Today I want to talk about what you should be looking for when selecting a builder. I have both personal and professional experience with this subject, and I’m excited to share with you what I’ve learned.
The first thing, and I think this is a really big deal, you must hire someone with some experience. Experience matters! I know there are rookies out there who offer a lot of bang for the buck, the house looks glamorous, seems like a real good price, and you find out they’ve been in business for a year…Don’t do it! Let them build for their friends and family first!
It is so painful to build with a rookie, learn from my mistakes, choose someone with experience.
Secondly, look how does their warranty stacks up amongst the competition. It’s surprising to me how many people aren’t asking those questions. You need to read that warranty and evaluate it as you are considering builders. The next step in that process is make sure they are living up to their warranty. Rather than just taking their testimonials at face value, see if they will supply you a list of the last 5 people they’ve built for, call those people, find out for sure how their warranty program really stacks up.
The next thing you need to evaluate is what is extra and what is not. For example, some builders include the lot in the price of their home, some don’t. That can be a big swing, you’re talking a difference of $50,000-$100,000! Don’t just take that price at face value. You need to ask lots of questions and your realtor has the education to guide you through that. This is exactly why you need a realtor, you don’t even know what you don’t know! We will tell you the exact right questions and what you need to be looking at.
Know that not all processes are created equal. Some builders are very experienced and they have this process nailed down to a “T”. Others aren’t as experienced and it might be a “Let’s fly by the seat of our pants” type of deal. And if you are a person that likes loose rules, that works great for you! If you don’t like rigid procedures, then you won’t want to go with that builder that has lots of rules.
For example, some builders will give you a construction key and say “Go on over there whenever you’d like! Treat it like it’s your home.” Other builders will say “You can not go on the construction site unless we’re with you.”
There is a ton of information to sort through when your building. It’s quite a process! Know that in most cases it’s going to be 7-12 months from start to finish for that process. The other thing that you need to know, a builder is going to charge you the same whether you’re using an agent or not. So you need to have that passionate person on your side representing your interests.
When you are walking into a model, the person standing there in many cases, is only representing the interests of the seller. Have a buyers agent with you, also know to not sign anything as you walk in that door. They’ll just say this is for our information purposes only and not walk you through agency disclosure which means they are representing the seller and when you sign your name you are waiving the right to be represented by a buyers agent. Know what you are signing before you do anything! You shouldn’t have to sign anything to walk through a property.
Todays quotes to commit to is facts do not cease to exist because they’re ignored!
I hope this helps you think about what to consider when looking for a builder. Please reach out to me if you have any questions.