BEFORE YOU SELL THE HOME
SELL THE BUILDER
It was the summer of 1989 when our daughters grew three inches taller and abandoned their skateboards in favor of nail polish, curling irons, and shoes. Our family was growing and changing. We were clearly outgrowing our home. Before long the girls would need larger closets and an area to entertain friends. We would need our own space, separate from the rest of the home, where we could relax and escape late night giggles during sleepovers.
Back then, before Internet was a household word or Google a twinkle in its founders' eyes, we turned to the Real Estate section of our local newspaper to find out which builders were within our price range, then spent the next several weekends visiting one busy sales office after another. Builder information was more like a feature buffet than a resume and, of course, there were homeowner recommendations if one happened to know a homeowner in the community (which we did not). In the end, we were still flying blind for the most part.
Thanks to technology, home buyers today are far more knowledgeable about the construction process than we were back in 1989. But a genuine understanding of quality construction still requires a skilled sales person to emphasize the benefits of employing a reputable firm by physically demonstrating the builder's excellence in workmanship, materials and practices. Research is certainly helpful, but seeing is believing!
Before You Sell the Home
I recently spoke with some new home owners about their experience and learned that several felt they were not provided adequate information about the builders during their search. This prompted me to do some investigating of my own and what I discovered supports their concern. Of 752 new home video shops I viewed from January through July, 2015, 41% showed no attempt to share the builder's story! While builder information was discussed to some degree in the remaining shops, most sales associates quickly skimmed over a few statistics, placing little or no emphasis on what the buyer should look for when selecting a builder or how their firm met or exceeded those requirements.
Don't overlook this critical step in the sales process. Remember, your buyers' first concern is who will build their new home. They want to know what your builder can offer that your competition can't, and they need to feel confident in their choice. Before you sell the home . . .
Sell the Builder!
Following are 10 questions home buyers want to know about a home builder:
- How many years have you been in business? How many homes have you built?
- Do you build locally or nationwide?
- How do you compare yourself to other builders?
- What are your major energy-saving features?
- Who will oversee the construction of my home? How much experience does he/she have?
- Will I have access to my home during the building process?
- Does the community have an HOA?
- What is your process for inspections during construction, final walk-through, etc?
- What type of warranty do you offer?
- When will my home be completed?
Think about what you normally say when telling your builder's story. Do you rattle off a memorized statement about who started the company in what year before quickly ending with, "Oh, and we're on the NY Stock Exchange, too, so . . . yeah . . . we build a great home," or do you address the questions above before your buyer asks?
Be a Quality Representative
What else do new home buyers look for? The quality of people who work for the builder.
- Did the employees show genuine interest in them and their needs?
- Did they listen?
- Did they provide good answers to their questions?
- Were they courteous and professional?
In other words, high on their must-have list are people they can count on to guide them through this exciting experience; people they can trust to answer their questions promptly, patiently, and honestly.
Once you sell the builder, the home will surely follow.
Until next time . . .
When discussing your builder, mention any "people facts" the buyer may find significant, such as the builder's community involvement, an example of the builder or an employee going above and beyond to correct a problem, or share the reasons you enjoy working for them. Stories like these are a wonderful way to convey your builder's reputation in the community or their willingness to go the extra mile for the customer, and the heart of the people involved in their success.