J.P. Weigand & Sons and a group of unnamed real estate developers plan to launch a new website Friday aimed at increasing sales of new and custom houses in the area.
The website — wichitaareanewhomes.com — will include listings for all new homes available in the area, not just Weigand’s, said Richelle Knotts, supervising broker of Weigand New Homes.
Knotts said Wednesday that even with a decline in recent years of new home construction, she thinks sales of new homes have been losing ground to sales of existing homes.
She said she thinks the new website will raise the visibility of new home listings, especially for out-of-town buyers. Builders and agents will not have to pay fees to have their homes listed on the site.
“It’s more of a consortium effort,” Knotts said. “What we’re really trying to do is drive traffic to new homes.”
The site will initially include a list of 15 area homebuilders and 25 new residential developments. The site will include listings in Wichita as well as Andover, Bel Aire, Derby, Goddard, Maize, Park City, Rose Hill, Sedgwick and Valley Center.
Knotts said the site will be operated by a company called Wichita Area New Homes, which is a partnership between Weigand and “silent development partners.”
The site will also connect potential buyers with a new home consultant who can represent them through the process of buying a new home or building a custom home, as well as assist them with the sale of their existing homes.
Craig Sharp of Craig Sharp Homes, who is among the builders listed on the site, said he’s optimistic that the site will help his and other builders’ sales and improve demand for new homes.
“Market share has been dwindling compared to resale to where it’s really low,” he said. “I think we’re trying to give the customer a customer-friendly tool to reach every builder, every subdivision.
“Activity breeds activity, so I think … the trickle-down effect of that is going to hit us.”