Do we really shop home builders the same way we do cars or even cell phones?

Real Estate Agent with Gibbs Realty and Auction Company

Do we really shop home builders the same way we do cars or even cell phones? 

While showing homes this weekend in Lexington SC I happened to be in a new home community that I had not visited before as it is not located in an area that I generally do most of my business. With a price range of $135,000 to $160,000 I was blown away by what this builder offered as STANDARD on his homes.

 FULLY sodded yard

Sprinkler system for ENTIRE yard AND on a timer

FINISHED garage, not just sheetrock, but fully painted and with MOLDING

Trim around ALL windows

Brick and stone accents

Brick Foundation                                                                     

Smooth ceilings


Comparable neighborhood


Sod front yard only

No sprinkler system, don't even offer it, your own your own

Garage is only sheetrocked and taped

No window trim

Extra cost for brick foundation & then its only brick front

Stipple ceilings


Research the builder, not just the community and give your client more bang for the buck!



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Trey Thurmond
BCR Realtors - College Station, TX
College Station , Texas Homes

Sounds like a really great value. How many square feet in those homes?

Aug 05, 2008 04:39 PM #1
Mark Organek
And the United States of America - Mesa, AZ
On a journey to accomplish one huge goal.

Laura, this point makes me sick to think that people didn't shop around that could've.  Quality does matter.  Maybe the other place was paying a 7% co-broke???  Otherwise, how could they exist??

Aug 05, 2008 08:19 PM #2
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

I definitely shop builders.  In this area you sometimes have communities with multiple builders and I would visit everyone to see what deals we can get.

Aug 06, 2008 12:59 AM #3
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


We have a builder in the area that used to be a trim carpenter. His $130K houses have better finish work than the average $300K house. So yes, it pays to shop!

Aug 06, 2008 10:11 AM #4
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

These homes range from 1500 to 1800 square feet. The construction quality is about the same, its the added extras that put the one over the other.

Aug 06, 2008 11:56 PM #5
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

I am a little jealous that you actually have new construction that cheap!  that would be the down payment on a lot of the New homes they have built around me in the past few years... The dirt is just too expensive.... and I dont know of any builder that puts sod in the back...

Aug 07, 2008 01:24 AM #6
Anna Matsunaga
Team Momentum Keller Williams Realty Tacoma - Lakewood, WA
Seller specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert

sounds like your clients will be glad you looked more !

Aug 07, 2008 03:50 AM #7
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Absolutely, people should shop around for builders.  If they take shortcuts, whether it's ungrassed areas, or no trim around windows, or whatever, you start to wonder what else they took short cuts on.  You have to be able to see that they are proud of the product they are offering, and take care to do it right, even if it costs slightly more. 

Aug 07, 2008 04:07 AM #8
Edwin Gerace
The State Paper - Lexington, SC

Laura you are right. 

It is your largest investment do your homework

I represent many builders in the area.  They are all different, they have strengths and weaknesses.  I have been preaching that there are 2 large components in a builder that mean allot beside price.  One beingFinish work, like you mentioned.  Second being follow up after the sale.  I have builders that work to make those 2 things their goal.  I have builders that dont try the second part. 

I recommend when doing a new home build job that you interview the builder and see past homes and talk with those home owners so that you can feel comfortable about the process and the end result.  Building from scratch is complicated but not feasible.  There are many elements of the process that get overlooked.  For example; who is doing to construction loan, and is there a financial savings to have the buyer get the construction loan.

I have been promoting 'Build now Buy Now" Campaign through the home builders.





Six Steps in new construction is

  1. Check out the builder past homes ( find some 2-4 years old)
  2. Check out the Lot your building on ( slop, Trees, etc)
  3. Discuss Time Frame with builder ( reward or penalties for missing goal)
  4. Discuss type of products bieng used ( might be worth spending more for better materials)
  5. Spend time looking at lot and where house will go ( rain water, sun set/rise, water run off, traffic, driveway issues)
  6. Enjoy the process it is truly FUN

Edwiin Gerace, or

Oct 21, 2008 03:24 AM #9
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