Using a Realtor For New Construction
Use a Realtor or Not?
There is always a question when looking for new construction if you should use a Realtor to represent you or not. If you are new to the area, Realtors can recommend neighborhoods and builders that best match your needs, saving you extensive research on each. Most builders welcome Realtor participation and include it in their business plan. The commission is usually paid from a Marketing account that has no effect on the purchase price. It is a fallacy to think you can go to a builder without a Realtor and get credit for NOT using one. Once you realize that there is no price advantage, why would you ever go without representation?
The onsite sales agent may or may not be a Licensed Realtor depending on the builder, but regardless, they represent the BUILDER, not the buyer. They may seem like they are friendly and caring, however they have a fiduciary duty to the Builder, not the buyer. Having the representation of a Realtor has numerous advantages.
One of the main advantages is that the Realtor understands the process. You will probably buy less than 5 houses in your lifetime. You don’t have time to learn what needs to be done and when and what has changed since your last purchase. A Realtor can keep you on track during the process to eliminate any surprises that may come up. If you are purchasing with financing, you will probably be “compelled” to use the builder’s lender. An experienced Agent will be able to insure you are getting the best deal possible.
What We Do
A Realtor also is a good sounding board for some decorating decisions. What looks good in the model may become a hindrance when the time comes to sell. This is true especially for the “newest fads”. If you are an out of town buyer, your Realtor can keep you up to date with the progress of your new home and even do some amount of troubleshooting. Pricing is pretty well set in stone if you are building a home from the ground up, however it is possible that you may get some add-ons using a Realtor. Finally if you would like a new home, but need to move in right away, Realtors have access to the inventory homes via MLS and Sales Bulletins from all of the builders in the area. At this point, the Realtor may be able to get you additional price concessions.
Is there a Cost?
A licensed, professional Realtor is a tremendous asset to have on your side in any real estate transaction. This is also true in the purchase of new construction. When you realize that there is no price advantage to represent yourself, there is no reason not to take advantage of knowledge and skill a Realtor will bring to your transaction.
Call Before you Visit
You must act early. Builders generally require your Realtor to be with you on the first visit. So if you are thinking about looking at new homes, contact a licensed Realtor to help you schedule and plan your initial visits.