Interviewing a home builder properly is critical to performing your due diligence properly. It helps you to determine if a builder is right for you, and it helps you to come to a mutual understanding with the builder so that they understand what you expect from them.
What is Required to Interview a Home Builder Properly?
Unfortunately, properly interviewing a home builder is one of the most neglected parts by homeowners. The problem is that many homeowners don’t know how to do it. In particular, they don’t know what questions to ask. You can’t just ask the builder a few random questions and then think that you have what you need in order to find out if they are the right builder for you. You need a long list of specific, probing questions.
I have developed a guide to help you get the right builder and come to a mutual understanding with the them. The guide is called How to Find, Interview, and Vet a Home Builder. It will help you avoid the hardships that come from a bad home builder.
The Goal of the Interview with the Builder
The questions you ask will help start a topic of conversation. From there, see how the builder responds initially to each question. Then determine how to proceed with the topic and if more related questions need to be asked and answered. Remember, your goal is two-fold. It is to find out if this builder is right for you and to be clear with him what you expect in your home build.
The Interview Process with a Home Builder
The interview process can be done in stages. As part of the process, you can perform a pre-screening (by phone if you choose) to see if the builder fits your initial criterion and to determine if the 2 of you have a basis for continuing to learn more about each other. If your initial conversation looks promising, then you can either call to further the conversation over the phone or even set up an in person interview if you’re really impressed with the home builder. The idea in the beginning is to get to know each other a little bit and for you to express your goals. Then you can build off that conversion.
How to Get a Home Builder Interested in Giving a Bid
If you ask the builder a hundred questions right away, talk only about price, and give them the impression that you’re out to get prices from every builder in the area, then you are going to scare them off. Home builders don’t want to take all the time and effort required to put a bid together if they’re not likely to get the job. So ease into your conversation and initial inquiry with potential builders.
The Main Interview of the Home Builder
When performing the main interview, don’t be afraid to ask many questions. No question is too dumb. Actually, there is a big benefit to asking a lot of questions. It will show you how the builder will respond to your questions. Will they be irritated or will they be happy to answer your questions? Demonstrating patience. And, of course, a lot of questions will help you understand how the builder operates and how the home build process will go.
Skills and Characteristics of a Home Builder
As you’re interviewing and asking the builder questions, besides finding out information about the home build itself, there are skills and characteristics you want to see in the home builder himself.
The 6 skills and characteristics you want to look for and assess in a builder-
The first one is their communication skills. Are they clear, easy to follow, and make the effort to listen and understand you?
The second is good organization. Are they put together, arranged, in order? Is what they’re logical and makes sense to you?
The third is time management and punctuality. Are they on time? Are they able to make their commitments?
The fourth is respect. How do they speak to you? Do they listen to your opinion and input?
The fifth is honesty. Are they truthful, not shifty or overly nervous, answers questions directly and not in a round-about way?
And last is Trustworthiness. Do you trust they will produce what they claim? Do you feel confident in them? Do you believe they can fulfill their commitments?
No builder or home build is perfect, but if you find a builder that is strong in these areas, your home builder will get you the build and home you expect.