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By Marc Gould

Another key difference is that the new-home sales representative has to know the product on the market, who’s building it and where. They should also be able to answer the following questions: What builder is best able to deliver the house the buyer wants in the area they want? Who has a good reputation? Who can build their dream home at a price they can afford—and on time?

New-home sales also have a longer timeframe and a different purchase process than a standard resale. While your staff might be used to a six-week closing, new-home construction alone may take 120 days for an average-sized house, with the entire process from first meeting to owner-occupancy taking closer to a year. Along the way there will be various permits, inspections, down payments, construction financing and a host of other new construction terms, documents and options that might be unfamiliar to the buyer. It’s crucial that everyone in your office is up to speed when it comes to these items as well.

Builder representatives often want agents to stay out of the way while they get to work, but you and your buyer agents owe it to the client—and even to the builders—to remain active partners. While your firm’s role isn’t to get the best “deal” for your buyer (builder prices are generally based on cost plus profit, not market value), the agent needs to explain the process, advise on options, help the buyer understand terms and contingencies, and monitor the transaction from start to finish.

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