Here at Focus Real Estate we’re occasionally asked why someone would hire a real estate broker to help with designing and building a new home in Central Park (formerly Stapleton). Everyone is familiar with real estate brokers assisting with resale home, both the sell side and buy side, but how does a broker fit into the new build process? Just as important, what’s the cost? Do I even need a broker? We figured we’d write a blog post to answer these common questions.
To answer the cost question first, hiring a realtor to assist you with the construction of your new home in any of Central Park’s new home communities, whether it’s Bluff Lake, Beeler Park, or North End, costs you absolutely nothing. The price for a new construction home from all the builders is exactly the same whether you have a realtor or not (and no, unfortunately builders will not reduce the home price if you’re unrepresented – you still pay the same amount). So if you hire a realtor, you’ll have a “free” professional project manager every step of the new build process, regardless of whether you’re building a Parkwood, Wonderland, Thrive, KB, Infinity, Lennar, David Weekley or Creekstone home. (By the way, to stay updated on the latest from these builders check out HomesInNorthEnd.com)
I know this may sound too good to be true, but trust me – Joe, Amy, Stacy, and I at Focus have helped clients build hundreds of new homes in Central Park, and not a single client has paid for our services. It’s an amazing little secret!
Not all brokers are the same though, so be cautious on who you choose to guide you through the process. A good broker who specializes in new builds, and specifically in the relevant builders you’re interested in (every builder is different!), can help you in so many ways. Here’s a short list of the services we provide to our new construction buyers in Central Park. We’d love to provide these services to you, too!
Services We Provide to New Home Buyers in Stapleton:
Reviewing Available Options
One of the favorite parts of our job is meeting new clients, reviewing their home criteria, getting a feel for their tastes, and helping them narrow down the list of potential builders and homes that will work for them – and their budget. Focus is “vendor agnostic” when it comes to builders, so we’re only incentivized to help find the right fit for you. In other words, we wouldn’t, and have no reason to, steer you toward a builder that isn’t right for you.
After we narrow down the list, we’ll do a walk-through of the models and any available resales, and we’ll answer any questions about customization options. For example, Parkwood is “semi-custom”, which means you can move walls, add windows, reconfigure rooms, add custom millwork, and much more. Other builders do not let you move walls, but their design center processes can be daunting (ever try to match kitchen counters, floors, appliances, and wall colors sight unseen?), and customization is possible across the board. Lennar includes many items that are usually upgrades in homes, but you still have the opportunity to upgrade key items. Each builder is unique and we help you understand what to expect.
Lot Review & Selection
One of the more challenging aspects of building is selecting a lot. Believe it or not, but lots are already selling in North End, and they’re selling fast, especially as Beeler Park and Bluff Lake begin the final stages of their sales and building processes. For example, KB Homes is currently sold out of their Starlight series home lots in North End. Parkwood only has 6 lots left in their single family homes series. And while David Weekley has been sold out in most series in Beeler Park for a while, they just released 13 lots in North End last week, which we expect to sell fast. Focus talks to the builders often in an attempt to determine when, and which, lots will be released. The best lots go quickly (sometimes the same day they’re released), so being on top of lot availability is something we pride ourselves on. For example, we just went to the Wonderland Homes VIP lot release event last weekend (you can check out our Facebook Live at the event) to see which lots being released have the most square footage, the best potential views, etc. (By the way, if you want more details on Wonderland Homes in Central Park? Here you go)
Once we’ve narrowed down your options, we’ll provide you an estimated budget. Helping buyers understand their likely end price after all selections are made is one of the most helpful things we can help with along the way. We can help you understand your price which will equal base price + lot premium + structural upgrades + design center costs (less lender incentives). I have a thing for data and spreadsheets – and strangely love this part of the process!
Keep in mind builders are often only able to provide rough estimates for upgrades and design center selections given the fluidity of supply chains, unpredictability of future pricing, labor availability months out, and so on. We lean on our extensive upgrade and design center experience (I feel like I’m at the design center every week!) to help get you as precise a number as possible. If nothing else, you’ll have the builder’s estimate and our estimate, which always helps buyers triangulate what the real final cost will be.
All of Central Park’s builders use their own purchase contracts, and as you might imagine, they’re one-sided and thus builder-favorable. Unfortunately, we can’t change that, but there are ways to work within their contracts. We’ll help talk you through the contract high points and help you get comfortable with the deadlines, financial commitments, and so on. (Wanna learn a little more about new build contracts? Here’s a post you might find valuable)
Deadlines and Calendar
We’ll create a high level calendar of dates and milestones to help you make sure you’re on track. We’ll stay in touch with your builder to ensure construction is on time. We’re often able to alert our clients about potential delays early in the process (by the way, delays are extremely common!). How does the delay affect when we should sell your existing home? We can help you understand the impact & help you stay on track.
Depending on which builder you select, you may have 1 design center appointment or up to 5. It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Having a professional by your side at these appointments means you can bounce ideas off of us, ask what we’ve seen in other clients’ homes, have us present alternative options (especially to work within your budget), and help you balance your personal preferences with what will hold resale value.
Central Park’s builders inspect your home at each step during the building process, which is extremely helpful, but keep in mind the inspections are understandably permit and builder-oriented. We work with a private inspector who can provide you an independent, third party inspection report at the Foundation, Pre-Drywall, and Final Inspection stages of construction. We have many stories of issues our inspector found that the builder wasn’t even aware of, and honestly the builder was glad we discovered them before they were dry walled over!
You’ll have a few opportunities to officially walk through your new home. The first is the “pre-construction meeting” where you’ll meet with the superintendent (or equivalent) and talk through what will happen with your new home. This is usually done once excavation has started or is complete.
Next is the “pre-drywall walk”. This is an opportunity to see what’s behind the walls of your home, reposition outlets and lights if needed, and perhaps most importantly take photos and video (including 3D video – check out this 3D tour of a pre-drywall Parkwood one of our clients is building in Beeler Park – amazing!) of what’s behind the walls so you don’t accidentally put a nail through duct work in the future. We’ve invested in the 3D camera so any Focus new build buyer that wants a pre-drywall video can now have one too!
Last is the welcome and “orientation walk-through”. During this walk, you’ll mark any imperfections you want repaired prior to closing on your home.
We help you with all 3 walk throughs and provide an extra set of eyes, plus our professional experience walking through and inspecting new-builds many, many times.
In general, builders’ agents understandably work directly for and represent their builders. We love working with Central Park’s builders’ agents – they’re great across the board, but we have a unique role. We represent you and are here to look out for your interests alone, which means we can push for the best resolution possible when an issue arises.
Assistance with the Sale of Your Current Home (at a discount!)
If you have an existing home to sell to move into your new build we’d love to help you sell that one. Because we’re being paid by the builder on the new home we’re able to offer you a discounted commission on the sale of your current home. Helping Central Park clients sell their existing home to move into a new one is a large part of what we do.
We Would Love to Help You!
If you couldn’t tell, we love building new homes in Central Park. Joe, Amy, and I all built our own homes in Stapleton, and we’d love to help you build your home, too. You can contact Joe and Amy any time at Joe@Focus-Realtors.com and Amy@Focus-Realtors.com. And you can contact me any time at Mariel@Focus-Realtors.com.