The Little Things You Might Not Know About New Construction

So I was having a conversation the other day with another buyer participating in my new construction program and she said to me: "you should write a blog about this". Well, thank you for the idea Monica!  Sometimes I amaze myself with the information that I have tucked away neatly in a corner of my brain.  And forgive me, but I just assume everyone else probably knows this stuff, so I leave there, tucked away neatly where it belongs.  Well I'm going the filing cabinet in the back corner of my mind today, to impart some stuff you might not know about new construction.  Here we go....
1.)  The builder pays my commission- NOT YOU, the buyer. 
2.)  New construction pricing has my commission ALREADY built into the price. So whether or not you use a Realtor in the transaction, you pay the same price for the home.  The down side to this is:  if you DON'T have a Realtor represent you in the purchase, you are still paying the same price and you don't have ANY representation. 
3.)  I can get “extras” thrown in on the deal.  That's right, I can usually get a free color upgrade on paint, or an appliance package upgrade, or flooring upgrade added to the deal at no charge.  Yes, really, I can. 
4.)  The builder will encourage you to not have inspections.  They will say things like:  "You really don't need the house inspected, since the county permit department comes out and has an inspector make sure we are building your home to code."  That's nice and all, but who is making sure the builder is building the house to YOUR code.  And who is inspecting the home, insuring the builder is including the standard finishes or products that the builder has agreed to, that may be above the building code (like that upgraded insulation)?  In addition to that, it is ALWAYS better to have a third party unbiased set of eyes that is independent of the building process come through and inspect your home. 
5.)  If you can only afford to have 1 inspection done on your home (because you could have it inspected at each phase of construction), have the inspection done on the framing stage.  This is the stage BEFORE the drywall is put in place.  This is the most critical stage of construction and the easiest to have something corrected without major delays or reconstructive remedies. 
6.) At any part of the construction phase you can be as picky as you want to be.  If the drive concrete is not set level, or a wall is crooked, you can have them re-do it.  Okay, I say this with a side-bar.  IF you are ultra picky, the builder ultimately could stop you from going on your building site until the project is complete.  Yes, they have that right, since you don’t really own the home yet.  In addition, each time you have them take corrective action, you are setting back your delivery date, so if time is of the essence in the construction process, be careful how ‘picky’ you get. 
7.)  At the final walk through, if there is ANYTHING you don’t like (down to a small accent tile being set off center or a section of the grass dying), you have the right to have them re-do it.  This will NOT stop you from closing and moving in.  This is the called the “punch-list” walk-thru and it’s done just prior to closing.  It’s okay to go ahead and close, even if everything is not done perfectly.  As long as the home is structurally the way you agreed to, any cosmetic defects you identify, the builder typically will have those corrected within 10 days of notice.
8.)  The people building your house don’t work for Lennar, KB Homes, Ryland or whoever your builder is.  They are contracted by your builder and they are local businesses that specialize in electrical, concrete, painting, lighting, plumbing, etc.  If you are unhappy with the level of work they are doing- speak up.  If the contractor that the builder has hired is doing substandard work, the builder wants to know, so they can either have it corrected or they can replace that contractor with some other company willing to do the work to the builders standards. 
9.)  Last, but not least, communicate with the builder.  You should have the head General Contractors phone number OR email address to communicate any concerns you may have.  This is a customer service oriented business and the builder ultimately wants a uber happy customer (YOU).  If there are nails in the yard, cigarette butts in the home, or trash being left behind by the construction crew THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE and the builder wants to know this. 

Well I hope this helps you in the process.  Especially IF you don’t have an agent representing you.  If you would like any help navigating the new construction process – please email or call me.  I am here to help people, so even if you are in the construction process already, and you need some advice, I’m here for you.