Congratulations, you have decided to buy into a new home community. It’s new construction, so there is no need to have a Realtor®, right? How difficult could it be? All I have
Why do I need a REALTOR® if I am buying a new construction home?
Dated: December 8 2019
Congratulations, you have decided to buy into a new home community. It’s new construction, so there is no need to have a Realtor®, right? How difficult could it be? All I have to do is decide on the community and builder, pick the lot and home plan I want, select the options, and sit back and wait for the home to be built. And I get to own a home that’s never been lived in before. Everything is new and the builder offers all these incentives and warranties. Pretty easy and straightforward, right? The simple answer is No, it’s not! Buying into a new home community can be complex, intimidating, and too often costly mistakes are made along the way. A Realtor® experienced in new construction can guide you through the process and help avoid the many mistakes made in buying new construction.
Below are the ways a Realtor® can help make the home buying process more enjoyable and less stressful.
Representing you as the Buyer – You may think that friendly salesperson in the builder’s sales office, who is so helpful and generous with their time, has your best interest in mind. Not So! Almost every time those salespeople are real estate agents and they are there to protect the interests of the builder! That’s not to say they’re dishonest or unethical, they are not, they are held to the same ethical standards as any other real estate agent. But they are there 100% to sell you a home and to represent the interests of their employer, the builder. Having an independent Realtor® will represent your interests and advocate on your behalf, helping you get the most value for the least amount of money.
That Model Home is not the Base Model – You tour the model home for your selected floor plan and fall in love with everything. The problem is the model isn’t the base price of $300,000 being advertised, it’s $425,000 because of all the upgrades. A Realtor® representing your interests will help make sure you’re aware of what’s included in the base price and what’s extra. Your Realtor® can also guide you into some of the best new home upgrades with the highest return on investment. Some improvements really make a difference, while others are just throwing money away.
Creative Negotiations – A Realtor® will look at the transaction without being swayed by emotions. A good Realtor® will also know what is and what is not negotiable, and it is different by builder. As an example, most builders do not pay closing cost, but may agree to cover some closing costs if negotiated. You may also be able to negotiate additional warranties or free upgrades? Builders are far more likely to negotiate on fees or upgrades than they are on price. An experienced Realtor® will help guide you through negotiations and ensure you are getting the most for your money.
Getting Everything in Writing – When visiting a new construction model home, the sale representative may tell you that certain features come with the home. Be sure that everything you’ve agreed upon including upgrades, guarantees, warranties, fees, timelines, etc. are incorporated into the contract. An agent will ensure everything discussed and agreed upon is included in the purchase contract. The last thing you want is an unexpected surprise of finding out that some of these standard features are in fact upgrades, resulting in higher cost for you.
Arranging the Home Inspection – It is surprising, but you may want to have an independent inspection done on your new home. Even new homes have problems. The HVAC system might be too small, or the plumbing could be installed backwards. Construction workers can and do make mistakes. A good, professional home inspector may be able to identify problems that you may want the builder to address before you close. A Realtor® will have relationships with multiple independent inspectors who will look out for your best interest.
Recommending financing – When you are buying new construction, the builder usually offers financing. But is it the best financing available? A Realtor® can help make sure that you’re getting the mortgage that works best for your situation. Shopping other lenders is always wise, and you don’t want the builder’s agent pressuring you into using their suggested lender unless it’s right for you.
Writing the Purchase Contract – The majority of builders will have lengthy, attorney-written, intimidating-looking purchase agreements that cover all the pertinent details of the new-home purchase. A Realtor® is an expert in the industry who is there to provide guidance throughout a real estate transaction. They review real estate contracts regularly and know what to look for to ensure everything is correct.
Researching the Builder – How familiar are you with the builder? What is their reputation and the quality of their construction? There are many home builders in the North Florida area. An experienced agent will be familiar with all the major builders and their quality of work. They’ll also be able to provide recommendations and references for custom home builders, should you decide to go that route, to ensure you are connecting with a reputable builder.
Attending the Punchout and Final Walkthrough - When you buy a new home, the builder should be doing a punch out or final walkthrough with you. At least when you work with a Realtor®, they will. Your Realtor® will be with you during the walkthrough helping to look for problems that need to be corrected prior to closing.
What about the Realtor® Fees? - It is a misconception that you will save money and get a better price by not using a Realtor®. Not true! Unless the builder is in the close out phase of the new community, rarely will they negotiate on the base price of the home. Builders view commissions to Realtor’s as part of their cost of doing business and include them as part of the marketing cost for the new community. Most builders rely on outside real estate agents to bring prospective buyers to them. You will not get a discount for not having an agent. You’ll just lose the one person you had in the transaction that isn’t negotiating against you.
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 working with a Realtor®. If you do not communicate this information upfront when you are buying new construction, your Realtor® won’t be able to represent you in the purchase.
If you’re looking to Buy a Home and been doing it on your own so far, perhaps it makes sense for us to have a conversation and see if it makes sense for us to Partner together. Just Contact Me via email or phone and let’s see how I can help you! Ask about my new construction home rebate program.
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