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New construction home in HoustonHouston home inventory is increasing slightly, but still remains lower than many other metropolitan markets. With fewer homes currently on the market, new construction in Houston is a more popular option for interested buyers.

In fact, according to Trulia, the Houston metro area was ranked no. 7 in the top 10 metro areas where new home construction activity is higher than normal. Your buyers don’t have to wait for the home to be completely built, as there are many benefits to purchasing a home in the pre- or mid-construction phase.

For real estate agents who are interested in expanding your business to include more new construction, here are five tips for pre-selling homes to get you started.

Increase opportunities for customization

The biggest benefit of buying a home in the pre- or mid-construction phase is the ability to customize the property during the building process as opposed to making changes to a completed home. Help your clients understand that by making changes on the front end of the project they can save money in the long run.

Not only are they getting a semi-custom product, but it will also be brand-new, which reduces the cost of repairs and allows them a builder’s warranty.

Provide a visual

One major difficulty you may run into when marketing a pre-constructed home is providing a visual to the buyer.

It’s much easier for someone to envision their life in a home when they can physically walk through it, touch the walls and turn on the lights. In order to give a potential buyer the virtual walkthrough, ask the builder to provide artist renderings – some even have 3D models of the home they can share with you and your client.

If these tools are inaccessible, then see if the builder can walk your clients through similar homes they have built. This will provide the buyer a better feel for the size, space and style of their future home.

Specifications and allowances

When pre-selling a home, it’s important to request the specifications and allowances from the builder as this makes sure all parties involved are on the same page and will help in eliminating surprises along the way.

These documents should include any and all major items and finishes the builder has planned to include in the home. In case that the builder has not already selected these items, your client will often receive options or an allowance budget to make the selection themselves.

Be easy to work with

As a real estate agent, you must keep in mind that you and your client will be working as a team with the builder for several months during the building process. To ease the stress, make sure you are easy to work with and always keep your client’s best interests in mind.

Building a house doesn’t happen overnight, so make sure everyone’s expectations are in line about the timeline and process so you create a relaxed and trusted working relationship not only with your buyer, but also with the builder.

If expectations are set early and you keep you client up-to-date on any changes, delays or hurdles that may occur, then the transaction will be much more successful.

Understand the builder’s process and terms

When selling new construction, it is important to know and understand how the builder operates. Every builder has their own way of doing business, which could include wanting to use a particular contract, addenda, selection process, etc.

As the real estate agent, you need to be familiar with how that individual builder handles a sale and be able to explain those terms to your buyer.

Additionally, ask the builder what their financial requirements are for the purchaser, as many builders will also require a significantly large deposit from the buyer when there is home customization involved.

John Leggett is the Founder and CEO of On Point Custom Homes, a leading luxury custom homebuilder focused on designing and building one-of-a-kind contemporary homes in Houston’s inner landscape. Founded in 2004, On Point Custom Homes has grown its revenue by 10 times during the last 10 years.