Q: I’m thinking about buying a new construction home. Should I just go to the builder myself or do people use Realtors to buy new homes?
A: STOP, WAIT, DON’T START THE CAR! It’s absolutely in your best interest to hire a buyer’s agent experienced in New Construction homes (as well as condos or townhomes!) BEFORE you start visiting the models or register with a builder or developer. Here’s why. In order to represent you, the buyer’s agent must register you at the new home model. If you visit the model on your own without your agent and register yourself, the builders generally will not allow the Realtor to negotiate on your behalf later. So make sure to make an appointment with your buyer’s agent and they can show you all of the new construction in your area!
Reasons to hire a Realtor to buy new construction:
- We Save You Money! Are you getting what you are entitled to – both in quality and value? An experienced agent knows what you should receive and what “extras” might be available. We also can negotiate the pricing on your behalf. Let us be the “bad cop” and do the dirty work for you!
- Pre-construction – Realtors have relationships with builders that can be quite beneficial to the buyer. As your agent, I’m also in a position to inform you when new pre-construction opportunities arise before they are even made public.
- Dispute Resolution – in the event of a dispute with the builder over cost, build time, work orders, etc. you need the backing a strong Realtor and large real estate company such as ours. A builder is much more likely to yield when dealing with a top producing Realtor from a leading company who is bringing them a lot of business.
- Inspection – Most builders won’t tell you, but you are entitled to do your own inspection of the property before you close. I once had a buyer who was closing on a new home, and although the builder wasn’t happy about it, we insisted on doing a home inspection. My home inspector found dozens of items that were not done to code that needed to be fixed. None were anything the buyer or I would have spotted easily – but the inspector knows what to look for. The builder begrudgingly delayed our closing and fixed every single item on the inspection report and the buyer was happy to know his brand new home was free from issues, that otherwise might’ve been overlooked.
- Our SERVICES are paid for by the seller/builder – Since the purchase price of the property is the same with or without a Realtor, it makes sense to have an agent on your side to help you navigate the complicated homebuying process. We are paid by the builder out of their marketing budget, so it does not affect your bottle line purchase price whatsoever. We can help you locate your brand new dream home!
- We know where the new homes are and can help you find the right one for you!
To give you an example, I recently was working with clients named Jamie and Ted. They’d looked at dozens of resale homes, short sales, foreclosures with me. None of them quite measured up or was what they were looking for, so we decided to look at the new construction homes in the area. I took them to visit several builders and in the end, we found two new construction homes they liked a lot. I was able to negotiate on their behalf with the builders and got both of them to compete for my buyer’s business and lower their pricing. In the end, I was able to negotiate the price down by $12,000. Not only that – I got the builder to agree to switch out the black appliances for stainless steel ones, put up a PVC white fence in the back yard, add crown moldings to the kitchen cabinets, add a water softener and a garage door opener to the 3rd garage door, and paint the front door (it was a funny shade of purple!) Last but not least, I negotiated the builder to pay all the buyer’s closing costs AND buy down their interest rate!
A Realtor knows the areas recent sales and can negotiate directly with the builder on your behalf and get the price down with the upgrades you want. This is especially true with inventory homes that have already been built.