You’ve done everything right. You sacrificed vacations to save for a down payment; you increased your credit score; and you’ve started researching areas where you want to live. After looking around online, you’ve come across a new development project in a neighborhood you love. They are offering brand new homes at great prices. You’ve called the number but no one answers. Now, you’re curious. You wonder, “Do I need to contact an agent when buying new construction home?” The answer is “Yes”. There are benefits to using an agent for new construction homes.
As real estate specialists, we hear this story all too often. We can only hope that you are not this buyer and you haven’t already started the process without an agent. Here’s why … without an agent, you will have no one representing your best interests. Most construction companies have a sales agent who will work with you. However, the fact is, this agent is paid by the construction company to facilitate the sale and keep the company’s best interest first and foremost.
It’s absolutely necessary to have a real estate specialist work for you. And the sweeter part is, the construction company pays your real estate agent, not you. Additionally, in most cases, you will not get any discounts for not using an agent. Timing is also important. Most builders only pay real estate agents their commission as a finder’s fee if the agent was responsible for bring them a home buyer. So if you visit and tour a model without your agent or telling them you have an agent, the builder will not cover their cost.
Are you’re still wondering what a real estate specialist can do to help you through this process? Here are 5 benefits of using an agent when buying new construction.
5. Protection and Representation
An experienced agent will help to guide you through the process and act in your best interest. Many buyers of new homes do not realize that the salespersons at model homes and new communities are hired by the builder. That means they have the builder’s best interest at heart, not yours. Getting an expert in your corner is vital.
By having an agent, you are protected from miscommunication and decisions not being into writing. While this takes more time and is often an inconvenience, it is also an important safety measure. The same goes for when it’s time to choose a lender or even a particular builder. Your agent helps you vet potential lenders and builders as well. The same goes for neighborhoods and future developments. Agents are able to keep you informed and let you consider things you may have missed. This includes telling you about the pros and cons of buying a new home.
2. Confirm a Fair Sales Price
Most builders will advertise the base price for a home model. Once you decide on a specific model you like, it’s time to get it priced. To do this, builder’s sales representative will explain what features and amenities the base price covers. They will then offer options for you to choose from. For example, the base model may only have one window in the family room. If you want a second set of windows, it’s considered an add-on, which comes at an additional price. These “add-ons” are compiled. The salesperson can then give you a more accurate estimate of how much your new home will cost. If you have any doubts, your real estate agent can research recent home values for similar homes that sold or have been contracted. This is sure to set your mind at ease that you’re paying fair market value.
3. Review the Sales Contract
Most salespersons will use a standard template for the sales contract between the builder and a home buyer. Since the contract is created by the builder, it’s important to have your agent review the terms and ensure they are fair. Deadlines are important to discuss and record. Other terminology, in the event something goes wrong, is also especially important. Your agent’s skills at reviewing anything you sign is critical.
A real estate specialist also assists by attending inspections and walk-throughs. In some cases, the agent may bring along an independent inspector for this process. The more eyes on your most valuable asset can never hurt. This includes but is not limited to pre-construction, pre-drywall, and final inspections. This is another one of many benefits of using an agent for new construction that is often overlooked.
As seasoned agents, we have experienced builders having to change the design of a home during the home building process. Sometimes, an issue arose due to a code violation or unforeseen circumstance. Still, the role of an agent is to support the buyer’s best interests. If a particular design was agreed upon in writing, then the cost for any change should not fall on the buyer. In some cases, a real estate agent can help to negotiate an alternative paid for by the builder or additional discounts for their clients.
Buying a new home is an unforgettable experience. To know that you helped to design your home and watch it grow from the ground up often brings an added element of pride and contribution. There are benefits of using an agent new construction. Having a real estate specialist to work for you helps to safeguard your interests and investment. Nothing can replace proper representation by a seasoned real estate specialist. A life-long agent will stay in touch and let you know periodically how your home’s value is doing over the years. When you’ve worked with a professional, it’s a life-long relationship.
Would you like us to represent you, whether buying or selling?