Buying new construction is easy for a buyer, isn’t it?
No, it’s not. The finishes and systems have been installed, but not yet operated for a long period of time in many instances. It’s impossible to know if there were problems during the course of construction. Did the electrician hurry for some reason? Did the HVAC sub-contractor install a condensate line? Some of these items show up during a home inspection, but even the best inspection occurs in a limited amount of time and items can be missed. Perhaps the home is still not quite completed at the time of inspection; then what?
So, what’s a buyer to do? She may never see the developer or contractor again. What if something needs to be repaired or replaced?
For one of my buyers, I used my training and experience as an Architect – someone familiar with a “punchlist” – and went through each room with my client after the developer said the condominium was 100% complete. We turned on every faucet, turned on every light, and used every device. We even turned on the fireplace even though it was hot! We found several electrical problems – the intercom was connected to the wrong exterior device (there were two townhouses side by side) and, even more seriously, we found that the electro-magnetic front door lock had been mis-installed – so no one could get out the front door!
The items were promptly brought to the attention of the developer and fixed prior to closing. Would all licensed real estate salespersons have done the same thing? The home had already been inspected, yet these items were missed.
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