Posted by Jeremy Pape in Real Estate Agent Resources

Looking for advice from a real estate professional for buying a new home? M/I Homes asked Jeremy Pape, experienced REALTOR®, for his input when helping a client find the perfect new-build home for them. Read Jeremy’s interview below.

What is the difference between a REALTOR® and a licensed real estate agent?

​The word REALTOR® is a trademark referring to someone who's a member of the National Association of REALTORs® (NAR) and is held to a higher standard as they agree to uphold a code of ethics. A licensed real estate agent or professional is someone who helps consumers buy and sell residential or commercial property but ultimately misses out on the many benefits that NAR offers, such as the MLS for listing properties.

What are the top 3 questions you hear from your new construction buyers, and how do you answer them?

  1. Who do you recommend for a builder? My answers all depend on the buyers’ needs and wants. When I make a recommendation it is usually based upon the following wants/needs taken into consideration: location of current (and upcoming) developments, the type of construction (custom, semi-custom, production), the base price product, styles and upgrades, and past reviews/experiences from a consumers’ standpoint.
  2. Which builders have the best resale value? This is one of the most frequently asked questions right now due to the limited resale market. Buyers are very concerned about overpaying, equity, and resale. Learning about home construction companies' building standards can help you make the best decision.
  3. What’s the process for a new build? I often advise my clients to refer to their timeline as new construction homes are not always ready immediately for move in.

What is the most important piece of advice you offer your first-time new construction buyers?

​Be involved in the process and stay in communication with your construction supervisor. I remind my clients that this is their home, and they need to ensure they are getting everything they paid for.

​Many homebuilders offer a variety of upgrades or construction additions/changes. When selecting those upgrades or additions, remember those details throughout the process. It is very easy to miss changes when they are not part of the routine build process.

​As an agent representing buyers, I always encourage to ask every question. Together with the sales rep, we show the clients that they matter. This is their biggest investment and by being actively involved, it shows our value as real estate professionals.

Where do you recommend your buyers start when considering building a home?

​Good agents should consult with their buyers and determine if this is best for them, and then it’s time to figure out where the best place is for them to call home!

​Do they want school districts, new growth areas, land, or more square footage? Figuring out what matters most to the client allows me to better help them navigate the best places to start.

​The conversation of new construction always happens and is usually followed by, “Is it for me?” This is a great topic of conversation early in the home buying process because it usually is a great option for buyers who are frustrated with resale markets.

How can new construction home buyers shop online?

​We put our customers in touch with the sales reps so that they can help our buyers look at everything online and then schedule a time to come out and see everything in person.

​Maps, photos, 3D tours, videos—it’s all really important to be able to see online first before coming out to the community so your expectations can be set accurately.

When should a buyer who has a home to sell list that home during the new construction process?

​A lot goes into that, but the seller’s market is one of the biggest things our clients need to understand, as well as the builder and their timeline.

​If clients do not need to sell prior to buying, that’s a consideration they will want to save for later.

​I definitely advise clients individually on those steps, as my goal is to give them the easiest and smoothest transaction as possible. 45-60 days from completion is usually a general rule of thumb for buyers to consider listing their homes for sale.

In your experience, what is the most coveted design feature in new construction homes?

​I would probably say a luxury kitchen and amazing outdoor spaces. The kitchen is the conversation and entertainment area, so it’s important to accommodate all of that as the central hub of the whole house. The outdoor space is for staycations! People want to enjoy the escape of their now e-learning and e-work multi-functional homes.

What questions do you typically encourage your clients to ask during their first conversation with a new home construction company?

"​What does my contract say about cost changes?" – With a constraint on building materials, it’s important to know if swings in prices will impact your contract price. Also, ask if these constraints could impact your construction timeline.

​"How can I make this work for my at-home needs?" – You might need a permanent home office or home school area. Inquire on what options and upgrades you have with different plans. Identifying your needs beforehand will make this conversation much easier.

"​Can I bring my own lender?" – Specifically with M/I Homes, you can bring your own lender, but there are many benefits to use the builder’s lender. When comparing lenders, it’s about more than just rates. Great lenders are set apart by providing assistance with pre-qualification, offering personalized service, and ensuring you close on time.

When searching for the home that meets your needs, you want to have all the resources you need to make the best decision. Learn more advice for buying a new construction home!


Jeremy Pape
Jeremy Pape


Jeremy Pape is the Founder, Owner, and Broker of CRT, REALTORS®, a rapidly growing company which Jeremy opened in 2015. Before beginning his real estate career in 2003, Jeremy flew combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan as an Air Force C-130 pilot. As a REALTOR®, Jeremy has received numerous awards including Columbus REALTORS® Lifetime Achievement Award, Broker of the Year 2020, CORPAC Golden R, CORPAC Honor Society, and the Prestige Award (formerly the 25 Million Dollar Sales Award). Jeremy currently serves on the Columbus REALTORS® Board of Directors, is chair of the Columbus and Central Ohio Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Board of Directors, and is a member of the Broker Advisory Council, Grievance Committee and the Young Professionals Network (YPN). He served on the 2019 CEO Search Committee, holds the Certified Real Estate Mentor (CREM) designation and is a current member of the Independent Brokers Association. Jeremy lives in Gahanna, Ohio, with his wife who is a kindergarten teacher, and his three children. In his free time, Jeremy enjoys skiing, snowboarding, and boating.

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