Why Bother With a Buyer Agent for New Construction?

Posted by Lise | Filed under: Buyers, Services

It starts out simply –  you started thinking about buying  a home. You don’t know a real estate agent and don’t think you are serious enough just yet to bother one with your interest. You think that a real estate agent will not work on your schedule of casual interest. So you start looking in the real estate section of the weekend newspaper and see all these great new properties with their teaser ads.

“No Money Down!”

“Starting in the low $300,000s”

“$10,000 in Closing Costs”

So you stop by the builder’s sales office to take a look since you are already in the neighborhood.  IT is Gorgeous!  Everything is new, everything is clean, everything is pretty– and it is just waiting for you. The sales person shows you around. Before you know it you have registered with the sales person and given them your name, phone number, and email. And there just happens to be a place available for you.

Before you know it, you find yourself believing that you are getting a good deal. You dream about it. You talk to the people at work; because you know, the people at work always know everything about real estate. You may even talk to your family.

Next weekend rolls around, you revisit that builder in the shiny sales office with the bright and shiny sales people. Are those chocolate chip cookies she’s taking out of my new oven? Before you know it, you are signing papers. Papers you don’t read, and if you did, you don’t know what it all means. The sales person tells you everything will be fine, you can cancel if you want. You’re writing a check and meeting with their loan officer.

You just bought your new home and possibly a host of headaches.

Why?

Because you went into this purchase without any representation or expert advice.

“But the sales person was nice & helpful.” you say.

Of course they are, they work for the builder and it’s their job to sell whatever the builder is building. THEY REPRESENT THE BUILDER.

WHO IS REPRESENTING YOU? NO ONE

And you think that’s not a big deal…it’s a new property so what can go wrong?

Well let’s see:

The builder is more than a year late in delivery, interest rates have risen and you can’t buy this place anymore. Are you going to lose your deposit? More importantly- where are you going to live?

The unit you think you bought is no longer available, the builder tells you there was a mix up- that unit was already sold before you signed the papers, but there is another one just like it. Now you don’t have the unit with the great view- but something else. What are your options?

You didn’t get that nice fancy granite you wanted, but something else. The builder tells you its too late to change. What do you do?

The builder hands you a 500 page document that are the Condo documents or Home Owners Association Documents. You have 5 days to look them over. Where do you begin?

These are just some of the things that can happen and have happened to people buying new property.

Buying real estate is like life: It can be complicated.

New construction can be wonderful too, but you need to go into the contract with your eyes wide open and with someone on your side.  Make sure you bring along a buyer’s real estate agent –  someone who works for you and is looking out for your best interest. It doesn’t matter if it is a first time homebuyer studio condo or an estate in Potomac – you still need a buyer agent to protect and represent you!

Reasons To Use a Buyer Agent with New Construction

1. The Buyer Agent Represents You In The Transaction

Having someone working for you will make all the difference in the world. You have a full-time job, how else could you afford this property? The agent will be there for you, when you can’t. She will explain the contract to you. She will point out where you are exposed and when you can lose your deposit.  Your realtor will be there throughout the process. Your realtor may find another new construction project that you just may like even more.

2. The Sales Person Works for the Builder

The moment you walk into the sales office for that new construction project, the sales person (who may or may not be a REALTOR) will attempt to have you “sign-in.” Once you do that, you are giving up your right to having a REALTOR represent you as part of your sales price. (See #5 below) While that sales person will help you pick out upgrades and options, that sales person is still working for the builder. They are specifically trained to make the process smooth. Their goal is to sell the unit or lot you are interested in. They will introduce you to their loan officer and their title company when you can be getting a better loan from a company not affiliated with the builder.

3. The Buyer Agent Gives You Advice as You Go Along

You will have many decisions to make during the process such as the grade and quality of your kitchen cabinets, bathroom tiles, flooring. Your agent will point out upgrades that will retain their resale value and not just the most expensive material. Things that you should have and things that are not important. And most importantly- things that you can afford. Also, your agent will explain when you get an independent home inspector.

4. The Buyer Agent Knows the Local Real Estate Market

Your agent has worked with builders before. They know which ones are dependable and which projects are a good value. They can tell if that $5,000 credit the builder is giving you for closing or “free” upgrades is really the best deal for you. In most cases, that $5,000 is tacked on somewhere else along the way without you realizing it- either with higher lender fees or title insurance costs.

5. You Are Already Paying For It

Especially in this buyer’s market, the builder has already budgeted into the sales price the cost of paying a buyer’s agent. Most buyers don’t know this. So what happens when the buyer does not have a buyer’s agent when buying the property? That builder has just made more money in the sale of your home. If you have not negotiated the price minus the amount of the agent’s fee, the builder will keep it for themselves. But they haven’t told you that. So, if you are already paying for it, why wouldn’t you want to hire a real estate agent to represent you? Most importantly, you need to have your agent with you BEFORE you make that first visit to a sales office. If you decide you need a buyer’s agent after you have “registered” with the builder, any buyer’s agents fees will come out of your pocket.

We at the Lise Howe Team are here to represent and protect your interests. If you are thinking of new construction, then you should definitely give us a call!

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19 Responses

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  2. Lester says:

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  14. Cory says:

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  15. Jared says:

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