I saw a former client this month. We enjoyed working with each other years ago so we spent time catching up. She mentioned that her family recently purchased a new paired home in East Boulder County. I was a little surprised that she didn’t reach out to me to help her look at new home construction. “I didn’t think a Realtor was needed because the builder’s sales office helped us order the details,” she said. I wish she had contacted me earlier. Yes, new home builder offices help you choose the options, but they’re representing the developer’s side…who represents your interests? There are reasons to have a Realtor represent you at the new home sales office.
Within Boulder County real estate, new neighborhood developments are one answer to finding available property in an incredibly low inventory market. Also many of these homes are not in the MLS yet, but I maintain an up-to-date list of new home communities, and can direct you there. New home communities are springing up all over East Boulder County and Weld County. New neighborhoods like Compass, Trails at Coal Creek, and North End are selling out quickly. Condos, townhomes, and paired homes offer affordable entry points and maintenance-free living. While it may seem easy enough to walk into a sales office and choose your floor plan, countertops, and flooring with the help of the developer’s design team, you should remember that they represent the builder. The new home sales office people are that – sales people. They won’t highlight the cons along with the pros; they’re trained to focus on the positive.
There are tricks of the trade that an experienced Realtor like me can help to represent YOUR side.
Reasons to have me at your side in a developer’s sales office include digging into these questions:
- What’s the time frame for finishing the planned community? Many mortgages won’t lock in a loan until the build is within 2 months of completion. In this economy, that likely means interest rates will be higher.
- Construction: is your preferred location in the active construction zone, and for how long?
- A developer’s sales office is directed to sell lots in a certain released order. You may want a better lot and be willing to wait until a phase released at a later date. Is that an option?
- If you don’t want to wait for a new home to be built, are there move-in ready models available?
- How many homes will be built in the long term? If the master planned community is large, will it be harder to sell older models when new ones keep popping up?
- That said, if you get in early, will the base price, lot premium, and upgrades increase…therefore could your equity increase if you bought in early?
- I’ll guide you on pricing; what’s listed is the base price. What are premiums for location, upgrades, and landscaping that you’ll want to know about?
- Which structural options have the best resale value? Basement height, a full or partial basement footprint, a covered patio…these choices now are permanent.
- That model home is gorgeous with its designer finishes…but are the upgrades you see an available option for your home? And at what cost?
- Can you determine the average upgrade from other home buyers to guesstimate your final cost?
- What’s included in that home price? Fencing? Landscaping? HOA dues?
- What are the new neighborhood HOA regulations?
- New communities often have a builder’s lender or preferred lender for mortgages. While smooth for transactions, will they have higher fees versus an outside lender?
- The best part of using a Realtor for new home construction is that there is no cost to you. Builders love working with Realtors.
As you can see, it’s not as breezy and easy as sitting down and choosing cabinets. There are a lot of considerations to be sure your wants and needs are represented. Let me represent you at the new home sales office to be sure all the questions that should be asked, are. Then you get the fun of choosing all the details!