Frequently Asked Questions about Bucks County Real Estate
How many years have you been a real estate agent?
I have worked as a full-time real estate agent since 2006. I worked for a large national home builder prior to becoming a real estate agent.
What areas do you focus on?
I primarily work with people seeking homes and sellers in the Bucks County area. However, I also work in Montgomery County.
What led you to work in Bucks County?
The people, first and foremost. The area is filled with beautiful homes, communities, and towns. It has so much to offer and I’m lucky to have the chance to bring more people to this historic Pennsylvania gem.
Do you work with home buyers and sellers?
Yes, I work with buyers and sellers. By working with buyers, I get to know the inventory. I have thousands of people in my database, which helps when working with sellers. When I’m selling a home, I can send an email to my database, even before the house hits the market. It's a win-win situation for both, buyers and sellers.
Do you work with buyers in every price range?
I don’t discriminate based on price; however, I typically work with buyers with a budget of 300k or above. This includes new construction buyers, 55+ buyers, and luxury buyers. Many growing families, young couples, and empty nesters turn to me for their real estate needs. I don’t match people with foreclosures, auctions, sheriff sale homes, short sales, or rentals. If you‘re looking for such properties, I’m happy to point you in the right direction.
What unique value do you bring to the table as an agent? And why should I work with you over other Realtors?
You know how challenging it can be to find a perfect home. Well, I specialize in helping buyers find the perfect community and home/builder for them. I know the area extremely well. I will help you sift through all available homes in Bucks County until you find your dream home. My primary goal is to help you determine which home best meets your criteria and to negotiate with the appropriate parties.
Over the years, I have built strong relationships with builders, communities, lenders, title companies, inspectors, appraisers and other agents throughout Bucks County. My clients like that I’m transparent, knowledgeable, and dedicated. I go the extra mile and love working with the good people of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and beyond. I truly love what I do and that’s very important in this business. You can read more about my values and approach on the About page. Or, check out my Testimonials to read what my clients have to say.
What are your terms and conditions for working as a buyer’s agent?
I am happy to share a Buyer’s Agency form for you to review. In order to legally represent you, a buyers representation agreement must be filled out. However, my assistance requires no obligation. I refuse to engage in high-pressure sales and will do all I can to help you find a home—and at your pace. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about the experience.
How do I search for homes?
Finding the perfect home can be a real challenge. I strive to make the process as simple and painless as possible. Unlike the national mega sites, I have worked to create a website where home buyers can find their dream homes quickly and easily. From the homepage, I recommend starting in the Search All Bucks County Homes section. From there, you can customize your search based on your needs. In the site navigation, you will find results based on your needs, budget, and preferred location(s).
Register for full access to all homes for sale in Bucks County.
There are so many areas in Bucks County. How can I figure out which area makes the most sense for me?
I recommend starting on the Bucks County Towns page. You can browse the full list of cities from this page. If you have questions about different areas or need a bit of direction, feel free to contact me. Most areas of Bucks County feature beautiful homes and provide a high quality of living to residents, each with ample opportunities for education, recreation, and everyday enjoyment.
How much does it cost to hire a buyer’s agent?
Zero. I don’t charge any commission or fees. I am paid by the seller/builder.
I can search for houses on the web. Why do I need a buyer’s agent to help me find one to buy?
As a licensed agent, I use the MLS database to provide up-to-date information on available homes in Bucks County. This is updated in real-time. I’m also made aware of new listings even before they hit the market. While many sites are updated manually and display off-the-market listings as available, everything on my site remains current. If you find a home on your own and wish to check the status, don’t hesitate to reach out. I make myself available to answer any and all questions you have about homes.
More importantly, I will serve as your dedicated real estate partner. It’s my job to find you the right home, in the right area, at the right price. I will negotiate on your behalf, working closely with the seller’s agent, broker, or builder to settle on the lowest price.
Why do I need my own agent as a home buyer?
Buyer’s agents are truly in your corner. I ensure that your time and money is well spent. Any agent can assist with sales, secure financing, coordinate inspections, explain contracts, and guide you through the closing process. If a home is not right for you and your family, I will be the first to tell you. If I know you can find you a better deal--or home-- elsewhere, I will let you know. My job is to help you find your dream home. Seller’s agents specialize in finding a willing buyer and lookout for best interests of the seller. As a buyer's agent, I will be looking out for your best interests. I will find you the perfect home at the perfect price. I don’t want you to settle for less, settle for paying more, or settle in a home or area that you don’t love.
Here are some key benefits to working with me:
I will make your search simple and enjoyable while consulting you on the best homes, builders, communities, and financing options.
I will provide expert knowledge throughout the process, sharing knowledge unbeknownst to most agents in the area.
I will negotiate the best terms for you, adding any necessary protections and withholding any confidential info that could negatively affect your bargaining position.
As your dedicated buyer’s agent, I offer access to all the properties you wish to see.
I will put you in touch with the best lenders, builders, contractors, escrow officers, inspectors, and more.
I will preview properties on your behalf and relay all relevant information.
If you have additional questions about what I offer and how to find a home, reach out to me today.
New Construction Homes:
When I see a new community, what’s the first step I can take?
If there's a community you wish to visit, contact me and I'll make all the arrangements.
Do you recommend buying a new “spec” home, a “production” home, or a custom home?
It depends on your flexibility, budget, and timeline. There are a few types of new construction homes. “Spec” homes are speculative homes that are move-in ready or will be soon. They are also referred to as “quick delivery” homes. In these cases, the builder will pick the model, structural upgrades, and finishes. When the builder constructs a new community, typically one or more quick delivery homes will be made available for move-in ready buyers. Depending on the stage of construction, some finishes can still be customized, such as flooring, kitchen cabinets, fixtures, etc. Some quick delivery homes are months away from being completed, but since the floor plan and the upgrades were already chosen by the builder, it's considered a quick delivery home. Builders usually offer some kind of incentive on a quick delivery home.
Next, we have production homes. You will find many production home communities throughout Bucks County. These homes allow for added flexibility and customizations, yet they are generally more affordable than custom homes and can be built fairly quickly. Production homes are often built from a portfolio of floor plans. You will have more say in design decisions than you would with a spec home, but less than you would with a fully custom home. Some production home builders offer semi-custom homes with a large set menu of customization options and upgrades.
Custom homes are one-of-a-kind homes designed and built to your specifications. The building plans are typically created by a home designer or architect. The buyer has a lot of control over the build and layout.
Can I personalize the floor plans and configurations of production homes?
The floor plan layout is determined before a buyer will sign the sales agreement. Structural upgrades can be made. However, they must be finalized before construction begins. Buyers can bump out rear walls, add a multi-generational suite (in-law suite), and turn a living room into an office for example.
Are builders negotiable with pricing?
Builders will never reduce the base price of a home; however, many are negotiable when it comes to upgrades. That’s where having a buyer’s agent pays off. I work with the builder directly and try to get my buyers the best possible deal on upgrades.
How long does it typically take to build a new home?
The average home takes about 6 months to build, yet it largely depends on the production type. Condos and townhomes typically take less time to build. Weather can be a factor, no matter the home type. Larger custom homes can take up to a year to build. If you need a new home sooner, consider a quick delivery (spec) home.
Are the appliances included in the cost of new construction homes?
Most new construction homes include a range, microwave, and dishwasher. Refrigerator, washer and dryer are typically not included.
Do builders allow walk-throughs during construction?
If it’s a quick delivery home, the number of walk-throughs will depend on how far along the construction is. If the house is already built, only one final walk-through is needed. If the house is months away from being completed, the builder will invite a buyer to do several walk-throughs. For example, one of the walk-throughs will be before the house is being drywalled. If it’s a standard production home, there will be multiple walk-throughs. On a custom home, the builder and the buyer will agree on when the walk-throughs happen.
How can I find more information on home builders in Bucks County?
Visit our home builders page to learn more about each company.
Do new homes in Bucks County usually come with a warranty?
Coverage is usually provided for materials and crafted components for a year. Most new home warranties cover siding, stucco, doors, trim, drywall, and paint for the first year. It’s common to receive coverage for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems for two years or more. Some top area builders provide 10-year coverage for structural defects.
What kind of deposit is required when I purchase a new home?
When building a new home, the builder will typically take a $1,000 deposit to reserve a lot and give buyers a week or two to think about it. Once a buyer decides to move forward, depending on the builder, a 5%-10% sales deposit will be required. Buyers can choose to work with the lender that works closely with the builder or they can choose a lender of their choice.
How Much Will Closing Costs Be?
Closing costs average out to be 2% to 7% of the home’s final price. I do everything in my power to get these costs down. I will analyze your closing disclosure statement, advise you on home insurance options, and assist in cutting your costs.
I’m considering a full- or semi-custom new construction home and need to make a smart budget. What costs are easily overlooked?
It’s easy to leave out the little things when you’re creating a budget for your new home. Some commonly overlooked costs include landscaping, homeowner’s association fees, curtains, and smaller furnishings.
When you build a new home, property taxes will be based on the total price of the house (base price + applicable lot premiums + upgrades). I always advise my buyers to only choose upgrades that they absolutely need. The more upgrades you add, the higher your taxes will be. Structural upgrades are the most important and expensive upgrades, so choose carefully or the price of the home can increase significantly.
I saw a listing for an upcoming community. Will the other homes look like the model home or renderings?
When you spot these new communities, reach out and I will provide all the available information regarding construction. Renderings are usually true to life. However, plans can always change. Model homes are filled with top-of-the-line features and furnished by professional interior designers. When you’re shopping for a new home, consider the cost of furniture, rugs, lamps, and other furnishings.
When Should I Apply For A Loan For My New Home?
This depends on the type of home. If it's a quick delivery home, buyers will typically need to apply for a loan immediately. If the house is still months away, buyers have time, but they should at least begin a conversation with the lender. It's best that buyers discuss their financial options with the lender before they sign the sales agreement.
What if I want to work immediately with the contractor without going through a Realtor?
You may decide to work directly with a builder or general contractor without an agent’s representation. In most cases, it isn’t recommended. If you work with a builder, the builder’s agent will work to ensure the builder is as profitable as possible. Without an expert new construction negotiator by your side, you could get nickel and dimed without even knowing it. On the other hand, if you work with a general contractor and have no prior experience in doing so, you can quickly and easily get overwhelmed by options, costs, and stress.
I have found my lot, what do I do now?
The process varies. You will need to make an offer on the lot, which is contingent upon the lot being accepted for septic and sewer use. You will also need to sign an agreement with your contractor. Next, you will need to meet with a realtor and the builder’s agent and/or contractor. During this meeting, you will have the chance to make changes and finalize specifications. The contractor or builder will then give you a quote and your agent can help negotiate pricing and specifics. During a final meeting, you will settle and approve plans, signing an agreement with the builder or contractor. And construction may begin in as early as two weeks.
After signing a contract with a custom builder or contractor, how soon can they get started?
It normally takes around 2 to 4 weeks for the contractor to start building your custom home after the contract is signed. However, it can take a little longer because local municipalities will need to approve the plans and issue the necessary permits.
I’m looking to buy a new home or build from the ground up, yet I’m overwhelmed by all of the contracts, walk-throughs, and inspections involved. How can you help?
Buying a new construction home can be stressful. And building a custom or semi-custom home can be even more of a burden. By working with an agent who understands the process, you can rest easy knowing you have someone in your corner to walk you through everything.
Do you have more questions about Bucks County Real Estate?
I'm happy to answer any questions about Bucks County real estate. Contact me today or Register to receive notifications so you don't miss out on the latest and greatest Bucks County home listings.