New Homes- What you need to know




Do you need an agent to represent you  for New Home Construction?


Of course, I’m a real estate agent, my answer is YES!  And it’s not just to cash in on an easy transaction. Many local builders are great, exceptional even but I’ve heard enough stories to know I needed to write a little ‘how to’.  I’ve also sat through a few new sales pitches myself and I can honestly say I was surprised at a few tactics used.  It can start out with an easy vague overview- “oh don’t worry about that, you will cover it in the design center” OR even better the sign now read later agreement but the best one is “I’m not sure, I only sell houses”.  But seriously, if you are serious about buying new its good idea to get an agent and to understand the process and what to expect before you sign up to buy!

What you need to know before buying new and how to better navigate the process:

1) What does a “base” home look like?! Sure that model is slick but is it actually in your budget?  I always recommend that you insist on seeing a home under construction before you commit.  You may need to put your food down for this one.  Ideally the house would be close to being finished (past drywall stage).  This way you can see it barebones no fancy trim and light fixtures, do you still like the floor plan? Still LOVE the house? Great!

2) How much for that upgrade? Get a good idea of what your total price will be including the pot drawers and pot lights before you sign the dotted line.  This way you know what you are getting into and you also have a budget so that the really nice and enthusiastic designer doesn’t talk you into an extra $15k worth of upgrades.

3) What the heck is a tentative closing date? Let’s call it the target date, here are the rules about closing dates and how/when they can be changed, click here.  Always, always, always ask how often the builder delivers on time and in the last month how many closings have been changed? Don’t cancel your lease until you are past the notice timeframe!

4) Should I have an inspection? Inspections can be expensive and the builder does a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) with you before you move in.  I highly recommend doing an inspection just before your 1 year anniversary just to make sure everything is A-ok.

5) What’s Tarion Warranty cover? The warranty is a limited 7 year warranty, you can see all the details on their site:

6) Will the construction ever end? It’s always a good idea to figure out what phase you are buying in and how many phases there will be.  Some larger scale developments can have multiple phases and last years.  Some people live in construction the whole time they have their house.

7) Who represents me? The builder sales rep is exactly that- representing the builder.  The job at the end of the day is to sell units.  If you don’t have an agent then you should have a solicitor approval clause in your agreement.


If you think you will need your agent’s help to buy new, then make sure you involve them from the start, builders will not cooperate if you bring us in after you have already signed in only once!