Red Lines and Blue Tape

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Providence Group Realty TREC# 0608931

redline meetingNew home construction is a markedly different process than buying pre-owned housing. Whether buying a spec home (built to the Builder's specificiations, also known as an 'inventory home'), or whether starting from scratch -- new home construction has its own timeline, vocabulary, and rules.

Two important meetings that take place between Buyers and Builders include the Redline Meeting, and the Blue Tape Meeting.

Because of the reference to colors, combined with word familiarity of other common real-estate related vocablulary like 'blueprints' and 'blue line survey', these two meetings often introduce a bit of confusion for both Buyers and their Realtors®.

The Redline Meeting: After the initial contract is signed, Buyers start selecting / finalizing finish out choices and desidred changes. During that time the Builder is securing permits & blueprints. The redline meeting is where the Builder (a person) meets with the Buyers to review the Buyer's specific blueprints with a red pen... to mark up / finalize build instructions. (Thus, redline meeting.) A professional Realtor® will want to attend this meeting to help make sure all of her client's customizations and instructions are documented and recorded by the Builder. 

Prior to closing, (and hopefully AFTER a Buyer completes a home inspection) the Buyer will complete a walk through -- with painter's blue tape -- to mark any deficiencies or missed change requests. This meeting is for the purpose of creating a Builder's 'punch list' of items that need correction or completion prior to closing.  Painter's tape is the preferred method of marking areas in the home, as it creates a noticably visual highlight that is easily seen by contractors, and it's weaker adhesive helps to prevent further damage to subject surfaces. Again, a professional Realtor® will want to attend this meeting to help protect her client's interests and make sure items needing attention are addressed prior to closing.

Happy Homebuilding!

Comments (21)

John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Thanks, Amanda Thomas, for your informative post. Many of us do not have a lot of exposure to new building construction. 

Dec 28, 2014 01:45 AM
Mike Belobradic
Johnston & Daniel Oakville - Oakville, ON
Your Trusted Advisor in Oakville Real Estate

I have been involved in quite a few new home deals, but have not heard those terms before -- nice. Of course those events take place here but without the nifty terminology. I like it.

Dec 28, 2014 02:15 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

That blue tape! When I have an inspection on new construction, I give the inspector a roll to mark things. 

Dec 28, 2014 02:29 AM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

I'm always surprised to see how much blue tape is placed during that walk thru. 

Dec 28, 2014 03:07 AM
Jenna Dixon
Momentum Real Estate Group LLC - Marietta, GA
55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms

The blue tape walk thru can be daunting to buyers who have never purchased a brand new home and many times they feel they can skip the traditional home inspection.  Not so!

Dec 28, 2014 04:01 AM
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Amanda, we've had some pretty big "blue tape" adventures from time to time. Not my favorite, but necessary.

Dec 28, 2014 04:52 AM
Stephanie Baker
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Middlebury, IN
The People you Know, Like and Trust!

We don't have a lot of new construction where I live, so this is all new to me.  Thanks for the lesson!

Dec 28, 2014 05:22 AM
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

I love being there during both of those events. It's my job to be there every step of the way for each buyer from beginning to end!

Dec 28, 2014 05:24 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     The blue tape!   My Buyer went through a roll of it one time, LOL. 

Dec 28, 2014 05:47 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I'll be going through this sometime soon, as I have a new construction closing the end of Jan.  Bring on the blue . . . tape!

Dec 28, 2014 05:51 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

I always suggest a home inspection. My inspector carries the blue tape also for areas that aren't up to snuff. Last time the construction superintendent was there also. Made the world much easier.

Dec 28, 2014 09:08 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Amanda Thomasa at times buyers of new construction do not understand the importance of home inspection and that's where these blue tapes make all the sense.

Dec 28, 2014 12:09 PM
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

No one likes the Blue tape, but it's an important part of the process.

Dec 28, 2014 12:13 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Very clear overview of the process both at the beginning and end of the home building process.

Dec 28, 2014 08:03 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Yes to sharing this the areas that need eyeing and attention is time well spent by the corrector and the correctee

Dec 28, 2014 10:36 PM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Amanda Thomas Having been a home builder in another life and having worked for a national home builder, I cannot stress enough that buyers have an independent home inspector hopefully monitor the construction of the home (if incomplete) and prior to closing. These big guys cut lots of corners and do deviate from blueprints. They will insist that the county building inspector has signed off on the various phases, but the county inspectors cannot be trusted.

Dec 28, 2014 11:00 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

When performing that red line meeting, the buyer should have their advocate as that's when the budget can go sky high.  The blue tape meeting is seldom pleasant as well, but something that needs to be done.

Dec 28, 2014 11:52 PM
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Great clarification for buyers looking to new construction.  It's a pretty different process.  

Dec 29, 2014 03:16 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Both meetings are important ones, and all meetings need to be attended by the Buyer and the Real Estate Agent, in my opinion.

Jan 23, 2016 03:15 AM
Sam Thomas
Providence Group Realty - Plano, TX
When it's important; hire a professional.

Good time to re-read this article!

Sep 21, 2017 02:02 PM

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