The Home Building Process

The Home Building Process

Welcome to New Homes 101, where we take you step by step through the home building process.

A Real Success Story

Mark and Nancy Thorlton purchased their first property in Las Vegas with The New Home Experts.

Along with their dog Tokyo and two cats, the Thorlton’s have lived in several places across the country including Jacksonville, FL and Nashville, TN. After renting for a few years in Las Vegas they decided it was time to put some roots down and purchase a property.

With our help, Mark and Nancy were able to find a beautiful condo with gorgeous views of the Las Vegas Country Club golf course and parts of the Las Vegas Strip. 

We are so happy to have helped them find their forever home in Las Vegas and so glad with our help they were able to find the perfect property for them.

Businesswoman or real estate agent looking through online proper
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Step 1

The Basics

I have an idea of where I want to live, but where are the new communities? Is what I’m seeing online all that’s out there? Who are these builders, and are they good? Do the builders agents look out for my best interests? Am I overpaying? These are all great questions and we’re here to help you navigate through them.

We are only area Realtors to specialize in new home construction. While most “resale” agents don’t have a specific niche, or only work in a certain area, we specialize in new construction and work in all areas across Metro Detroit. Plus, most “resale” agents spend their time courting new resale listings while we spend our time working with our clients through the new build process. This means saving time and money for our clients, while reducing the stress of going through the process on your own.

The basic pre-approval needed is just like any typical loan—simply call your lender (or we can recommend a bunch) and talk about your income, funds available to purchase, and budget. Your lender will give you a basic idea of what price range to look at. Some builders just require one deposit, while others require a construction loan.

Builders want real estate agents to bring clients, so the builder pays us a buyer’s agent commission. We save our clients money in a couple of ways: we advise our clients regarding which items to spend money on during selections, versus those that can be added post-close for less money; we know how to negotiate with builders and get our clients the best price; and we save our clients money by discounting the commission rate when selling their existing home. This all adds up to thousands in savings. The commission builders pay is simply an advertising expense…and unless you’re a licensed real estate agent in Michigan, it’s illegal for a homebuilder to offer commissions as a rebate for buyers. In the end, get free expert guidance or the builder just saves money!

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Step 2


Let the fun begin! Shopping for a new home can be a great experience. On the flip side, it can be extremely frustrating. The Internet is full of new-home options that don’t exist, bad information, and generalized advice. Resale agents have limited interest in keeping up on all the new developments and frankly, have little desire to spend the time learning about them. Don’t assume you’re seeing everything out there—start your search with us and know for certain.

Yes; the builders require we accompany you on your first visit to the model, so if you’d like to work with us, we should be by your side from day one. It’s a win-win: you get answers to questions you wouldn’t think to ask, and the builder knows they’re working with a qualified buyer. To get started, simply call or email us! We’ll get the ball rolling and get some basic questions answered, such as where you’d like to live, how much you’d like to spend, when you’d like to move, how to get pre-approved, and more.

After we’ve met and understand your wants and needs, we’ll present some options and start looking! Often times we encourage just “getting out” and learning about the different options available. Buying new is a process. Sometimes buyers just don’t know what they want until they start seeing things in person, hence the reason we encourage “kicking tires” in the beginning.

In a nutshell, production builders offer a set number of floor plans with less options to customize, but streamline the building process and build wonderful, efficient neighborhoods. Custom builders will build on a lot you own or really anywhere building is feasible, and offer a more personalized home with endless selection opportunities. Both can be great options depending on your wants and needs!

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Step 3


At this point, the prep and searching stage is behind us. We’ve chosen a plan you love! This is where the detailed selections begin; lot and elevation selection, structural selections, interior color selections (such as cabinets, countertops, and flooring) and more. We’re also beginning to narrow down pricing, meet the superintendent or construction manager (CM), etc.

That’s what we’re here for! While the builder sales agent focuses on only selling you what the builder wants you to buy, we give you the “macro” perspective and can help you compare any new home in Metro Detroit. We will compare apples to apples when it comes to value and comparable sales, while giving you the information you need to move forward with confidence.

Yes. While every situation is different, we do our best to help you secure the best value, while keeping your costs at or below the average for the area. In the past, we’ve saved clients thousands of dollars on specific new homes for sale, by knowing which homes the builder would be willing to negotiate on.

Absolutely! In fact, we’ve seen most builder PA’s and will review it with you, prior to signing with the builder sales agent. That way you’ll be armed with the information you need to ask great questions and feel comfortable moving forward. Plus, we’ll always be right by your side while signing it to help avoid any last minute funny business.

upper class luxury home
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Step 4


After signing your purchase agreement, we wait for permits from the city or township, and then construction begins! During the building process, we remain firmly entrenched by your side, walking you through all the construction meetings to follow, as well as the questions and issues that arise.

You’ll typically have at least 3 “official” construction meetings during the build process: (1) Pre-construction meeting: Before construction begins, you’ll meet your superintendent or CM and review the plot plan, selections, and chat about any questions you have about the process. (2) Pre-drywall meeting: After insulation and before drywall, you’ll have another opportunity to walk your home with your superintendent and see what’s behind the walls before drywall is installed. (3) Pre-closing orientation: This is the last meeting, typically a week or so before closing, where you’ll learn about warranty, how to use your new home, and complete a final punch list.

Different builders have different rules for this, but generally, yes. Builders typically ask that you let the sales agent know prior to your visit, and request that you stay out of the house while trades are working.

Depending on things like the builder, city permitting, and time of year, most builds take anywhere from 6 months to one year. Timing to sell your current home here is critical, and we’ve been through the process many times before with much success. That’s why hiring us for both sides of the transaction helps to make it a seamless process!

close-up view hands of businesswoman signing leasing home docume
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Step 5


The big day is almost here! Time to get your final ducks in a row and make your dream home a reality. About 45 days prior to your close date you’ll get a closing letter from your builder. Your final walk through and final appraisal are scheduled, and your lender is preparing final figures for your closing statement. We will coordinate with your lender, the builders closing department, the title company, and the superintendent, to ensure everything goes smoothly. Then we stick around for any warranty issues – just in case.

The builder schedules it based on the construction schedule. While they’ll make every effort to accommodate your needs, you’ll “generally” have an idea of when you’re going to close approximately 60 days before closing.

This depends on a number of different factors like condition of your home, your local market conditions, your comfort level, and a whole lot more. We’ve helped hundreds of clients time the sale of their current home and allowed them to move only once, so working with the New Home Experts on both the sale and purchase is definitely a good decision!

Carpal tunnel. You’ll sign a ton of paperwork, with the end result being the transfer of ownership of the lot and structure over to you. You’ll sign your deed, title work, mortgage documentation, tax forms, settlement statement outlining all the costs, and a bunch more. From this day forward you have “title” to your property and the home is yours! Best of all, you get the keys and start to move in…

Of course! Even though your home is closed, our relationship continues. We’ll work with you and the builder through warranty issues and more. Different builders have different warranty programs so that’s a question that entirely depends on the builder. We’ll cover all the warranty information prior to signing the Purchase Agreement.

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