Moving into a newly-built home is a lot like the first time you sit behind the wheel of a new car, but on steroids. No stinky smells from whatever it was the previous occupant was cooking, no greasy range hood and walls, no dinged-up baseboards – everything is new and pristine.
While these aspects may make you starry-eyed, there’s reality to contend with as well. Today we share with you some things to watch for when taking on the purchase of a brand-new home.
The builder’s on-site salesperson
When you drive up to the new home community you’ll notice quickly how you’re directed first to the builder’s office before you get to the model homes. That guy or gal sitting in the office isn’t a receptionist, but the builder’s on-site salesperson.
She or he will show you a map of the buildable lots available, talk to you about the community’s amenities and, naturally, the homes, before sending you on your way to view the models.
If you fall in love with one, which is every builder’s goal, you’ll want to get the purchase process underway quickly.
Hey, I don’t blame you, this is exciting stuff! And, what better and easier way to do it than to allow the builder’s on-site salesperson to get the ball rolling?
Ok, that’s the third time I’ve said it: “the builder’s on-site salesperson.” Sure, this agent can represent both you and the builder, but is it a wise move?
Think about this: would you use your about-to-be former spouse’s attorney in your divorce proceedings? Why do you suppose that isn’t common practice?
Here’s why: the builder’s on-site salesperson works for the builder and looks after the builder’s interests and NOT yours!
Since the builder pays the buyers’ real estate agent fees, it only makes sense that you have your own agent who will look out for nobody else but you.
Avoid this problem by letting the builder know, upfront, that you have an agent.
The builder’s lender
Hey, this is a one-stop shop, right? Of course!
Home builders understand that they need to hook the buyer when he or she is most excited so they offer all the services one might need to get the process started. This includes an “in-house” or “preferred” lender.
Now, unlike using the builder’s agent, there’s nothing wrong with using his or her lender, as long as you’ve shopped around and know that you’re getting a good deal.
Never feel that you have to use this lender, however, because you don’t.
Check out the builder’s reputation if you aren’t familiar with him or her. Start with the Better Business Bureau and then scour the city’s public records for lawsuits against the builder.
Buying a newly constructed home can be a lot more involved than buying an existing home, but the end result can be well-worth the steps it takes to get there.
I'm a local real estate agent in the Dallas Fort Worth area and I'm honored to be able to assist you if you are looking to purchase or sell a home. Or for more real estate tips, you can also check my blogs here.