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How to Help Me as a First Time Home Builder

June 03 2015

lwolf first time builderNot too long ago, my spouse and I decided we no longer wanted to pay rent and needed to invest in our own equity. So we decided to jump into the real estate market!

As first-time home buyers, we could not get in to our dream home right away and needed a starter home first. However, after determining our budget and viewing our options we were put off at the selection.

Then we came across a new build of townhomes that had all the luxury items we wanted in a home: walk in closet, master bathroom, open concept kitchen, and right in our budget... it was perfect!

One thing led to another and there we were, sitting in a trailer office on site, with nothing built but a hole in the ground that would eventually become our new home.

Do you know how scary it is to buy your first home when all you have to go by is a picture and some floor plans? Being a professional videographer, I am a very creative person, but even I could not imagine what my home was going to look like.

After the deposit, the mortgage loan, and signing papers it all felt like a dream. And don't even get me started on picking upgrades! Upgrades... I don't even know what the original looks like!

All in all, it was a very surreal and overwhelming experience that was greatly aided by the patience and understanding of our agent. So here are some points for agents to help first time home builders and ease the pain.

1. Please don't rush

I understand that there might be a line of people wanting to pick their plot of land, but please don't just point a finger to decide where our future home will be. Let's talk! Depending on the developer you are working with and the range of options, find out what our lifestyle is like and guide us to choose a spot that will best suit us. For example, for a small townhouse development this wouldn't apply, but if you are representing a large suburban development where one end is close to a public school and the other end is close to a shopping center/highway access (etc.), we will likely have a preference as to where our home is situated.

2. Be open and honest about the upgrades

I loved the fact that our real estate agent and the builder's team were completely open about the costs of the upgrades and how we could save lots of money if we upgraded ourselves. Our agent helped us make practical decisions that were in our best interest, rather than what was in the best interest of the builder to make an extra few dollars.

3. Work with us, not just selling for the builder

Like being honest with the upgrades, I was grateful when my spouse wanted 10 extra pot lights in the house but our agent explained that, with the same money, we could get a rough-in for a bathroom in the basement which would add more value to our house. Tips like this are really helpful for people building their first home.

4. Communicate to us about the process

Explain how the process works and what we can expect so we are not surprised. First time home builders are taking a plunge into the unknown, which can be scary and overwhelming. We were relieved to be informed about the timeline, our responsibilities, and where our money was going while our first home was being planned and constructed.

5. Keep us in the loop

My agent snapped a photo of the framing and sent it to us... it made my day! Not only did we see the progress of our new home (sometimes people are from out of town and can't drive by), it made us feel taken care of and that our agent was excited for us!

I understand that answering texts messages and last minute questions when first-time home buyers start to panic can interrupt your day, but I assure you when you take a few moments to be responsive and walk your clients through the process, you will get referrals and client retention in return.

To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blogLone Wolf blog.