asked, “Should I use a Realtor if I’m buying new construction from a
builder”. The short answer is yes and here are the main reasons why.
familiar are you with the builder? A good agent isn’t just going to
walk the models with you. They will touch on the pros and cons of many
factors about a specific builder and location that may be a factor to
you, but you don’t realize. ie. Close to railroad tracks.
– The real estate representative in the builder’s sales office
represents the builder’s best interest not yours. As an independent
real estate agent, I represent your interests. Additionally, a real
estate agent will help you get the most value for the least amount of
money and make the real estate transaction easy and frustration free.
you see is not what you get. You tour the model and it looks great.
The issue is the model isn’t the base price, it is generally highly
upgraded and the upgrades aren’t always posted. Top tier granite
countertops, upgraded appliances, upgraded floors, 2 tone paint and trey
ceilings are generally upgrades and add to the cost of your new home.
As your agent I will help make sure you are aware of what’s included in
the base price and what has an additional cost .
Fees – Generally buyers do not pay their real estate agent fees, the
seller or builder does. Builders view commissions to real estate agents
as part of their cost of doing business, it is generally a separate
fund and does not affect the sales price. Builders will not credit
buyers the commission they would otherwise pay to a Realtor. Therefore,
there is no downside and no cost on your end to have an outside agent
Negotiations –As a real estate agent I am
generally familiar with the community and the builder and know what is
and isn’t negotiable. As your agent I will look at the transaction from a
dollars and sense perspective without being swayed by emotions. An
experienced agent will help guide you through negotiations and ensure
you are getting the most for your money.
Get Everything in
Writing – Any concessions or guarantees provided by the builder should
be confirmed in writing. Do not sign any paperwork or contracts without
ensuring everything you’ve agreed upon including upgrades, fees,
timelines, etc. are incorporated into the contract.
builders agent is not tied to verbal discussions and it will even state
so in the contract. Have everything in writing to ensure all the terms
agreed upon are included in the contract.
Inspections – You
should consider a home inspection when buying new construction. Homes
are built by humans and things get missed. It is best to have a third
party to a home inspection on your behalf. There are different points an
inspector will inspect the home. It is best to discuss these options
directly with the inspection company. The builder super is a nice guy
but he is working for the builder not you. Often times, homeowners
think a new home warranty will cover any issues that arise. In certain
instances, it does not. I can help coordinate inspection appointments
with the builder and I generally attend the final walk thru which is the
final inspection with the builder and homeowner. Builders don’t tell
you what your rights are if something isn’t done correctly during
construction or if you have issues after you are in the house.
– When you are buying new construction, most builders require you
qualify and work with their lender. Many times, the builder is offering
an incentive to work with their lender. This incentive rarely covers
all your closing costs. (in some cases, you are paying some of the
sellers closing costs and or additional HOA fees which may not be
covered by the builder’s incentives.) Sometimes it is in your best
interest to seek a lender not tied to the builder. Even a small
increase in the interest rate could have a significant impact on your
monthly payment or the total amount you pay for the home. An
experienced real estate agent will be able to connect you with reputable
lenders so you can compare rates.
The purchase contract - The
builder will generally hand you the contract. It is important to review
the contract and if possible, have the builder paraphrase it for you.
Your agent can then explain it further. I strongly recommend you do not
sign any paperwork or contract without your agent being present to
review and advise.
REGISTER – If you want to be sure you
have someone looking out for your best interest, tell the builder on
your very first visit that you are already working with an agent. They
might not let you walk the models unless you are with your agent but
tell them upfront you have an agent. If you do not communicate this
information upfront when you are buying new construction, your agent
won’t be able to represent you and watch out for your best interest. If
your agent is experienced with new construction there’s a good chance,
they already have a working relationship with the builder and community
for which you are interested.