Home Buying in Westpark>Question Details

Tami, Other/Just Looking in 92704

If I buy in a new development, do I need a realtor? If so, why?

Asked by Tami, 92704 Sat Jan 12, 2008

I am interested particularly in the Columbus Grove area in Irvine, California. I currently would like to spend $80k less than the price of the home I'd like to buy. How feasible is an offer like this?

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Tami, I would suggest that you use a Realtor to represent you. They are skilled in negotiations and know how to get you the "most for your money." As already stated, it cost you nothing, but could save you tens of thousands in today's market.

In addition to the savings, you have someone else to stand behind you after you move in. I have seen homeowners who weren't represented in new home developments not get items that were in their contract- given different upgrades than agreed upon, etc. The builder in as much told them "too bad, this is how it is." When people in the same development were represented by agents, the agents went to bat, and when the builders know that large real estate companies have lawyers behind them to help the clients they often become more cooperative in providing what the contract has stipulated!

Do yourself a favor- let someone who "Knows the ropes" help you through your purchase. It will be well worth it.

Patti Phillips
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Hello Tami,

You do not need a Realtor to represent you on the purchase of a new development home, although it costs you nothing nor will it add to the price of your purchase if you do have representation. In the 2007 year, I was able to successfully negociate down the sales price of homes for 4 different clients I represented. The largest adjustment/reduction was $130,000 in upgrades and incentives.

If you decide to go it alone, I would suggest you obtain local "Sold" comparables in and around the Columbus Grove area to help substantiate your price reduction request. Another avenue you can go down is to ask for a upgrades, but have the builder buy them down for you with incentives (there is a large price mark-up on these features). The last incentive I would suggest you request is mortgage fees & interest rate buy downs from the lender the builder is working with.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck. If you'd like to view any current listings in that area, simply click on my website.

Best regards,

Robert M. van der Goes
Star Real Estate - Realtor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Hi there Tami. As outlined earlier. It is like going into court for a big court case with no professional representation. Not a good idea. A Realtor will be able to help you as they will have a fidicury responsibility to look out for your best interests. Also a Realtor will be able to save you money and it does not cost you anything. Sellers tend to be more co-operativewhen they see that the buyer has professional representation. If you would like some professional assistance with this and would like to see the recent comps and avaialable properties please let me know
Kind Regards
Michael Barron
(714) 552-6817
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 28, 2008
Hello Tami. Although you do not have to use an agent to represent you in the purchase of a home, I definitely recommend that you do. As a real estate lawyer, I saw a number of transactions in which an unrepresented buyer was unhappy with the purchase of a home and later tried to undo the purchase or obtain compensation for the difference in value between what they thought they were purchasing and what they ended up with.

It is important to remember that the owner will have an agent representing them, and potentially an attorney as well. As it does not cost anything to have an agent represent you, there really is no downside to working with an agent whose job is to look out for you interests, and yours alone, not the seller's interests.

It can also be a big time savings to use an agent. As one of the other answers suggested, it is a good idea to know what other homes have sold for in the area. An agent can provide you with this information, and much more, and save you the time of trying to find it on your own.

There are currently 7 properties for sale in Columbus Grove. As most of the properties have been on the market for quite some time, it is reasonable to expect that you will pay less than asking price, and in some cases much less than the asking price depending on the seller's motivation.

I also have a property for sale in Columbus Grove that is not listed in the Multiple Listing Service as it is currently being used as a rental. It is a 5 bedroom, 4 bath home, 3100 sq. ft. home with major upgrades. My clients are looking to sell the home and recover most of what they paid for it, and don't expect to make a profit, so it is a good buying opportunity. If that sounds like something that may be of interest to you, please let me know.

~Amanda Wheeland
Real Estate Broker & Lawyer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
If you think of real estate like a courtroom, you can understand why having a professional to represent you (especially one you don't even have to pay for in CA) makes sense. You can represent yourself in either but what's logical to a layperson can be quite different from the law...and the side that best knows the law will usually "win" regardless of what is "fair". If you consider that the professional builder usually has representation, it makes sense you have the same chance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
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