Just like the resale market, the new construction market has changed a good deal during this pandemic. Fortunately for the new construction buyer, many of the processes involved in home shopping were easily adapted to this safer and more distanced way of conducting business. One very obvious difference in new construction sales is that the buyer is purchasing a brand new home. As long as the builder has a solid reputation and good track record, the buyer pretty much knows what they’re going to get. So, for this article, we’ll be talking about what a new construction home shopper can expect from the experience during a pandemic.
Visiting the sales office
Typically a buyer’s first true introduction to a new home community is a one-on-one meeting with a builder sales consultant. This is where you get the full picture of floor plans, modifications, upgrades, build schedules, and pricing. During a pandemic, an in-person meeting can be held outside under a tent or via a video conference. Doing it this makes things easier for everyone. Since most video conferencing software has screen-share capabilities, the salesperson is able to provide all the same information just as easily—maybe even more easily—as they can in person.
Touring the model
The great thing about touring new construction is that the homes are almost always available and no one lives in them. The fact that the homes are not occupied cuts down cross-contamination significantly. Having each property disinfected between showings is much easier than in resale properties when you may have a family of five that needs to get back in to cook dinner. Plus, buyers and their agents are required to wear masks and gloves to show properties, which even further cuts down the risk of spread.
Choosing your lender
Just like before the pandemic, choosing the right realtor is a big, important step toward new construction homeownership. In the pandemic market, you’ll want to make sure you choose a lender in good financial standing. Have your agent look into this for you. Some lenders may promise more than they can deliver in this environment because they may be receiving an overload of surprise loan forbearances they don’t have the funds to cover. In this market, it’s best to choose a lender that is independently funded and services very few of the loans they sell.
During a pandemic, inspectors may not allow buyers to be in a property with them while the inspection is taking place. This is a big change from the way it was before. Buyers are used to following the inspector around asking questions about the property. For safety reasons, many inspectors suggest reviewing the inspection report outside or via video conference.
The closing experience during a
pandemic has actually changed for the better. No longer do the buyers, sellers,
listing agent, buyer’s agent, and attorney need to sit awkwardly in a
conference room waiting for one of them to sign a six-feet-high stack of
redundant documents. During a pandemic, most states will allow for remote
closings. And trust us, it’s way better.
To be honest, buying new construction during a
pandemic is actually a more streamlined process than it was before. The market
may be a little shaky at times, but homes are still selling, and now we have a
more efficient way of doing it.