Purchasing a brand new home that’s built just for you can be a rewarding choice. But it’s also a complicated process with many potential pitfalls along the way, and it’s very different from buying an existing home. That’s why it’s crucial to have a realtor by your side as your guide and advocate on your journey to homeownership.
First things first: Having a real estate agent represent you in the new home buying process doesn’t add to the cost of your house. That’s right – the builder pays the commission.
When you stop by a model home, you’re typically greeted by a sales rep who works for the builder, representing the company’s interest. So why go it alone? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by having a realtor on your side during this process.
1. Know the Builder
A realtor who works in a market with lots of new construction, like Northern Virginia, will get to know the builders, their communities and even the sales staff who work in the model homes. There are dozens of home builders in this area – from large national corporations to small local companies — and I’ve worked with many of them.
This insider knowledge can be your biggest asset when it comes to comparing new homes.
2. Model Home vs. Real Home
A model home typically has tons of upgrades and furnishings to make it look like, well, a breathtaking model home you want to live in. A realtor can help you catch your breath and understand the construction and design tricks the company has used. Yes, that bumped out morning room costs extra. As a result, the model might not be a good representation of the home you’re actually purchasing. You need to know what options come standard and how much the upgrades in the model would add to the cost of your home.
3. Negotiating Extras
Speaking of those upgrades, having a realtor can help you with these. New home builders typically don’t have much flexibility when it comes to the base cost of a house. But as you progress through the process, your real estate agent can help you negotiate for extra perks, amenities, and upgrades – such as the flooring, countertops, appliances, paint colors and other things that make your house a home.
4. Securing Financing
Now that you’ve made all the choices for your new home, you need to decide how to finance it. A realtor can help you consider all the options. Most builders have their own in-house financing options, which may or may not be the right choice for you. It helps to have someone who’s been through the process before help you understand the pros and cons of the various mortgage methods, so you can make the choice that fits your style and budget.
5. Home Inspection
You may think you don’t need a home inspection for new construction, but you shouldn’t forgo this critical step. It’s not uncommon to find defects, from minor points like missing trim to more serious issues involving wiring or plumbing. A realtor can accompany you on the inspection, then advocate for you once it’s completed. It’s to your advantage to have a pro help you push the builder and the sales rep to get those issues fixed.
6. Purchase the Model
Remember how we talked about all those upgrades that come in the model home? Once all the homes in a community have been sold, the builder will also sell that model. So you actually could live in that showcase home. Your real estate agent can help you navigate this unique process. Yes, it’s considered a new home, but it’s been a workplace for the sales staff and all those potential buyers who walked through it, so there are unusual issues to watch for.
Buying new construction from a building can be an exhilarating experience. It’s important to be able to see beyond all those fabulous model homes and understand the system behind them. I’ve helped lots of Northern Virginia residents navigate this unique process, and I’d be happy to help you, too!
A lifelong resident of Northern Virginia and a top-producing real estate agent, Samantha Bendigo knows buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction — it’s a life-changing experience. Over the course of 14+ years, she has closed 500+ real estate transactions with over $100 million sold. Helping homebuyers and sellers throughout the Northern Virginia region, Samantha specializes in Vienna, McLean, Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Prince William County, Fauquier County and Loudoun County. Email Samantha Bendigo at Virginia Luxury Homes today, or call 703-628-2420 to discover how you can start living in the home of your dreams.