Real Estate Tips: What to Ask Your Builder Before You Sign on That Dotted Line

Buying New – Part 2

By Mike LaRuffa
                               In my last blog post, I mapped out questions to ask your builder about the community when buying new construction. Now that you have settled on a location and community, I will help you, the buyer; determine what questions to ask about your future home. There is nothing like doing a little investigation on the builder first. Remember this is the biggest investment you will probably ever make so do your homework. The internet is a great place to start. Try Google, Facebook and even Twitter to see what is being said about the builder you are considering.  Also, do a thorough examination of the builder’s website. Reputable builders will let you know who they are and what they have done.  That said, the best research you can do is ride around a neighborhood on a weekend and chat with the neighbors…they will give you the real skinny on the builder. Once you are satisfied with the builder’s reputation, formulate a list of questions that you would like answered by the on-site sales person. This will be helpful since you will get distracted during the sales process looking at the variety of homes and options that are available and may forget to ask something very important. Any questions you have about the builder will be welcomed and expected. Now that you know all there is not know about your builder, let’s get to the questions. There is no particular order in which to ask these questions but you should get answers to all of them:
  • Is the builder offering any special incentives? These could be on inventory homes, base price, options or financing?
  • What kind of warranty does the builder offer?
  • What is the earnest money deposit, is it refundable under any circumstances, who holds the deposit and is it used by the builder as money or funds to build the home?
  • How much deposit is required for options and is that money refundable under any circumstances?
  • What happens if the appraisal comes in lower than the contract price?  
  • How long will it take to complete the home and what does the contract say about delays in completion?
  • What is builder’s policy on changes after the house is started and can you walk through the house while it is under construction?
  • What is the service policy after you close on the property and who do you call if you have a problem?
These questions seem to be the most asked and also cause the most problems in new home transactions. I would highly recommend that you get a copy of the agreement of sale and take it home and review every single paragraph so that you know what you are getting into. If contracts are not your thing, enlist the help of an experienced Realtor or an attorney to review and explain anything that may be unfamiliar to you. The cost of this or the extra time spent in reviewing all the paper work will be well worth your time effort and money! Contact us toaday, so we can get started on your house hunt!