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Buying From a Home Builder: The Beginner’s Guide

With buyers with specific needs and particular tastes, sometimes the best option is to purchase a home through a home builder. Having the ability to pick and choose features, finishes, and specific layouts not only helps ensure you are getting what you want, but new homes come with warranties and other incentives that older homes don’t offer buyers.

Buying a home from a new home builder differs from purchasing from another seller and agent. We’ve answered the most common questions we’ve come across with our clients purchasing from a builder.

How does working with a real estate agent benefit me?

You may think that not using a real estate agent when purchasing your home may be less expensive, however, realtors are trained in helping you get the best bank for your buck. Not using a realtor could potentially cost you MORE money.

A real estate agent’s job is to represent the best interest of the buyer and make sure that the entire home buying process is hassle-free. Essentially, the builder’s representative at the model home acts as the real estate professional for the homebuyer, but in essence, they are still a salesperson for the builder. Their goal is to help the builder come out with the best margin of profit.

It’s important to make sure that you have an experienced negotiator on your side to help you get the most out of the experience. Sure buyers can represent and negotiate effectively on their own, however the buyer needs to be aware of what incentives, financing, and concessions are involved so that you are sure to negotiate in your favor. This is where things can get tricky and overwhelming. Realtors are there to ask the questions that buyers don’t even know to ask and help buyers save money!

In the end, the cost of of working with a real estate professional will not fall on you. In fact, the typical 3 percent commission a Realtor receives from a purchase will be paid by the seller, meaning the home builder will be responsible for paying the agent.

Is there much negotiating room for a move-in ready home?

Yes. Some home builders are more flexible than others. Realtors in the area know which builders offer the best deals for potential buyers, and can lead you to a builder more willing to negotiate.

What happens when we agree to purchase new build home? 

You will meet with the sales representative in person to sign a contract of intent to purchase the property. During this time, the sales representative will walk you through the contract giving you information about the timeline of the home completion, neighborhood completion, etc.

Do we have to go with the builder’s lender or can we use our own?

You have the option, but in the longer run, it may be best to use your own. Often times, builders’ lenders will have nice perks like paying for closing costs or paying for extra upgrades, but they can also come with higher interest rates. It’s always a good idea to look into both options for the best deal.

Will we be able to monitor the progress and make suggestions? 

Yes and maybe. You’ll have the opportunity to walk through the property as many times as you want, as well as specifically with the project manager to point out any issues you notice.
If the home has already installed flooring, cabinetry, etc. you may not be able to change the selections since the materials have already been bought and used by the builder. If you are working with the builder from stage 1 of the homebuilding process, you will have the option to adjust features. Just keep in mind that any upgrades you choose will affect the end cost of the home.

Are we allowed to hire an outside inspector? 

 To be on the safe side, we recommend hiring a third-party inspector to walk through the home and point out any structural or cosmetic defects that may affect your home long term. Once the report is put together and sent to the builder, make sure the builder completes all necessary fixes before you sign off on the home. You have the right to refuse signing the final contract if the builder refuses to fix something that is a nonnegotiable for you. You either choose to fix it yourself after you move in, or don’t move in at all.

Well, when can we move in?

Similar to purchasing a pre-owned home, once the seller has approved and completed all building fixes, and you signed all closing documents with the title company, the home is yours!

Ready to view some of San Antonio’s growing neighborhoods featuring top home builders in our area? Let’s schedule a showing. Call us today or send us a message via our Contact Page.

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Daryl was awesome and helped us find our perfect home. We were living in virginia at the time and Daryl took the time to face time us from the house so we could feel like we were there.
Bought in San Antonio, TX.