Are your clients interested in building a new home?
If you’re looking for tips to explain the home building process to your home shoppers, this article will help.
We sat down with a couple of construction experts to look at the building process from a Realtor’s standpoint. Here are a few of the key considerations they suggest knowing about:
1.) Set up a line of communication with the builder.
Every builder’s construction process will have their differences, so there’s no one-size-fits-all resource you can go to to learn about the construction process on your own. Instead, the next best option is to open up a line of communication with the builders in your area.
“Your job is not to assume things regarding the builder, their team or their process,” says Stacy Doherty, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Canton, Mass. “It’s important to have an open line of communication with them throughout the build and make sure that you’re informed on status updates and to keep your client in the know.”
To form that relationship and to ensure you’re not encroaching on their valuable time with other customers, establish which method of communication works best with your builders and a time they would like to be reached at.
“I like to set a time to talk with the builder, usually early in the morning toward the beginning and the end of the week for a status update and then I follow up with my client to pass that info along,” adds Doherty. “Let them know that this is how you stay in touch and make sure that everyone knows what’s going on and there are no surprises.”
“Be communicative,” chimes in Brandon Raimondi, partner and CFO of Indiana-based Sublime Homes. “No surprises should definitely be the goal.”
Raimondi says that real estate agents who involve builders early on in the process can establish a connection moving forward. This allows both parties the time to understand each other’s nuances and how to work together.
Finally, now’s the time you can ask your top questions regarding the building process. Your builder will be able to explain their process in full and how they’d like that information conveyed to the homebuyer.
“Additionally, Sublime Homes would be happy to host Realtor events to explain the entire buying process and steps to building a home,” says Raimondi.
Great news if you sell new homes in the Indiana market, but don’t hesitate to ask your builders if they’d be interested in holding similar events in your area.
2.) Familiarize yourself with the building timeline.
Once you’ve established that connection and gotten the rundown on the construction process, it’s also important to make sure you’ve gotten a full understanding of your local builders’ construction timelines.
“The timeline is really important,” Doherty says. “New construction generally takes 8 to 10 months depending on the builder, other projects and the weather and rarely finishes exactly on time.”
Many homebuyers, especially when building from the ground up, might not realize how long this process takes. To help fill this time, you can help inform them of later steps they can prepare for like finances, closing, and inspections.
“As the point of contact for the buyer, they will be relying on you to explain these things,” adds Doherty. “My biggest piece of advice would be to be patient. Most new construction does require extensions to close, so advise clients to be aware when locking in interest rates and committing to moving.”
3.) Discuss budgeting and selections.
A common problem seen in the building phase is when home shoppers get starstruck by all the bells and whistles in the model home. So be sure to advise your clients to set a realistic budget and to allocate room for the selections process.
“More often than not, clients are not upfront with what they can afford and this often delays the building process because we end up adding and taking out items that the client really would like in their new home,” says Raimondi.
To help steer clients in the right direction, Raimondi suggests that Realtors have a talk with their builders about the selections and upgrade options they offer and understand how they could impact a customer’s budget.
4.) Get a New Home Designation
As a final tip, Doherty suggests looking into obtaining a new-home specialist certification.
More information on this type of designation and where to find courses near you can be found in our article, “Why Agents Should Get a New Home Specialist Certification.”
“This would be a great place to start,” adds Doherty. “Network with builders and other people in that sphere, build the foundation for a relationship and let things happen organically.”