Choosing The Right Home Builder – Interview Questions

Building a home will be the most expensive and complex project you are likely ever to be involved in. The only way to make sure that you have chosen wisely is to be prepared and conduct enough research to be knowledgeable on the housing market in your area and the builders that you will be contacting. In order to choose the right home builder make sure to take in the following advice as not all home builders are the same.

Basic market research

Now that you have decided to build a home, contracting a home builder should include a proper vetting procedure. Part of this procedure should include understanding the local housing and building markets. One of the best places start is to contact your home builders association in your area or a national building association. These associations can provide qualified, certified professional home builders to start your search. Follow this up by looking at current real estate advertising to assess active builders and pricing guidelines for similar houses that you intend build. Lastly reach out to friends, family and known real estate agents for referrals. By the end of this process you should have a basic understanding of the current housing market and the top builders in your area. Starting with 10 to 15 builders will give you enough prospects to narrow down your choices.

The interview

In order to assess builders in your area to meet your specific needs they should be willing to sit down with you and answer your questions. This provides you with a basic assessment if the builders can your needs.
Ask the following questions:

– How many years have you been in business? How many homes have you built?

– Are you licensed and insured?

– How do you compare to other builds and what are the best features of your homes?

– What type of warranty do you offer?

– Do you have model homes or references that I can contact?

– Do your homes meet the six star energy rating qualifications?

– Can you custom build homes or change current designs to meet my specifications?

– What are the standard features of your homes and what are available upgrades?

– Who will oversee the construction of my home and who is the direct contact for me?

– What is the process for making changes before or during construction?

– How and when will the final price for the home be determined?

– How often will I have access to the home during construction?

– How long will the build process take?

– Are you a specialty home builder or a mass producer?

An experienced builder will be able to answer all of the questions easily and quickly. If the builder vacillates on any of these questions they may not be the right choice. One of the most important aspects of home building is receiving value for quality not building the absolute cheapest structure possible.

By following these tips and asking the right questions the largest project will get off on the right foot with the right builder. By having an in-depth interview it will give you the peace of mind to move forward and even if issues or concerns arise they will be expertly handled.

Home Builder Marketing Tips

Searching for the right home can be a lengthy and stressful process. Buyers, builders and sales agents are often forced to deal with each other for weeks, sometimes months. It can be difficult for contractors and agents to set boundaries and maintain a beneficial working relationship, but it is imperative for the success of their business. Creating happy clients is the equivalent of free advertising; word of mouth is powerful publicity. Buyers who are fully satisfied at the end of the home search process are capable of generating a great deal of future business for builders and sales agents.

There are several approaches to referrals. They can happen naturally, as happy clients start spreading the word. In order for this to occur, builders must take an honest approach. Being straightforward with a potential buyer is the best way for a builder or sales agent to earn respect and trust. If there are problems with the home – or future trouble is anticipated, as in the case of new construction – the buyer has the right to this information. By attempting to conceal shortcomings, builders and agents run the risk of scaring off potential clients and referrals. Communication is key; the happier the client, the better the recommendation.

Meeting and managing the needs of buyers is imperative. A buyer who has a great experience with a builder or agent will forward every detail to family members, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. However, the same rule applies for a bad experience. Regardless of the events that take place or how challenging a buyer becomes, contractors and sales agents need to remain fixated on the power of referral. It does not take long for one outstanding company to become admired in a particular neighborhood and surrounding areas following one successful transaction.

Many builders and agents find it beneficial to implement a referral program. This provides buyers with incentive to spread positive information about the business or company. The motivation can include anything from a future discount to a cash bonus. Clients are very likely to refer their contractor or sales agent to others if it will result in an additional bonus. It is also a great way to keep buyers happy straight through to the end of the project and remind them that their opinions are valued.

With technology at the realm, there is no limit to the influence of online referrals. Several websites exist that encourage clients to leave feedback about a particular company, which can result in either positive or negative exposure. In any case, responses spread like wildfire. Thanks to the Internet, buyers are now able to recommend their builder or agent to complete strangers, creating not only a valuable reference to the world of home buying and building, but also a huge resource for referrals.

Every successful builder and agent flourishes for the same reason; they have worked hard to make a name for themselves and their efforts are appreciated and acknowledged by those involved in their projects. By creating a pleasurable experience for buyers, contractors and sales agents can reap the rewards for months and years to come. A happy buyer equals great response, and great response leads to great referrals.

Finding the Ideal Home Builder – 5 Tips for Success

As the real estate market cools, individuals and families considering buying a new home must evaluate many factors. Every search of homes for sale has common elements: location, proximity to good schools and employment, area attractions and distance to family and friends. Some evaluating the market may wish for an older home while others who want to buy a new house prefer the modern amenities common to most new homes offered by various new home builders.

It is a buyer’s market and every new home builder is competing for a shrinking pool of customers. Every home buyer is unique yet each will come across dozens of names when researching the homebuilder industry. The competition is fierce and home builders are outdoing each other with incentives and freebies all designed to bring new home buyers into the sales office. The potential new home buyer is advised to look underneath the noisy sales pitches and marketing efforts and evaluate new home builders based on competence, relevance to individual needs and reputation.

This article will offer 5 tips for success for finding the ideal home builder.

1. Solicit Referrals from Family and Friends
Your friends and family know you best. If they have bought a new home from a homebuilder, ask them how they found the home builder and who they recommend (and indeed, who they would avoid). If you have been inside their home, ask yourself if you like it and ask them if they are having problems. Remember, a referral from friends and family is more valuable than one from a stranger – or a marketing pitch.

2. Research Area Home Builders
87% of future home buyers begin their search online for the simple reason that, because a new home purchase is the biggest purchase of a lifetime, it is best to know your options. But there are a lot of new home builders out there. In busy markets like North Carolina, there are literally dozens all competing for business. Visit their websites. If they invest in a good website with valuable information, it shows they care about demonstrating professionalism and integrity. If they speak to your needs (upmarket, first time home buyer, large family, etc.), it suggests they have worked with people like you. If a website is all glitz and little substance, do not call. If the site has valuable information, interactive floor plans, new house plans, sample photos and the functionality to print plans and brochures, this demonstrates competence. So if you like the site – and like the information it contains – sign up for information. You may be given special promotions and will be the first to hear of new offerings.

3. Research the Experience of Previous Customers
It is extremely unlikely that you will be the first person to buy a home from a prospective homebuilder. Because the internet offers such a diversity of voices and opinions, if you do not know anyone who has worked with a considered homebuilder before, see what the online community has to say about the home builder. Some homebuilders have inspired such contempt that websites exist to showcase reasons to avoid them while others have created incredible loyalty. A little research may save you hours of pain and thousands of dollars.

4. Tour Model Homes and Ask Questions
When a home builder unveils a community of new homes for sale, there will be a model home open for public tours. Take one. Some “tip of the iceberg” questions to ask include: How often will access to the new home be given during building; Are there any fees required that need to be paid upon closing; How many times has a given plan been built; Is there a premium on the home site; What will be built on adjoining properties; What are area zoning laws; and How is code-compliance guaranteed?

5. Read the Paperwork
The new home purchase is a major decision so take the time to read all documents thoroughly. If something is unclear, ask questions. Everybody says “read the fine print” but in this case, perhaps more than any other, this is crucial.

* You may republish this article provided you retain the active hyperlinks below. Copyright 2006, Robert O’Shaughnessy.

* Written on behalf of New Home Builder Orleans Homes