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Jennifer Cox, GRI's Blog

By Jennifer Cox, GRI | Agent in Cincinnati, OH

Buying a New Construction Home - Why use a Realtor?

Everyone loves a new home. No wall paper. No dealing with someone else’s decorating mistakes. Selecting the cabinets and flooring. Making all the design decisions!
In all that excitement, don’t forget, there are a few things that you need to know before signing that purchase contract!

A builder’s interest is represented and protected by their onsite salesperson. 

This person’s sole responsibility is to the builder and the builder’s financial best interest.  The sales representative may or may not be a licensed Realtor ®. If so, they will explain to you about “disclosed dual agency”, and their responsibility to both buyer (you), and seller (builder).  The non- licensed sales agents are well trained, nice, necessary and helpful. But make no mistake, they solely represent the builder.

Do not be misled. You will not save the equivalent of the Realtor’s ® commission by going at this process alone. Our area’s reputable home builders are grateful for, and value the potential new home buyer we introduce to the builder.  In fact, our commission is part of the builder’s overall marketing budget and is not considered a negotiable item, like the deck or an extra finished room.  The builder would not negotiate his marketing department’s budget anymore than he would take into consideration, let’s say, the accounting department budget, on an individual transaction.

When buying a new construction home, your agent works for you before, during and after the purchase of your new home.

• Contract Negotiation – We are here to protect your financial interests. When it’s time to write, negotiate, amend, and review a final contract on your newly built home, you need a licensed Real Estate Agent on your side, looking out for your best interests.

• Selections – We can help you understand where many builders have added their profit. We are certainly not against anyone making a little money for their hard work and expertise, but, we can show you on the selections lists where someone is doing more “padding” than necessary.  With our advice, you will make better choices on upgrades, always keeping in mind your lifestyle, resale, and neighborhood continuity.

• Monitoring Progress – We physically travel to the build site. If you are unable to visit the construction site, we will email you pictures of the progress and notify you of issues.  The construction phase is extremely important and not all Real Estate Agents are willing to monitor the building process and report back to you. At critical points of the project (foundation, pre-drywall, and punch out phases) we recommend that you have an independent contractor with years of experience walk though your home with you.

• Dispute Resolution – In the event of a dispute with the builder over cost, build time, work orders, etc, you need the backing of a strong Real Estate Agent. You need the experience of someone who has “been there & done that” and understands the process and can explain what is “normal” and “reasonable” throughout this exciting time.

• Warrantee Reminders – All new homes have different warrantee periods for different components on the home. For example, drywall may be 12 months and window may be 60 months.  We take a copy of your warrantee binder and capture all the key warrantee dates.  We will fill out the appliance cards for you! We then send you a warrantee reminder one month before a warrantee expires! A builder will never do this for you.

Members of the RealCincy Group have really enjoyed helping families with their new home purchases. I’ve been privileged to assist families with new home purchases in the Greater Cincinnati area for over 13 years. I have represented custom and production builders as a listing agent, and assisted families purchasing their new home, representing their best interest, as a buyer’s agent.

“Ok Jennifer …so what does all that mean?”   It means I know the “ins and outs”.  I’ve “been there, done that”.  I fought the custom builder that wanted to raise the price mid -build; I’ve settled the “wrong vanity” issue. I can talk to you about 2/10 warranties and how the county “blue ticket” system works.

 As one happy customer said, direct quote: “I could have probably done all this without you, but I am really glad you were here. Your extra set of eyes was really valuable.”
So, when you add it all up, a lot of services are provided at NO COST to you!

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