Buying a new build property is generally much more complicated than a regular transaction and there are often many moving parts to keep track of.
In this new climate where we’re re-thinking how much space we need to live, work and play at home, where builders are reaping the rewards of high demand for their services and in most markets plots of land on which to build are coming ever harder to come by - it’s good to have a trained RE/MAX specialist on your side.
1. work with an agent who specializes in new builds
Something that has been said over and over, and always worth remembering, is builders are only looking out for their own interests. It makes no sense to put the biggest investment you are likely to make in your lifetime, into the hands of those who are reluctant to tell you hard truths you need to hear. Those who won’t show you all the options because they only want to sell you what’s most expensive. And finally, those who have no interest in getting you the best possible deal.
A RE/MAX Agent is on your side throughout the entire process and is not solely motivated on making a sale but creating the best experience for the buyer and generating referrals. A RE/MAX Agent who specializes in new build properties and who is familiar with all the building options in the local area knows how to navigate the labyrinth that is buying a new build property.
2. not all builders work the same way
Buyers can often be taken in by the glamour of a show home when visiting the site of their new build home. But remember, this does not necessarily tell you about the builder’s reputation or quality of the finished article. A RE/MAX Agent will be able to let you know how your builder ranks in the marketplace as well as what you should look out for when engaging them on your home.
It is vitally important to do some research of your own to get an initial feeling of which builders you want to work with and to see how they vary in your area. Ask some nearby new build homeowners what their experience with their builder was like. Of course, you’re going to hear criticism on a variety of points both big and small, but if the same topics keep coming don’t assume your experience will be any different - keep looking.
3. INVENTORY IS PRETTY TIGHT RIGHT NOW
Due to the recent pandemic and people quickly realizing the space in their homes might not be as ample as they thought it was pre-lockdown, available builder inventory is in demand.
Add to this the fact that interest rates are at a record low and have recently been held at that level by the European Central Bank to encourage an economic recovery, and it’s easy to see why demand on available supply is so high.
It shouldn’t be surprising that there will be less choice out there than you may have originally hoped for. You may have to consider building a new home from scratch or move forward with a building specification plan that has not been approved yet. Finding the perfect solution may take some patience and follow up work by your RE/MAX Agent.
4. PRICES ARE RISING QUICKLY
A byproduct of this quick moving market is that builders have every reason to increase their prices to meet demand. This could mean that something a buyer looked into a month ago has now shot up in price, or that they have been priced out of the market whilst considering their next move.
On the plus side if buyers secure something now it’s very possible, they have already made a substantial amount of money before the deal has even closed or the foundations of their new home have been laid.
5. BUILDERS AREN'T LIKELY TO NEGOTIATE
Deals with builders are rare at the best of times, so don’t expect that to change when demand on their services is so high. Of course, they might be offering some incentives to win your business as a general practice but getting a custom deal from them is going to be very unlikely.
Remember, builders are standing their ground because they know they will sell their wares eventually whether that’s to you or somebody else. The more inevitable extras you ask to be included in your property like fencing, custom windowpanes or white goods, the less likely it is the builder is going to want to make a deal overall.
6. EXPERIENCES MAY VARY FROM BUILDER TO BUILDER
Some builders are responsive, open to negotiation or suggestions and very pleasant to work with while for others everything seems to be a saga and a demand on their time. You shouldn’t have to find out which type of builder you’ve contracted after you’ve agreed to work with them. This is why having a RE/MAX Agent will help you understand what to expect from your builder, and how to manage your expectations for a good working relationship.
It could be the case that a builder seems to be the perfect package, but then it turns out they are not willing to use electronic signature technology to sign agreements. This can slow a project up by weeks and makes things very difficult if the buyer lives in another location.
7. THERE MAY BE DELAYS
If you are building your property from scratch, then you should expect some delays due to the recent pandemic. Building materials, fitted cabinets, flooring and other items may take longer to arrive so it’s best to plan that into your build now. The human element of the project cannot be underestimated either. If one of your building team becomes infected with COVID-19, it is very likely your site will have to be shut down for at least two weeks.
(NON)-SALES OF CURRENT HOMES COULD BE PROBLEMATIC
One of the biggest stumbling blocks when buying a new build is having a home you are trying to sell. Due to the current climate and market you should expect builders to be hesitant to work with anyone who’s current home is not already at the contract stage of being sold, or the very least actively listed as for sale. Make sure you speak with your RE/MAX Agent about finding exclusive seller representation for your current home.