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7 tips on Selling a Home in a New Community where the Builder is Still Constructing Homes

New Construction Ryan HalsetWhen a homeowner purchases a brand new home in a brand new neighborhood, it’s an exciting time! However, every now and then, we come across homeowners that need to sell a home in a newer community due to job relocation or a change in financial circumstances. There are certainly some unique differences in selling a home in this type of community as opposed to a more established community. 


The obvious challenge is competing with the builder who may still be constructing new homes and have a fancy model home for potential buyers to salivate over. Buying a brand new home from a builder is a little bit like purchasing a new car. You get the new home smell, you can pick out the upgrades, and you’re the first to break it in…and some buyers just want that new car smell. That often comes at a premium, though. As soon as you drive it off the lot, the value decreases. While that isn’t necessarily always the case for houses, after the expense of selling a home, it might as well be…and if you went with an expensive upgrade package, the extra expense may not reflect in an appraisal (particularly if upgrades were for something like a nicer backsplash, designer paint, or a larger patio).


When purchasing a new home, it can be very easy to add anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000 in upgrades. Many buyers often look at homes up to their maximum qualification amount, so the prices of a new construction draw them in, but once they take a look at the cost of upgrades (that they assumed would be included), they are left disappointed. This is where a re-sale home in one of these communities can set themselves apart. Because builders often add premiums to upgrades like landscaping, fencing, natural stone finishes, or stainless steel appliances…you can include those items to your advantage. If you’ve lived in the home for some time and have established landscaping, painted with desirable colors, or include appliances or a mounted television in your price – you can draw in buyers that are sticking to their budget. Additionally, the first year of a new construction homes often brings out drywall cracks, nail pops, flooring creaks, and so on with settling. If a homeowner has lived in a home for a year, often times those issues have been addressed, so it is easier for a new homeowner to have the home inspected and find out how the home has lived and breathed for a year.


Lastly, builders are very reluctant to negotiate on price. If a builder is still constructing new homes, they have a vested interest and obligation to keep prices set for future sales and appraised values. As individual homeowner is not bound to the same restrictions and can negotiate much easier than a builder. Potential buyers should be aware of this even if a re-sale home does not have as many upgrades as a new construction because if a builder is still working on site, many times, you can still hire them to make any additions or changes you would have wanted in a new home…effectively giving you the best of both worlds!


Quick tips on selling your home in a newer development with construction still going on:
1) Never ever ever use the on-site real estate broker to list your home. You may think that because they know the inventory and community, they can effectively sell your home just as easily. Please let your common sense prevail. On-site agents often work directly for the builder (or it’s their largest client). Who do you think that agent has a larger obligation to…the client that is selling 100 new homes or 1 client selling 1 home that is in competition to their biggest client? Which house are they going to encourage a buyer to buy? Also, agents that specialize in new construction (or only work new construction) often don’t have the same experience/skill set as agents that specialize in marketing, negotiating, and overcoming obstacles involved in selling existing homes.
2) Highlight and market the differences between you and the builder.
3) Highlight the fact that you are negotiable (when the builder isn’t).
4) Hold open houses the same time the builder does (use their marketing and signage to your advantage).
5) Tell potential buyers about your experience living in the home.
6) Location, Location, Location: Builders often sell the best lots first. Because you purchased before they did, you probably have a better lot location compared to anything else available. Use that to sell your home! 
7) Take a tip from the model homes. Walk through the model homes, take notes, and make your house look like theirs – use little signs pointing out features and upgrades throughout the home, stage the home similar to the way they do. If there is little perceived difference between your home and the model home, then you’ll give yourself the best shot to land a buyer that was only going to consider a new home.

Ryan Halset
Real Estate Broker | Realtor ®
Boardwalk Real Estate, LLC
Phone: (206) 930-7959 | Email: Ryan@BoardwalkSeattle.com

Providing professional real estate services throughout Greater Seattle and the Eastside.


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