In our new series, Ask an Agent, we’re reaching out to Saussy Burbank’s own agents for answers to commonly asked questions in real estate. In this inaugural article, sales consultant Sherry Webb (SW) helps us answer the question: how long does it take to buy a house. An edited transcript of the conversation follows.
To begin, presumably, there is no easy answer to the question: “how long does it take to buy a house?”
In new construction, it’s a little bit different than general brokerage. Depending on the state of construction the home is in, it can take six to eight months. At Bryant Towns, the timeline was roughly 28 weeks.
In what other ways does buying a new build differ from a previously owned home?
One of the advantages of the new home is personalization. With a new home, the buyers get to choose their selections to put their own touches on the home. With a pre-built home, you’re not able to make any changes without going back in and renovating or having to rebuild.
New construction also comes with a warranty. With new construction, buyers are getting a more energy-efficient home. You are getting an Environments for Living and Energy Star certification, and a better-built home because we are building by the current code. Materials and what was required by code 30 years ago were different.
What are the stages in the timeline?
If construction has not started yet, we’ll begin from the ground up with a foundation walk. The customer looks at the location and the home sites to see where the house is going to sit. After they select their home site, the foundation is set and we start to frame the actual home. Meanwhile, the customer meets with our design center to choose their flooring, cabinetry, lighting, etc.
Once the house is framed, the customer gets to meet with the building field manager for a pre-drywall meeting. That’s when they can select where electrical will be installed. For instance, if a room is going to be used as a home office, you might need more outlets there.
After that meeting, our crews go in to do insulation and drywall — build the bones of the house. Then floor tiles and hardwoods are installed, cabinetry, light fixtures.
Then it’s on to the finishing touches. We call it ‘punching out the house.’ A crew does the fine-tuning and makes sure everything is in top shape.
Finally, there’s a “blue tape walk” with the buyer to see if anything has to be touched up further. We orient them to their new home, where things are, and how things function in the home. At that time the house is considered complete.
Is there anything a buyer can do to expedite the process?
No, I wish they could. That is one of our challenges on the sales side. Once we reach interior paint, we say we’re roughly 60 days out. But we can’t be certain with COVID, and with the real estate market so crazy in Charlotte.
Plus, with townhomes, the whole building has to be done before you get a certificate of occupancy. So you can’t close just one unit. Spencer Towns just closed in November, and Bryant Towns is scheduled to close out in July.
The timelines we set are really good for setting expectations. We have a production schedule that we follow and we do our best to keep the customer up to date. I’ll send emails with pictures of what’s going on in the house, outlining what’s happening, so that they have a really good understanding of what to expect.
Are there any common mistakes buyers make that slow the process that we can help them to avoid?
If the buyer doesn’t like the selection they made or it wasn’t what they expected that can cause delays. If we need to make adjustments, the product has to be ordered and we may have to have a vendor come back out.
Why would you suggest they buy with Saussy Burbank?
Saussy Burbank is a local company and that’s a rarity in our market. I’ve been with the company for 10 years. It’s a family-oriented atmosphere. We care about our homes and our customers, and we have an amazing-looking product that is unique in our market.
One of the great things that sets Saussy Burbank apart is our longstanding relationships with our vendors. They understand our focus on a higher quality and a higher level of craftsmanship.
We have an amazing warranty team there to look after the buyers in the first year. We also do a two-year warranty on plumbing, heating, and air, and a 10-year structural warranty. So, our buyers can enjoy the peace of mind that they’re in good hands with a high-quality home and that they have a great team of warranty people that are going to look after them if there are ever any issues.
Saussy Burbank seeks to be your source of real estate information. Have questions you want to ask our agents? Reach out and let us know. The answers might make our next blog!