Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Melissa Agosto, a Realtor with Keller Williams Cityside in Smyrna, for her tips on working with new construction properties.
5. Keep in mind that the “on-site” agent represents the seller (in this case, the builder), and is not looking out for the best interest of your client. As their fiduciary, it is crucial to ask the questions that your buyer would not know to ask, build a rapport with the on-site agent and always ask for an emailed copy of the builder’s contract. I personally review them and go over them with my client before we enter the negotiation stage. Not all builder’s contracts are the same, and many times, deposits are not refundable.
4. Have your buyer client shop for their loan. Many times, builders will offer deals that a first-time homebuyer cant refuse. Or can they? Shopping for a loan can help them save money in the long run; yes, a builders preferred lender may offer 100 percent financing (or a larger sum of closing cost), but are they offering the best rate? Ultimately, the choice is up to your client, and some builders will lead you to believe that you must use one of their preferred lenders; but in the end, the choice is up to the consumer.
3. Negotiate EVERYTHING! Find out how quickly the subdivision is selling, and pull comps from your MLS. Don’t offer full price, and ask that all those overpriced upgrades be included in the asking price – refrigerators too! Your client will think you are the BEST.
2. Inspections are even more crucial with new construction homebuying. At times, there are errors on the builder’s end, or even language barriers between the builder and on-site laborers. Frequent visits by your buyer client and a final inspection can help catch any errors and prevent any headaches in the end.
The final walkthrough of the property before closing is just as important. Don’t let your guard down just because it’s new. Keep in mind that new construction is built on a scheduled timeline in stages. Get to know those stages and be proactive. For example, changes in plumbing and electrical cannot be done after drywall goes up; however, the countertops or cabinets being installed can be caught and corrected in time with weekly drive-by visits.
1. New Construction is BIG in 2015; if you are not savvy, you will miss out on BIG opportunities. New construction offers all things new infused with lifestyle. Visit new subdivisions in your “selling” areas; meet the sales agents and builders; learn their floor plans; tour their models; and find out what other areas they build in; not all builders use the same plans and offer the same “feeling” in their product.
Melissa Agosto is a Realtor with Keller Williams Cityside in Smyrna. Melissa serves on the board of directors for the Atlanta chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, and she is also a Certified Military Residential Specialist.