Good Question and my opinion has certainly changed in the last 12 years! Personally, George and I have built 2 custom homes…and yes! I wish I would have known what I know after twelve years of being a REALTOR.
Many clients come to me knowing they want to build and others decide to build after we search the market to find nothing that matches their search criteria. I always encourage my client not to SETTLE on such a big purchase.
There are many excellent builders in Central OHIO, but there are those that are not up to standards…esp. resale value. REALTORS soon learn which properties pass home inspections a few years down the road. Realtors create strong business partnerships with the best builders. Each partner wants to protect and promote their reputation. This helps the buyer get better service.
Builders use their own contracts which of course are created to protect the builder. Experienced Realtors know the areas to question and/or add verbage.
In building a new home, change orders cost money. An experienced REALTOR can help buyers “brainstorm” all the possible choices before the contract is signed. Many times I have helped buyers realize which upgrades may not be necessary. I usually ask them if they remember types of doorknobs, hardware on cabinets, hallway light fixtures…and the list could go on when they are looking at model. We discuss that when you leave the house you remember the overall look…beautiful home or average home. I accompany home buyers through the selection process I can point out where $$ should be spent. EXAMPLE…Extra Padding under carpet on stairs as the traffic pattern is narrow.
Another service I provide is communication with the production manager and builder as well as visits to the site when buyers have not moved to the area yet and/or have busy work and/or travel schedules. I always prepare home buyers that the house seems to change size as the building moves on…When the drywall goes up, most buyers are alarmed as they feel the house is too small.
So the questions I hear … Who pays the REALTOR? Would the purchase price be lower without a REALTOR? The Answers…The builder pays the REALTOR. An experienced REALTOR will save you $$$. Builders do not mind paying commission to REALTORS…the hand that feeds them.
TIPS for Knowing WHAT YOU would like in a new home:
Visit models and collect photos on your phone of what you like.
Save photos from magazines and look for trends…you can do the same with you phone…You will soon see a pattern of what you like.
You do need a team to build a home. As George reminds me, when we built our first house we learned so much…but when we built our second house 18 years later everything we had learned had changed. Same goes when I am helping someone coming in from another part of the country. A basement????? What do you use a basement for? A new experience for them is building in Ohio.
SOOOOO if you can’t find exactly what you want, consider building. It takes more time but you won’t be settling!