Redfin's Free New Construction Class - Issaquah, WA
New Construction Class
Hosts: Janet Erickson, Tamaira Devany and Daria Kurkjy
Redfin’s Issaquah – Sammamish Team
February 25, 2014
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Finding New Construction
Pros & Cons
New Construction Types
Upgrades & Changes
A Little Bit About Redfin
Redfin is a real estate brokerage on a mission to make
buying and selling a home better for you.
● Accountability: we’re on your side, giving you honest
● Technology: sellers get more traffic; buyers tour homes
● Value: a full-service brokerage that saves you thousands
Get back a portion of the commission
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Your Agent. A Good Fit?
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We Share Our Commission With You
Applied to closing costs
Refund is tax-free
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Is it a Home or Condo?
● Condo – Typically one floor attached or
● Town Home – Typically two floors and
can be attached or stand alone home.
● Single Family – Stand alone home.
What’s the difference?
● The way the property was developed.
● Costs for financing may be different, ask
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“Pre-Sale” or “Under Construction”
Pictures from the MLS
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“Pre-Sale” or “Under Construction”
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Finding New Home Listings
● Builders may not list every home in a development on the MLS –
your agent can inquire about other homes
● Notice of “Proposed Land Use” sign
● Builder websites, newspapers on Saturdays
● A neighborhood may become available in phases – sign up to be
on a notification list with builder
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● Site Agents/Brokers may ask you to register your name especially if you visit the site without your broker.
● Some builders have Registration Policies that require broker to
attend with buyer on the first or second visit.
● Commission and Redfin Rebate
● What should you do? Provide Broker information to site agent
and carry Broker business card to show them.
● Let them know that your broker will be in touch with them as
you may have questions.
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Select Homes, Inc.
Centex Homes - Pulte
Toll Bros / CamWest
New Construction Pros
● Home built with “green materials” which saves you
money and help the environment.
● Upgrades – you can pick your upgrades and colors.
● Pick the location in the community.
● Modern floor plans, open family and kitchen
area, spacious closets and bonus/media rooms.
● Planned communities can include parks, new retails and
● Home Owner Associations help maintain value by having
rules and regulations in place.
● It is all new and comes with warranties.
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New Construction Cons
Smaller lot sizes depending on the community.
Look the same or may lack character
Price - Typically are more expensive
Builders may not be negotiable on price, depending on
Additional expenses, appliances, window screens or
garage door openers may not be included.
Long closing dates, pre-sale, can take a long time – up
to 7 months, typically 4-5 mo.
Landscaping isn’t mature yet.
Builders may change the spec level, materials or
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How far along is it?
• City permits
• Most options for
• Longest timeline
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• Limited changes
• Pick colors possibly
• Timeline varies
• No changes
• Upgrades limited
• Close quickly, like
a resale home
Builders have a package of documents:
Full builder purchase agreement
Neighborhood description documents
These are non-standard forms that will
override standard purchase agreement
documents and must be read carefully.
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● No inspection contingency – inspections are allowed
and builder must fix code issues but you can’t walk
● Builder walk through – “blue tape walk through or
Home Orientation Tour (HOT)” to create a “punch list”.
● Closing delays – builder may automatically extend
closing with no penalty if the process is delayed.
● Repairs after closing – builder may be allowed to finish
things after closing within a certain timeline.
● Earnest money non-refundable – after a certain period
your earnest money may go “hard”.
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Builders generally provide you:
● A standard list of specifications.
● A list of what upgrades which may be shown in the model
● Pre-built home – May include upgrades that were preselected and are included in the price of the home.
Prior to writing a contract, builder may not have:
● A price list or master list of options you can choose from.
● A cost associated with quoting custom finishes.
● Limits on changes that they are willing to make.
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Paying For Upgrades
Every builder has different rules:
● Roll it into the purchase price
● Upfront deposit.
● Some upgrade deposits may be nonrefundable.
● May be fees for getting quotes
or making changes.
Every builder has a deadline specific
to a certain house after which changes
cannot be made.
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Front End vs. Back End
Front End means on the purchase price:
● An offer of $540,000 on a list price of $550,000 a builder
may not negotiate to maintain the value of the
Back End means concessions or upgrades:
● An offer of $550,000 on a list price of $550,000
● Asking for the builder to include upgrades or credits
towards options or closing costs.
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What works best?
Most builders prefer to negotiate on the back end.
● Avoid setting a precedent of discounting for future
● Avoid upsetting prior purchasers who paid full price
● May be able to control material and labor costs
The best approach varies case by case. Builders often have
certain styles. An experienced agent can lay out your
options and make a recommendation.
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Phase of construction
Willingness to use a “preferred lender”
Number of requested upgrades
Style varies from builder to builder
Many builders will have a relationship with a lender:
● Ownership – may be owned by the same parent
company, or may just be an institution the builder likes.
● Concessions – certain “specials” may be linked to you
agreeing to use the specific lender.
● Rates – usually comparable, maybe not the very best
deal you can find, may have longer term rate lock
● Process – may be contractual provisions that are easier
if you use the preferred lender.
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Thank you for attending!
Redfin Hosts: Janet Erickson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tamaira Devany, email@example.com
Daria Kurkjy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please fill out the survey. We’d love to get your feedback so we can
improve our classes. We will also send you this slide deck.
Check out our home buying guide:
Check out our schedule of upcoming classes at
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