Buyers looking at new homes believe they will get a better price if they don’t have an agent representing them – who would receive a commission. Yet commissions to sales agents are most commonly paid out of a marketing fund and not tied to the net profit of an individual home. As such, there is no advantage for a buyer to represent themselves.
In fact, here are seven reasons it can actually be more expensive not to have an agent represent you.
1. The builder’s agent represents the builder, not the buyer.
While the builder’s agent has a duty to be honest and fair with you, their fiduciary duty lies predominantly with the builder. Agents are focused on the best interests of their own clients over others, and in the case of the builder’s agent, the builder comes first. This essentially leaves you somewhat vulnerable.
Instead, if you have your own agent representing you, you can be sure that your bests interests will come first above the builder’s. There are tons of questions that you might have when buying a newly constructed home, and having your own agent in your corner can help ensure that all these pertinent questions are answered.
2. Oftentimes, new home prices are negotiable, but it is not the responsibility of the builder’s agent to share this with you.
The builder will obviously want to sell the home for the highest possible price, but they’ll also want to keep the price high to help sell the next lot at a similar price.
The builder’s agent may advertise the price of the new builds as firm, but that’s not always necessarily the case. In fact, new construction is certainly negotiable, especially if there are a few lots lingering that have yet to be sold.
3. If the new home builder you are interested in has a high level of interest, your agent can share “tried and true” ways to give you the best chance possible to get you to the top of the list.
While some builders often struggle to sell out, others sell like hotcakes. In fact, buyers even line up for hours on opening day just to make sure they get their hands on a lot.
Although this method can be effective – albeit exhausting – a better and easier solution would be to employ the services of a real estate agent to implement their time-tested tactics to get your name at the forefront of the long list of interested buyers. This will help ensure you don’t miss out on an awesome lot in a great subdivision.
4. Your agent will point out areas of concern and added value that may not be visible to you before a home is completed.
These can include obstruction of view, future roads and infrastructure that may impact value, proximity to amenities, school ratings, etc.
It’s tough to tell from a map of the subdivision exactly where your particular lot will be relative to all the amenities you want to be close to, and those that you don’t. For instance, you might not be aware that there’s a major freeway in the works with the local municipality that’s rather close to the lot you’re interested in. You may also not realize that the ravine lot you’re looking at is actually extremely sloped in the backyard, which could negatively affect your enjoyment of your property.
These are things that your agent would be able to look into and make you aware of.
5. Your agent can consult with you about the upgrades that will provide the most value to your home.
One of the appealing things about new home construction is that you have the opportunity to customize your home with all the finishes that you love. However, are you fully aware of all the upgrades that you’re entitled to? And if so, are you aware of the finishes that increase property versus those that may actually take away from it?
Your real estate agent will be able to fill you in on these important details. Even if you may not exactly have a need for a certain upgrade, your agent may recommend that you add it anyway as it can be a great selling point should you decide to sell at some point in the future.
6. Your agent can assist you in selecting service providers and vendors that will offer a high level of service and the most competitive pricing.
There are plenty of things that your new home will need long after you’ve completed your final walk-through with the builder. There’s still a fence to put up, window blinds to hang, landscaping to add, and so forth. With the wide circle of networks that your agent has, you won’t have to search high and low for a reputable service provider who offers the most competitive prices.
7. Your agent will make sure you only pay customary buyer fees.
It’s important for buyers to consider who is responsible for paying specific closing costs, as some builders might require buyers to pay fees that would normally be paid by the seller. For instance, they might shift the title insurance policy over to you when this cost would customarily be paid by the seller.
Your real estate agent will know exactly what should be paid by the buyer versus the seller and ensure that the builder isn’t curtailing expenses that they should be paying by sending them over your way to cover.
The Bottom Line
Buying new home construction isn’t necessarily as easy as picking out your lot and choosing your finishes. There are plenty of important decisions that need to be made, so you want to be sure that you’re making the right ones. Having a professional real estate agent on your side can help ensure that you’re getting exactly what you pay for and that you’re not dishing out any more than you have to. Don’t go it alone – enlist the help of a seasoned real estate agent when buying new home construction.