In multi-unit production housing, the builder simply does not have the time to provide the personal, ongoing attention typical of high-end luxury homes…outside of the onsite sales staff…who are themselves in a multi-unit sales environment.
The main goal of the mass-builder during the walkthrough is to determine precisely what remains to be completed or fixed in the new house…set a time-frame for those repairs…and then make a clean break with the homebuyer…exclusive of future warranty repair work.
As a jobsite superintendent I always dreaded doing homebuyer walkthroughs…as they seemed like the final exam for the construction (which they are). After months of fighting with subcontractors, inspectors, weather, and the main office…the homebuyer walkthroughs always loomed ahead as a final standard of perfection that must be met…that I would rather delegate to some charming, enthusiastic, sales type person.
But there really is no choice in multi-unit production housing. The builder needs a person having the construction knowledge and experience during the walkthrough…to protect the interests of the builder.
Having said all this…the person conducting the walkthrough must be personable and friendly. The homebuyer walkthrough cannot be a tension-filled, adversarial confrontation between the new homebuyer and the builder. The walkthrough cannot seem like a challenge to the homebuyer to find something wrong with the new house or forever lose their rights to complain later about something they missed.
This type of approach spoils the new home buying experience…in the same way that high-pressure car sales people can spoil the new car buying experience.
The best approach is to first put out a high-quality product with all of the pieces and parts in place…the painting touched-up…and the entire unit clean, new, and sparkling for the walkthrough.
In multi-unit production housing…the key is to have each unit in such good shape that the construction person conducting the walkthrough can feel confident about showing the unit without being on the defensive. The atmosphere of the walkthrough can thus be friendly and positive…based on the empirical fact of a near-perfect house or condominium…while still being informative for the homebuyer…the builder’s representative answering any questions and tactfully resolving any issues…in the interests of both the builder and the new homebuyer.