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Letter to Townhome Developers

By June 9, 2017


Dear Townhome Developers,

We’ve already covered our new construction pet peeves so we won’t re-state those, but there are a few more things we wanted to bring up on behalf of buyers everywhere.

  • Early release of earnest money: are you really that cash strapped that you need the earnest money released early to you on a 30-day close? I suspect many of you are :(.
  • Scope your new sewer line: yes, I know, you replaced the line and it is brand new, but still we’ve found issues with brand new lines (because you often just replace it to the property line and not all the way to the main). Why not spend the $250 to scope it, ensure it is good, fix it if isn’t, and make the scope available to prospective buyers so they have confidence in it?
  • Inspect your homes: it always surprises me just how many things wrong a home inspector will find with a just finished, brand new townhome. We know you’re in a hurry to move your crew onto the next project, but it doesn’t inspire confidence when you miss so many little things. Sure, you’ll address them as part of the blue tape walkthrough, or you’ll address it later as part of the warranty process, but wouldn’t it be easier to get them all taken care of before your buyers point them out to you?
  • Builder’s addendum: have you read your mandatory builder’s addendum? can you imagine a buyer’s reaction reading it? I know that most buyer’s blindly sign it, but it is sometimes shocking what you’re asking for! Nevermind, all the redundancies and contradictions they create with the NWMLS’ purchase and sale forms…
  • Warranties: most buyers don’t know that new construction townhomes and homes don’t come with a warranty. Given their cost, please just include a good one. We saw a builder recently provide a one year warranty but it wasn’t him providing it, it was his sub-contractors. As if the buyer wants to track down your sub-contractors when they run into a problem. Believe in what you’re building!
  • Home guide: most townhome buyers are first-timers. Please take a few minutes to prepare a home guide for them so that they know what they need to do to maintain their investment.

Urban Living

I’m the founder and managing broker of Urban Living. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns but will help you buy or sell just about anything.

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