New Construction Buyer Agency Services
- Don't buy a new home without an Exclusive Buyer's Agent !
- Be aware of the "Rebate Realtors"
To my knowledge, our services to clients purchasing new-construction homes are more extensive than another real estate company in the Houston area. The reason for that is we approach the purchase of every property as if we are purchasing it for ourselves or for a family member so that we perform more activities we would do for ourselves than we have found other agents willing to do who are “selling” real estate whether they call themselves buyer’s agents or not. This article summarizes our services. Because each situation will be unique, this serves as a general overview of the services we provide.
Whether a client is purchasing a new-construction home, a home in a new subdivision, or a re-sale property in an older subdivision, we analyze the investment aspects of that subdivision. We want to answer the question of whether the new-construction home purchase price is a good value in relation to the same investment in another subdivision.
That analysis involves comparing prices, location, and the quality of builders among several competing subdivisions. It also involves analyzing tax rates for utilities and MUD taxes, if any. If the area is not incorporated into a city then we also look at whether the subdivision is within an extra-jurisdictional area that is likely to be annexed.
Subdivisions have a “life-cycle”. Investing in a new development during “pre-construction” pricing can sometimes be an excellent investment decision depending upon whether the client will stay in the house until construction is completed. There are also sometimes excellent investment opportunities when a builder “closes out” their construction in a subdivision or changes models within the subdivision. More detail is provided in a separate article that discusses the “life-cycle” of a subdivision. The point is that we assist a client in reviewing the factors we would consider in purchasing a new home.
Different builders have different reputations that either add value to the home when it is re-sold or detract from its value. We share our experience and the experience of our clients with different builders. We share our experience with analyzing how a home is constructed in terms of the quality of materials, what materials and features are standard in the construction and what are options, depending upon the builder.
Different neighborhoods have different “values” when it is time to sell your home. That “value” is based in part on who the builders were, how the neighborhood has been maintained, what school district a subdivision feeds into, and the tax rate relative to other competing neighborhoods. We help our clients study those differences. Crime rates and other information is generally available on the internet to our clients and we can show you how to find demographic and crime information that is available.
What “Options and Upgrades” to pick
Some builder upgrades and options are significantly overpriced. Some will add value to your home when you re-sell your property. We help you sort out those choices.
Unlike many real estate agents who disappear after a contract is signed, we assist our clients during the construction process. That is because we really do treat each transaction as if we were purchasing the house for ourselves or for a family member.
We believe there should be several third-party inspections that protect the interest of the buyer. Depending upon the builder, whether they are building in a county area without any building department inspections or in a city with strong inspection procedures, we tailor the inspections to each client’s situation. I do not know of any other real estate company that pays for inspections on behalf or their clients - but WE do. Again, the logic is that we would have third-party inspections if we were building a house for ourselves.
At closing (when you sign the papers to purchase the house) a client will be signing a HUD Settlement Statement. That is an important document that summarizes the details of the financial transaction. One of our responsibilities is to review the HUD, discuss it with you, and compare the figures to the preliminary figures provided to you in the form of a “Good Faith Estimate”. Our job is to protect your interest to be sure that there are no surprise fees or charges that were not previously agreed. Please note that we are not attorneys and do not provide legal assistance. Our role is to put ourselves in your shoes and to review each document to be sure your interest is protected. We may refer you to an attorney or we may argue your case with the title company or you mortgage lender on the basis of our experience in the real estate business.
Closing and After-Closing Assistance
We attend closing with you. If there are issues that come up at the closing we can advise you based upon our real estate experience how we would handle an issue. We also follow-up after closing to insure that you have a resource when questions come up later.
In order to help clients evaluate their knowledge of purchasing a new-construction home you can go to our “New Construction Questionnaire” to test your knowledge of buying a new home. Based upon your level of knowledge you can select the level of services that we provide. The idea is to allow you to decide whether to select our Company or one of the many internet offers of “1% cash-back” if you allow that company to act as your real estate representative. I say “act” because some real estate agents provide absolutely zero service. They do not assist you in selecting an area, or a builder. They do not go with you to negotiate with a builder or to sign a contract. They do not assist you during the construction process. We also offer “Limited” service representation and our services are still much more extensive than many agents offering “cash back” but you need to be sure you know what you are doing if you do not have someone truly represent you and protect your interest.