What Homebuyers are Seeking When Buying New Construction

by Peter Thomas Ricci

What do homebuyers seek when buying new construction? Todd Warshauer, the director of sales and marketing for the Chicago Division of William Ryan Homes, explains.


Given the success of new homebuilders in the Chicagoland housing market over the years, it is clear that many people appreciate the opportunity to own a brand new home.

Real estate professionals also like to work with builder-sellers who have all the processes in place for a smooth transaction. What are the differences in buyer attitudes when shopping for a new construction home as compared with resale homes? Real estate agents who are experienced in new construction realize that one important difference is it is easier for buyers to get exactly the home they want.

New Homebuilders Offer More Choices

When your buyers look at resale homes, they must be prepared to work with the pros and cons of the individual home they choose, as well as the seller’s timetable. Builders who develop subdivision neighborhoods typically offer contemporary floor plans, prices and options that provide greater freedom of selection, as well as extended moving timetables, since new homes are continually being started and finished. Buyers can tour model homes that enable them to choose, critique and spend as much time as they want getting the “feel” of each floor plan and how well it will match their lifestyles. These choices can save the real estate professional time and effort, while being likely to please the buyer sooner.

Fresh and New is Very Desirable

For many people, new is best. While some resale homes are updated and well-kept, there is still wear and tear on the building systems, and some features may not be as up-to-the-minute as those available in a new home. Fewer obstacles to overcome means a quicker sale and happier buyers.

Builders Tailor Plans for Specific Communities

Builders carefully research the character and amenities of different communities to tailor their plans and amenities to likely buyers. For example, in areas that will appeal mostly to first-time buyers and young families, plans may all be two-story homes, while in active adult destinations, ranch plans will be offered in addition to two-story designs.

New Homes Have the Newest Design Features and Easy-Care Materials

Shopping for a new home is exciting. Our prospective buyers are delighted to find such included or optional luxuries as granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, hardwood flooring, floor-to-ceiling fireplaces, smart technology including home theatre technology, nine-foot first-floor ceilings, volume ceilings of various types in key places and other architectural details.

Our buyers are looking for upgraded gourmet kitchens with large islands, multi-generational home designs with a main-floor bedroom, small pocket office spaces, larger garages and craftsman exterior styling with porches. We find that buyers are willing to spend more on the luxury details.

A real plus for newer homes is that today’s floor plans offer greater flexibility for changing needs, acknowledging the many different ideas of the perfect home. Young families today often want one large dining area for both formal and casual use, and will happily trade the living room for a flex space that can be used as a music room, study or tech center. Active adults may favor a great room design rather than a duplication of sitting and dining rooms.

In addition, many buyers prefer today’s more open floor plans with their expansive kitchens, breakfast areas and family rooms, more and larger windows, higher ceilings, look-out and walk-out basements and three-car garages. Buyers can pick and choose the options they want without paying for those that are of no importance to them. Impressive design centers staffed by professionals present a wide array of choices. Our company recently opened a 3,000-square-foot Design Center that features the newest features and materials plus professional assistance.

Technology is Now a Necessity for Many Buyers

Smart technology is here to stay, as people use it to operate their home both in the home and remotely. For example, William Ryan Homes offers high tech wiring for phone and data collection, a four-port wireless router, television and telephone distribution modules and home controller processor accessible from mobile devices. Buyers can purchase energy, lighting, security and entertainment modules for specific rooms or the entire home through preferred partners.

Better Building Techniques and Materials Ensure a More Comfortable, Economical Home

Energy-efficient construction and building materials, energy-efficient appliances, better insulation, dryer basements and other advances in comfort are provided by today’s building science. For example, our company includes a special waterproofing process that guarantees dry basements for 10 years, and our homes are built to exceed Energy Star guidelines. We also offer a 1-2-10 transferable warranty. We include 24 features in each home that exceed the industry standards, features that may be hidden behind the walls but that make a great difference over the lifetime of the home.

Economies of Scale

Larger home builders, especially national builders, are able to employ economies of scale in purchasing, resulting in added value and less cost for buyers. The “more bang for the buck” cliché is true for new homes.

New Home Builders Have Professional Customer Service Staffs

Service staff members are concerned with buyer satisfaction during various inspections and after the closing. Technology, such as our “My Home 24/7,” enables our buyers to have a personal website with on-site selections, real-time building schedules and direct warranty request capabilities. Reputable builders are committed to ensuring satisfied buyers, and are concerned with maintaining a well-respected reputation. Sterling business practices and value-added features make for a smoother transaction for all involved.

Buyers and Real Estate Agents Can Learn a lot about Builders’ Reputations

Through the Web, hand-out materials and word of mouth, the integrity of builders is there for real estate professionals and buyers to check. Many understand the importance of referral programs, the most authentic form of advertising.

Builders Welcome Realtors

William Ryan Homes and other builders today have attractive Realtor compensation programs, and appreciate the business they bring. We share a mutual commitment to answering the question “What does the buyer want?”

todd-warshauer-william-ryan-homes-chicagoTodd Warshauer is the director of sales and marketing for the Chicago Division of William Ryan Homes.

Read More Related to This Post

Join the conversation

New Subscribe