Stapleton Builders: The steps to getting your new construction home- Step 2
This is a continuation of our series helping home buyers know what to expect in the new home buying process. Please read part 1 if you missed it.
Negotiation and contracting
One of the most critical parts of the process and one that you definitely need a great neighborhood Realtor to help with is the builder negotiations. Let us dispel some rumors. First of all, Stapleton Builders are part of the Builder Realty Council and Home Builders Associations that set rules in place that make sure that they can't use a potential Realtor commission to try to negotiate a price with you and alleviate your ability to have your own advocate and representation. That being said many will lead you with that impression, and some even do it in some ways. The bottom line is however is that having a Realtor during the process is not only crucial but will most likely save you money and time. Here are some examples of how.
Stapleton Builders rely on Realtors to bring them buyers, so they do marketing towards them that buyers don't have access to, so sometimes incentives that they tell you in the sales center are different and can be pointed out.
Realtors can pull comps to justify true value for the home both in new and resale, essentially making sure that they didn't give your next door neighbor a better deal than you and to make sure you are making the right decision.
Realtors that work with Stapleton builders a lot can use past negotiations to point out something you may not have received without that knowledge. i.e. "we know, that you included the basement for the Jones's for that same price"
A Realtor can also help you identify items in the design studio that can be better values. Some upgrades are better to do with the Stapleton builders designers and some are better saved on your own once you live in the house and without the big mark up that a builder charges.
And most of all what a Realtor brings is an advocate for you during the process. Market knowledge, fiduciary responsibility, legal coverage, familiarity with the contracts and an extra set of eyes at walkhroughs etc are priceless entities that even if they did cost you money would be worth it. But the bonus to you is that it doesn't cost you money, the builder pays the Realtor so these are free services to you.
As part of this blog series we spell out some of the truisms of the Stapleton builders that you may think put them in a negative light and are out to get you. We do not think this at all. But as business people they and their sales people, design studio, construction and warranty employees have a responsibility and allegiance to their company, so doesn't it seem fair that you have someone working on your behalf?
Once you have figured out that this is the house for you and have done most of the preliminary negotiations, you sit down and write a contract. This for some is on the first day into the sales office and for others after weeks of dissecting the issue. Neither is wrong, it just depends on the buyer. But again for either situation having a Realtor is key.
The contract can be very intimidating. It is usually over 100 pages plus many scary items such as a booklet of disclosures, HOA documents, homeowner manuals and warranties. Some people are readers, some are skimmers, some want to hear the important parts and some say "just tell me where to sign".
The sales manager at the other side of the table will obviously be very familiar with the contract and is usually good at presenting it in a friendly fashion, that for the most part hits the important spots. But let's say for instance you are a reader. You can certainly ask to see a copy to take home with you for a night or two. Or have a separate consultation with your Realtor prior to sitting down and signing. Most builders will take some kind of reservation check to hold a home for you if you just need a night or so to either review the contract or need to think things over or get your financing in order. Occasionally they will have a home that has multiple parties interested or is perceived as one that will go quickly. In this case they may not take a reservation, especially over a weekend. If contracting immediately is what is in order there are sometimes rites of rescission time frames to cancel and it typically takes the builder a couple days to get a contract signed so if for some reason you have buyers remorse you do have a little window.
The process itself usually takes about an hour and half(depending on your questions and skills of the sales manager to making you comfortable with it) It certainly makes things more productive if you are prepared with a couple of things.
Having financing in place or at least know what the plan is for financing. It may change some terms of the contract or even who is on the contract. For example if dad is cosigning does he need to be on the contract?
Also make everything easier it to have everyone there at the same time. Yes it's possible to do FedEx or a couple of visits. But to make it the smoothest have everyone that needs to be there present. i.e. Husband and wife.
Even if you are a reader you are going to get too much information to read it all, this can be very scary and intimidating as well, some of the bigger items you are receiving and are signing about are things that you will have time to read later. HOA documents, Title work etc. With these items, when you are asked for signatures, you are simply saying you have received them and you will have a review period that is written into the contract. As you finish up with all of the signatures this is also when you will need to give your earnest money.
Wow, everything is signed. Congratulations! All done right?
Well this is when having a Realtor really is necessary. Many clauses of the contract refer to drop dead dates from everything to approving soils reports, to lending to design center. All of these dates coincide with risk of losing your deposit money. A good Stapleton builder will help you through these steps but once again a Realtor is your best protection to keep you on task with reminders and assistance through the next few weeks and months.
Those steps are what our next blog will include. Please comment below if you have questions or items you would want me to include in the next step of the series. Or as always feel free to call the StapletonHomeTeam for any other questions or if you just want to go buy a house.