5 Critical Tips for Buying New Construction Homes
January 20, 2022

Expert Real Estate Tips

Are you considering buying a brand new home? Whether that means starting with a custom lot and building from scratch or purchasing a builder home in a new community, the process is exciting. Customizing your favorite floor plan by picking out your flooring, cabinets, and counters is a fun experience. Likewise, designing a custom dream home on an ideal lot is a worthy goal for wealthy homebuyers.

There is a problem, though: the excitement of buying new construction often causes buyers to be overly enthusiastic. They want to get out and start looking at brand new homes without finding someone to help them first. However, wise buyers know that not having representation is a mistake.

Reading the following tips and tricks will get you one step closer to becoming a wise buyer of new construction…

1. You Will Not Get a Discount by Buying Directly

You might think that you can save money by buying directly through the home builder, but that’s not the case. Instead, the commission that would go to your real estate agent will just end up in the seller’s pocket. In fact, not having your own representation could actually cost you money.

Why? Because the sales representatives you’ll encounter at each semi-custom home community don’t have your best interests in mind. They may be friendly, helpful, and extremely knowledgeable, but they don’t represent you. They exclusively represent the seller, which means they will negotiate on behalf of the seller for the highest price possible.

The following is a common clause found in builder contracts:

“Buyer acknowledges that the real estate agents marketing lots and residences for the seller at the community are acting solely as the agents of the seller and may be affiliated with the seller.”

See? That’s why you must hire your own agent.

“But doesn’t that cost money?” you ask.

See tip #2…

2. Having Representation Costs You Nothing

Now that you’re convinced that you need representation, you’re wondering how much it will cost you. The answer: fees typically come out of the seller’s proceeds. This means the new home builder is responsible for paying your Realtor to work for you. It doesn’t cost you extra to have a real estate agent with you, and it doesn’t save you any money to go without one. In other words, hiring an agent is a no-brainer.

“I get it,” you’re thinking, “I’ll hire a real estate agent when the time comes, but can’t I go look at model homes first?”

We have an answer for that, too…

3. Bring Your Agent on the First Visit

It’s critical that you bring your agent with you the first time you visit a new home community. If you don’t bring your agent on the first visit, the builder won’t pay them—leaving you with no one to advocate for your best interests within that community.

We get it. It’s more convenient to stop by these communities at your leisure—without calling to coordinate with your agent every time. You may even feel like dragging your agent to multiple communities is an inconvenience for them. You definitely don’t want to waste their time if you end up deciding not to buy. But real estate agents are there to help you. As long as you communicate your timeline and goals, you don’t have to worry about being a burden. We often visit five or more communities in one day to get our buyers registered. That way, they can go back and spend as much time as they want looking at models without us.

4. Having a Real Estate Agent Will Save You Time

Touring new home communities to find that perfect floor plan can take a considerable amount of time. This is where the expertise of a real estate agent can be immensely beneficial. As luxury real estate professionals, we’re out here looking at and showing new homes every day, helping our clients find the right communities, school districts, price points, and views. We also know where to find the best available lots and contractors if you choose to build a fully custom home from scratch. This is our job.

Eventually, you might be able to find what you’re looking for on your own, but having a real estate agent will help you hone in on the right communities and the best builders much faster. Speed is important because you’re never going to be the only buyer looking. Good properties go fast, and you don’t want to miss out on your dream home because someone else had their agent on the scene first. With the right agent on your side, you can be the first bidder, and maybe even the only bidder.

“Speaking of speed,” you say. “I need to move soon. Can I still buy new construction if I’m in a hurry?”

Well…

5. Buying New Construction Doesn’t Always Take a Long Time

What if you don’t have time to start your home build from the ground up? It takes a great deal of patience to wait six months or more for a dirt lot to transform into a semi-custom home, and the wait can be closer to eighteen months for a fully custom home. Sometimes waiting this long is unfeasible. You might need to move soon, but that doesn’t mean you want to compromise on your goal of buying a brand new home.

There’s some good news. If you have a real estate agent, you can still buy and move into a new home quickly. Some builders have standing inventory, which changes depending on the market and whether a deal fell apart last week. There are also custom spec homes on the market. Savvy real estate agents can help you find these properties—and help you get the best price possible.

Bonus Tip: You Still Need a Home Inspection

“But it’s a brand new home,” you say. “Why would I need a home inspection?”

The sales agents at the new home communities will tell you what you want to hear: “We offer a home warranty. You don’t need an inspection.”

Here’s why that’s bad advice: Homes must be built to code, but they’re also built fast. Sometimes mistakes are made, and quality slips. By not doing an inspection, you might miss a plumbing issue that causes your home to flood. Sure, there’s a warranty, but if this happens, you’ll have to wait for your home to be ripped apart and put back together while you’re living there. A quality home inspection can catch issues like this before you close on your new home.

Likewise, there are plenty of problems that don’t pose an immediate threat. You could live in your house for five years, then when you go to sell it, the buyer’s inspector could find something wrong. In this case, your builder would have fixed everything if you told them about it, but now the property is no longer under warranty, and you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

Every single one of our clients who took our recommendation to get a home inspection was grateful we told them to do so. We have plenty more stories we would be happy to share with you.

If you’re considering buying new construction or building a custom home in Las Vegas, Summerlin, or Henderson, Nevada, get in touch with us today. Having representation is going to save you time and money without costing you anything. Make your home buying experience significantly better by calling us at 702.442.1150.

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