyer’s best interests over their seller’s. A buyer’s agent is going to make sure their buyer understands all the paperwork and documents they are signing.  They will use their knowledge about the local real estate market, including new construction trends, pricing, and the reputation of builders. They will negotiate prior to going under contract and advocate for their buyer throughout the process. An important thing to know is that if a buyer wants to have buyer representation, the buyer’s agent must be involved from the beginning, meaning we must either accompany our buyers to view new construction lots and model homes OR contact the listing agent on behalf of the buyer initially.

Myth #2:

New means perfect and there’s no need for a home inspection.

Fact: A common misconception is that because a property is newly constructed, it will be flawless. However, like any construction project, there can be defects, errors, or issues that arise during or after construction. While I can’t force a buyer to have a home inspection, I can highly recommend it and give lots of reasons why it’s a good idea to have an inspection. While a builder isn’t required to fix every single item that may be mentioned in a home inspection if the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued, it doesn’t mean they won’t address reasonable requests and it doesn’t mean the buyer shouldn’t have the full inspection to make an informed decision. The Certificate of Occupancy states the house is up to code, but isn’t the same as having a thorough home inspection. I have had new construction inspections show electrical issues, plumbing issues, roof issues, and sewer line issues that would have otherwise gone undetected until after closing or possibly after warrantly expiration.

Myth #3:

Everything is included. 

Fact:  Buyers may assume that everything they see in the model home, website, or showroom is included in the purchase price. However, certain features or upgrades may be considered extras and come with additional costs.  Just because the model has granite counter tops, a refrigerator, window blinds, etc. doesn’t mean those items are included in the base price.

Myth #4:

Negotiation isn’t necessary.

Fact:  Buyers may believe that since they’re purchasing new construction, there’s no room for negotiation. However, there can be flexibility in terms of pricing, upgrades, or incentives, especially in slower markets or for spec homes.  Very often, I’m able to get a better price, seller paid closing costs, and/or upgrades for my buyer clients or get an offer accepted with contingency to sell their current home.  A buyer’s agent can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get the best deal possible.

Myth #5:

Construction timelines are exact.

Fact:  Buyers may believe that the construction timeline provided by the builder will be strictly adhered to. However, delays can occur due to weather, material shortages, or other unforeseen circumstances, so closing dates are not always set in stone.  Your buyer’s agent will work closely with the everyone to help ensure things stay on track or prepare you in advance for any delays. Just don’t load that moving truck until you have a firm scheduled closing date!

Myth #6:

Builder warranties cover everything.

Fact: While builders typically offer warranties on new constructions, buyers sometimes assume these warranties cover every possible issue that may arise. It’s essential to understand the specifics of what the warranty covers and for how long.

Myth #7:

Customization is limitless. 

Fact:  While new construction offers opportunities for customization, there are often limits imposed by the builder or local building codes. Not all requests may be feasible or within budget.

To summarize, while buying new construction can be a great experience, a buyer’s agent can help you navigate the entire process ensuring that you understand everything you’re signing and that your interests are protected.

 

 

 

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