One of the questions we get asked often at No1 Property Guide is “How do I check the credibility of builders in the new home sector”. People naturally want to know how they can weed out the shonks and the dodgy operators. So how do we advise people to avoid these bad builders? No1 Property Guide founder Darren Walters says the first thing is to be sure of the terms of the build contract.
Full turnkey. This should mean as it states. The house is ready and complete for the buyers to move in. No added extras or work that needs to be done to make it liveable.
Darren says: “We hear many horror stories where clients go to the hand over to receive their keys and they may have no back turf, or half a driveway, or no blinds, no TV aerial and other deficiencies. In many cases, the worst part is the building companies or salesmen don’t advise what the customer isn’t getting as it is always too late to organise once the house is built.”
Fixed price: There are those builders who will use the infamous “fine print” to add more onto the price of the house. The so-called “fixed price” may not refer to certain fixtures or inclusions. This is a form of smoke and mirrors and should be carefully avoided by new home buyers.
Darren says: “The build contract is where clients need to be careful. They need to make sure they know what they are signing. Conveyancing solicitors DO NOT advise them on the build contracts. This is why we protect our clients and offer definite fixed price full turnkey packages.”
So how do first home owners — including those who are building with the aid of the Queensland First Home Owners Grant — go about checking the credibility of builders in the new home sector? One of the best and most successful methods is to go online and read reviews of the company. Using tools such as Facebook Reviews means researching the reputation of a company has never been easier.
“Today’s technology means we have the world at our fingertips,” says Darren. “Most people have a Facebook account which they use daily. I believe Facebook Reviews are now bigger than that of Google, because putting a review on Google can take time if you don’t have a Google account.”
The owner or administrator of a company’s Facebook Page has the option to hide all reviews or show all. They cannot just reveal the good ones. This is a factor when you research builders, according to Darren. After all, if a company that has been in the business for a reasonable time decides not to show reviews, one would have to ask the question why.
“We make the review tab the first accessible tab on our Facebook Page,” says Darren. “At No1 Property Guide we pride ourselves on our customer service. This is why we maintain a prestige 5-star rating, we guarantee you deal with 100 percent full turnkey, fixed price new home packages with no or low deposit.”
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