If you are interested in buying new construction in the Prosper and Celina area, the first thing that you need to know, is that the process differs somewhat from buying a pre-owned home. Let me help you through the process! This is a brief, high-level overview of what the new construction process entails and what to expect:
1. Partner with an Experienced, New Construction REALTOR®.
At first, you may not think that there is a need to work with an agent when going the route of new construction. Usually, the first assumption is that by working with an agent, you’ll have to pay the agent a commission. In the new construction process however, in most cases, the builders prefer to partner with experienced agents because they not only help bring prospective buyers to the process, but they also help streamline the process for them. This means that the builder, in most cases, will pay the agent a commission at the time of closing. This is not an additional “cost” to the client.
Partnering with an experienced new construction agent from the very beginning, adds 100% value! Why not take advantage of the opportunity to have someone provide helpful advice, project management throughout the process and advocate for YOU? Whether you are from out of state or located in the area, your agent provides another set of eyes and ears, as well as voice when working with a builder during the new construction process.
2. Decide on Your Builder & Homesite.
This is typically a decision that is determined by the particular neighborhood or location you are looking at. If you are looking at a particular neighborhood, you can find out who the builders are in that neighborhood. Sometimes, depending on the area, the developer may even allow you to bring in your own builder. If you are looking at building on a lot that is not restricted to a particular builder, it’s important to research builders in your area to find one that is reputable and stands by their work. Meet with the builders before you make your selection. It’s important that they are organized and communicate well. Your agent is extremely valuable during this particular step in the process, as they can help assist you with managing your budget and keeping you on task relative to the many decisions that will need to be made down the road.
3. Obtain Pre-approval or Proof of Funds.
Builders or developments often work with particular mortgage companies and will offer discounts on closing costs for using their “preferred” lender. Whether you use the builder’s lender or someone else, you will need to get pre-approved for financing. If you are not financing, obtain proof of funds from your financial institution. Having an agent on your side, can also help you fast-track this step in the process, because they will likely have a great network of lender contacts to refer you to.
4. Sign a Contract with Your Builder.
Builders use their own contracts that are similar to a regular sales contract, but include additional terms specific to the building process, such as at what points during building the contractor gets paid, and what options you have to choose from. Your agent can help you interpret the terms of the builder’s contract before you sign.
5. Secure a Loan.
Once you sign your contract, the lender will need to get started on your loan application. It’s important that you provide them any information they ask for in a timely manner.
6. Select Your Options.
There will be a lot of decisions to be made throughout your build. This may be the most important part of the build process to make sure you have an agent on your side to help you navigate the decision process. Being prepared with your choices at each stage will help keep the build on schedule. Most builders have someone who will work with you to let you know what stage they are on and which decisions are coming due and when they need to be made. During this time period, key decisions regarding the design such as finishes, fixtures, colors, hardware, appliances and other features will need to be made. An experienced new construction agent is paramount during this process, and can provide a very valuable set of extra eyes, as well as keeping you on task and keeping you on budget.
7. Home Walk Throughs Throughout the Building Process.
You will need to check on every phase of construction to double check that everything is done according to plan. Even the best builders have miscommunications, mix-ups on orders, or problems with installations. Plan on visiting the home daily once it gets dried-in. This is yet again, another part of the process where it really helps to have an agent on your side that can actually help assist with this.
8. Optional Inspection.
Even though your home is brand-new, you might still want to have a home inspection done. In fact, I highly recommend having a multi-phase inspection performed at critical stages throughout the new construction process. Sometimes an inspector will catch something that slipped past the contractor and code enforcement. Having an agent on your side, can also help you fast-track this step in the process, because they will likely have a great network of new construction inspector contacts to refer you to.
9. Closing day!
Closing day on new construction differs slightly from a pre-owned home in that there is often a “punch list” of items the builder is responsible for finishing up either on closing day or shortly afterwards. This may include cleaning, touch-up painting, installing landscaping, or changing out locks. You should have the opportunity to go through the house with the builder shortly before closing to add items you notice to the punch list. Often referred to as a “blue tape” walkthrough, this is another key step in the process to have a trusted agent on your side.
If you are interested in buying new construction in the Prosper and Celina area, partnering with the RIGHT agent means one that is experienced with the new construction process, has relationships with the best builders in the Prosper and Celina area and can help YOU manage the entire process. Some agents just get you to the signed contract, while I will be with you every step of the way—let me take you all the way home.