How to Ease Your Clients’ Homebuilding Concerns

December 27, 2018

Most people have never gone through the homebuilding process and aren’t sure what to expect. They want to know how much it will cost, how long it will take, and how much work they will have to do. Lynn Tribon, director of market development for custom home builder Adair Homes, says real estate professionals can give clients the confidence to move forward by providing them with information about how the homebuilding process works. “As a trusted guide, you can offer your clients multiple paths for buying (or building) their dream homes,” she says. “The end results are happy clients and an additional income stream for you.” Here are three tips from Tribon for easing clients’ concerns and giving them peace of mind as they consider building a new home.

1. Outline costs. With the occasional exception, most clients have budget restrictions when buying a new home. “Many also believe the common misconception that building a new home always costs more than buying an existing one,” says Tribon, who has a background in construction, administration, and home planning. “This is certainly not always true and the sooner you can dispel this idea, the sooner your clients can switch gears and start looking for land.”

For clients who are weighing their options, talk about all the costs associated with buying versus building. Remind them that buying an existing home often costs more than just the listing price, especially if they plan to make upgrades or do renovations. The cost of building a new home includes the price of land, site work, and the home itself. Work with a builder to get estimates on site work for lots they are considering so you can determine how much of the budget is available to build a new house, Tribon recommends. It’s not always cheaper to buy an existing property and building new allows clients to get the features and finishes they really want,” she says.

2. Tackle timelines. Most people shopping for a home are on a timeline. Whether they need to sell an existing house and find a new one before it closes or want to get into a new school district by the time the kids reach a certain age, the fact is, many clients want some idea of when they will be able to move, Tribon says. “In a buyer’s market, this typically isn’t a big problem, but these days demand is high, and it could take awhile for clients to find the right home and offer the best bid.”

Fortunately, new construction usually includes a clear process with a defined timetable that allows clients to plan around a scheduled move-in date. “It might seem like building a new home always takes longer than buying an existing one, but clients can get their ideal home within a predictable time frame if they decide to build,” Tribon says.

3. Compare builders. Nothing makes the dream of constructing a new home more real for your clients than meeting with builders. “Just the act of sitting down with the people who could potentially be building the house can shift a client’s perspective from fear of the unknown to excitement about the future,” she says.

Getting clients in front of builders allows them to more fully understand the new construction process and what requirements each builder has in order to present an overall price, Tribon says. Visiting with builders early in the process also helps alleviate many of the fears and concerns a customer has and can give them the confidence they need to make an offer on land, she adds.

“If you want to support the clients who are considering new construction, nurture your relationships with builders so they are readily available to answer questions and provide estimates,” Tribon advises.

In an era where inventories are still low in many markets, building a new home can be a viable option for home shoppers. “Fear of the unknown is a powerful force,” she adds, “but by educating your clients and making them feel more comfortable with the process, you can increase your new-home sales and help fill the housing gap in your area.”

Lynn Tribon, Adair Homes