NEW YORK – April 13, 2015 – Real estate agents with clients interested in a new home should understand that buyers need their help because the process tends to be more complicated and intimidating than purchasing a previously owned property.
First, clients should know that the best time to buy a new home is over the December holiday season, when builders tend to offer some great incentives because few people shop for homes.
It's imperative, however, that Realtors accompany clients on their first trip to the builder's model; otherwise, they could lose the opportunity to represent the buyers.
Agents also should keep in mind that new-home buyers shop differently. In general, they're not emotionally attached to the property, and they make decisions based on the bottom line. That means a new home that's been sitting on the market for 45 days or more will probably be a better financial deal.
However, "better financial deal" doesn't always mean a lower price in the new home market. Builders generally prefer to pay closing costs or offer design center incentives rather than lower their prices.
When working with new home clients, agents should make sure that buyers get everything offered by the builder's agent offers in writing. They should also explain to buyers that some features in a model home are standard, but others are optional and would cost extra.
Agents can also help clients by researching the builder's reputation, visiting past buyers and reading online reviews. If the buyers want to consider the builder's recommended lender, agents should encourage them to shop around to find their best financing option.
Buyers could also consider purchasing the model home, which tends to sell for market value and have the showcased upgrades included – but if they do so, they won't get one of the usual perks of a new home: picking their own floor colorings, cabinets, appliances, fixtures or paint colors.
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