Not as Good as the Original
Don’t you hate when a classic movie is remade and you are so excited to see it but then so disappointed when it it’s not as good as the original? How about when they came out with the new Coke? What were they thinking? Some things can be improved upon. Some companies learn from previous experience and customer feedback and their new product is actually new and improved.
How does this translate into real estate? Many home purchasers will walk into a model home and say, “I’ll take it!” Only after sitting down with the on-site agent will they realize that the cost of the model home is substantially more than the base price due to all the upgrades that are in the model they loved so much. Similarly, you may have seen a house built by a smaller, local builder and decided to contract with them to build that same house on another lot they have. You may be disappointed with the quality of craftsmanship or the customer service (or lack thereof) throughout the process.
Three lessons here:
- Hire a professional Realtor to represent you. A lot of on-site agents do a great job. They can recite every feature and upgrade, help you decide which lot will be best, and even let you know what they think the builder might accept as an offer and what he might throw into the price of the home. The thing you need to remember is that they do not represent you. They represent the builder – the Seller. A Realtor who represents you can also help in terms of local reputation of builders. If they have worked in the area for any number of years, they will likely have had some experience with the builder you are looking at. She may even have a relationship with them or their agent and may be able to use that to your advantage when it comes to negotiations.
- Hire a home inspector and have the house inspected at various times throughout construction. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean that it’s great. Faulty materials and simple human error can be to blame. Your neighbor’s house may have been built well by the same builder but if the crew was different, yours may have totally different issues. A home inspector can inspect the house during construction and they will have access to the framing and the guts of the house prior to the drywall going in and hiding potential problems.
- Don’t get too caught up in the “model home”. Model homes are just that “models.” They typically have that perfect look – everything you would want. The question is, “at what price?” Sometimes builders will make changes after they built the model and because their cost when up, or some other reason, they will discontinue a feature you really liked. So, use the model home for ideas, don’t be disappointed that yours isn’t exactly the same.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.