East Valley Results Team
Gigi Roberts-Roach Realtor©, ABR, GRI, SFR, CDPE, GREEN | Direct: (480) 209-5780

New Construction

I’m often 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.
How 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.

Representation – 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.

What 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 .
Agent 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 represent you.

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. 

The 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.

Financing – 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.