New Construction Questions and Answers


Are you considering building or buying new construction?

If so, you have likely figured out by now, that it is NOT the same as buying a home on the resale market.

You are probably wondering.. where do you start?

What happens if there is a dispute or change in terms?

Do you work with the builder directly, an agent, or negotiate things yourself?

It’s a big decision, with a lot of details and we understand that there are a lot of things to consider..

What you really need is an experienced advisor, who has your best interests in mind, to help you ask the right questions, negotiate the best deal, and make the process go as smooth as possible- without adding to the cost of construction.

What many new home buyers don’t realize is that when you deal with the builder directly, you are going to get help from people employed by the builder. While they can be helpful, their fiscal responsibilities are to the builder and they are likely not asking the hard questions or negotiating terms favorable for you. That’s why today, I’m going to share with you my top questions I ask every builder BEFORE starting the new home process for my clients.

Hello, I am Gary Palmer, principal broker for Town Realty in Charlottesville, VA. Prior to starting up Town Realty, I was the co-founder of Integrity Home Contracting. After overseeing thousands of real estate transactions, home remodels, and new construction projects, here are some questions I help clients negotiate before signing a contract with a local builder.

Question #1… What happens if the home is not ready on the settlement date? This happens all of the time and most contracts have favorable terms for the builder and will allow them to close if it is “substantially” complete.

Question #2… What is their change order process? The building process is long with a lot of details and change orders are expected. They are also one of the most common reasons for disputes and general frustration during the build process.

Question #3… Can the builder change materials or alter the construction plans without buyer approval? This does actually happen and since the builder drafts the contract, they are normally protected if they deem the change to be “reasonable”.

Question #4… Who is the project manager and how much experience do they have? The project manager is your main point of contact during the process and they are normally juggling many pieces at once and many projects at once. Experience here is absolutely critical.

Question #5… Does the Builder’s warranty guarantee or cover vendor products? If your granite counter-tops crack, who pays for the replacement? Even in new homes, this happens and clear contractual terms will avoid finger pointing.

Through Town, you will get an experienced agent assisting throughout the entire process.

While these are some of the most important details we cover for our clients, this is only the beginning. If you are looking build a new home in the Charlottesville area, we have the expertise to help you through the process and negotiate the most favorable terms. If you need more proof, feel free to read our 5-star reviews from previous new construction clients.