The U.S. housing market has seen well over one million new construction homes added to the inventory every month since the outbreak of the pandemic in April 2020. In April 2022, the number of new construction homes was 1.8 million! All this added inventory has helped ease housing shortage issues. It’s also created opportunities for real estate agents.
Buying a new build is a very different experience from buying an existing home. By helping your clients buy a new build, you’re offering representation and a level of protection they would miss by approaching the builder directly.
How Does Agent Representation Work When Buying a New Build?
In most new developments, builders are represented by a real estate agent. And they do a lot of marketing to bring buyers in for a model home tour or presentation about the new homes. When buyers contact the builders or their agents, buyers can end up waiving their rights to have their own buyer’s agent. Or they could sign an exclusive agreement with the listing agent (or listing brokerage in states that don’t allow dual agency).
7 Ways to Help Clients Buy a New Build
It’s important to educate buyers in your community so that they understand their right to have their own representation. Then you can help your clients get the most out of their new build purchase!
Here are seven things you can do to help your clients buy a new build.
1. Make Sure Your Clients Understand the Pros and Cons of New Builds
It’s easy to see new construction homes as “perfect” since they haven’t yet seen some of the wear and tear of existing homes. And there certainly are lots of perks to buying new builds. But your clients should be aware of the potential downsides as well.
The pros of buying a new construction home include:
Likely lower maintenance expenses for the first several years
And the following cons should also be considered:
Wait time until construction completion
Possible delays (particularly with global supply chain issues)
2. Notify the Builder that You Represent the Buyer — Immediately!
Builders and their agents like to claim “dibs” on buyers. If a buyer shows up at a model home without an agent and does not disclose that they are working with you, getting the builder to pay your buyer’s agent fee can be difficult. So it’s crucial that your relationship with the buyer gets acknowledged by the builder or their agent.
Make sure your buyers understand the importance of listing you as their agent. Not only will this help confirm your fee, but it will also allow the builder and their agent to keep you informed about the progress of the development so that you can advise your client on how to proceed at each step.
3. Read the Builder’s Contract
When you represent new construction buyers, understanding the builder’s contract with the buyers is part of your job. You need to know what terms the builder is legally held to, and what your buyers are responsible for under the contract.
Pay special attention to timeframes and your buyer’s exit options should circumstances change.
4. Review Blueprints, Soil Surveys, and Engineering Reports
The average buyer is not familiar with the documentation provided by the builder. Most buyers need help interpreting blueprints, soil surveys, and engineering reports. As a real estate professional, you should review these documents so that you can make sure your client is aware of any potential issues.
5. Negotiate on Your Buyer’s Behalf
As with any real estate transaction, your ability to negotiate a favorable price and terms for your client is an important part of your service. Depending on local market conditions, you may have some wiggle room to get the price down or get a few additional upgrades added at a discount.
6. Understand the Customization Options
As a real estate professional, you know the value of fixtures, features, and finishes. You will likely recognize when the builder is over-charging for a flooring upgrade or offering a good deal on quartz countertops. This information can help your buyer understand how best to use their budget when it comes to customizations.
7. Schedule Walkthroughs to See the Construction Progress
One pitfall of serving new construction buyers is that it can take several months for construction to be completed. This is several months that you could be out of touch with your clients, which could potentially have your clients questioning your follow-through as their agent (even though there is exceedingly little for you to do during this period).
You can stay in contact with your clients by scheduling walkthroughs once a month or so. This will show your clients that you are on top of things. It will also give them a chance to ask questions. And it will give you a chance to ask for referrals!
Grow Your Real Estate Career
New construction is just one of the exciting niches real estate agents can explore. You can learn about additional market segments and career growth areas through your continuing education courses.
Don’t have your real estate license yet? Don’t wait another day to get started! With Aceable’s online real estate courses, you can complete the required coursework from the comfort of your home or on the go from your smartphone. In many cases, you can earn your real estate license in just a few months. Enroll in your real estate course today, and get ready for your exciting new career!