The ‘Wild West’ of new-home construction

by Timothy Inklebarger

“It’s none of my business.” That’s the approach many brokers take when it comes to selling new construction, and with the way new-construction sales operate it makes a little bit of sense. There’s no real industry standard when it comes to commissions and bonuses, so it’s a little like the Wild West out there, and there’s often a long wait on getting paid. You also might have to deal with builders who aren’t necessarily eager to pay a buyer’s commission if they can avoid it.

With these kinds of hurdles, why would anyone want to do it? Our survey of Chicago brokers shows that 60% have clients currently looking for new construction, and 62% have sold new construction in the last year. We spoke to some of the top minds across the country on the upsides — and downsides — of new-construction sales and learned that there are a lot of missed opportunities out there for brokers who aren’t making it part of their business. And as the overall real estate market continues to cool, selling new homes is becoming increasingly appealing.

As interest rates continue to climb, more and more builders are offering deals to agents who bring in new customers — that means higher commissions and bonuses in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Despite the increasingly generous relationship, builders’ need for brokers is not keeping some from trying to cut them out of the deal, as we learned in this month’s Real Issues feature, which focuses on the ever-changing — and sometimes adversarial — relationship between brokers and builders. We continue on this month’s new-construction issue with a note from Jerry Konter, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, in our monthly Association News column. We also have some tips on selling newly built homes and some tech solutions to put you ahead of the competition. Learn more in our Top Coach and Technically Speaking columns.

Do you have a unique experience — good or bad — selling newly built homes in the Chicago area? What are you seeing in the market today? We’d love to keep the conversation going, so drop us a line (tim.inklebarger@agentpublishing.com) and visit us at www.chicagoagentmagazine.com.

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