Buying new construction homes can be so exciting! And how convenient that when you arrive to the sales office there is someone already there to help answer all your questions and then help you when you’re ready to buy? So perfect right? Well there’s truth to the old adage, “If it appears too good to be true, then it probably is”. Fact is…the smartest thing you can do (being the well-informed buyer that you are) is to have your Realtor with you at your very first visit to a new construction community. While the buying process is slightly different from buying an existing home from a private seller, the importance of having your own representation is equally critical. See below for the Top 7 reasons why.
1) A Realtor Will Have Your Back
With new construction, the builder themselves are the ‘seller’ and the salesperson in their office is the builder’s ‘agent’. Builder’s agents are some of the nicest people you’ll meet. They are also experts on all the details you’ll need to know about the community, models available, the building process for ‘To Be Built’ homes, etc. But make no bones about it, they are paid to prioritize the best interest of the builder!
Just like with non-new construction, the builder (seller) will pay your agent’s commission and they view these commissions as part of their cost of doing business. In fact, they rely on outside Realtors to help bring new clients to them. But in order for the builder to pay your Realtor’s commission, you must have your Realtor attend your first visit to the community. If not, once you visit alone and sign-in at the sales office, the builder will consider you unrepresented and their client alone. Thereafter, the chances of finding a realtor willing to assist you knowing they will not receive compensation are slim to none.
2) A Realtor Will Help You Save Money
Having a buyer’s agent represent you means that their primary responsibility is to protect your interests. Contrarily, a builder representative’s primary responsibility is to protect the builder’s interests. You can immediately start to see how these two responsibilities are diametrically opposed right? There’s no way that a builder can represent you and help get you the most value and save you money, while making the builder as much money as possible simultaneously! After all they are in the business of selling.
3) A Realtor Can Tell You If You’re Overpaying
A Realtor will do a market analysis on the home to make sure that you are not overpaying for the area.
4) A Realtor Can Help Negotiate The Perks
When buying new construction, the base price quoted likely won’t include the shiny upgrades you desire. Things can get expensive quickly with add on features and before you know it what seemed like such a good deal can quickly turn into breaking the bank. Your Realtor can be extremely useful in negotiating with the builder on a variety of items from paint to upgraded appliances. Also, many builders offer incentives that can help cover cover some closing costs, some may offer a warranty, etc. These are the areas where you will make more negotiation headway than on price so having a professional negotiating on your behalf will help ensure you are getting the most value for your money.
5) A Realtor Can Walk You Through The Unexpected
Whether new or existing construction, things can, and often do, go wrong. Your Realtor will be able to help you should things go awry. Unfortunately, many of the builder sales representatives are not licensed agents, so when something goes wrong, you will have no one on your side to advocate for you or advise you. Since real estate agents help people buy and sell homes every day, they can foresee and protect you from these situations even before they arise.
6) You Won’t Lose Incentives By Using A Realtor
Some would argue that when the builder has to pay a commission to the Realtor, they will have less funds available to offer you incentives and upgrades. However, this is not the case! Builders will not credit buyers the commission they would otherwise pay to a Realtor. Thus, you will have no excess of buying credit/leverage by not using one, so you are only in a position to gain by having your Realtor with you from day 1. Also, many incentives offered often come from the lender, not the builder.
7) A Realtor Can Consult With You On Financing
Most all builders have a “preferred” lender that they will tell you is handling the financing for their community. However, you always have a choice and your Realtor can help make certain you are getting the best mortgage for your situation by leveraging their mortgage contacts to help you contrast and compare current financing available.
Buying new construction is exciting and can be a fun process as you pick the design and all features of your perfect home. The builder’s agent is a great resource for educating you on the new construction process and they have a wealth of knowledge about the available upgrades, amenities, and the surrounding community at large. But, to drastically increase your odds of making a financially sound purchase and ensuring a smooth transaction, whereby leading to peace of mind at the end of the rainbow, do yourself a ‘free’ favor and have a Realtor partner by your side.