Thank you for offering your question about representation for new construction.
Ask any new construction sales person and they''ll most certainly tell you that you don't need an agent and that they can take care of everything involved in the transaction. This may be true but they will take care of things to the builders benefit. Since they work for the builder would t be reasonable to expect that when push came to shove that they would take your position.......
Seeking the support of a local real estate professional that know the builder, has sold property there previously, that has a real understanding of past promotions and sales incentives and will be able to advocate for you is highly recommended.
There are so many ways an agent can advocate for you. Two points that are often made are to make sure you go to the builder with pre-approved funding from your own lender. Secondly, many agents will assist you by following the construction with you, keeping you apprised of progress as well as making you aware of concerns as they occur.
Builders love seeing buyers enter their model homes without an agent.....as one so clearly stated, "it's like shooting fish in a barrel." Make sure you're not one of those fish!
Note :my use of the word experienced. This is critical do not consider anyone for your buyer broker who hasn't been doing this at least 7 years and you want to know that they have experience in new construction as well.
The builder represents themselves and honestly I would not trust most builders as far as I could throw them They will insist on using their own contracts and it should not surprise you they are weighted in favor of the builder. They literally drool at the thoughts of potential customers like you as you have no idea what you're doing at this point.
I've attached a link to a recent blog I posted here on Trulia about how to choose a Realtor.
I wish you the best of luck.
You have a lot of answers to sift through. I have been a broker for 11 years and the significant other of a custom home builder for many years.. While any realtor would love to represent you in the purchase of your newly built home ( they earn a commission) the truth is that there isn't a lot of negotiation when it comes to buying a new construction home as their is in a resale home. Further more, knowing that the builder would be saving any commission he would have paid to "your realtor" you should be able to negotiate a portion of that off your sale price or towards upgrades. I strongly recommend hiring a good Real Estate attorney and have them review your contract prior to signing it. Any good builder will not have a problem with this. Check around your local area for reputable builders that pay their subcontractors timely and it would be a good idea to check with your city or county where the builders file for their building permits. you can gain valuable information on builders reputations, experience etc... local BBB is helpful too. Bottom line is, no you don't need a realtor to help you negotiate a new construction purchase.
What should you ask the builder? In today's economy I would want to know how many homes he built in the past year. How many were built on contract and how many were "spec" homes? What is his timetable for completing my house? How often is the builder himself actually on site while my house is under sonstruction? How long have his subs worked for him? Ask for the names of 4 or 5 very recent customers of his, and talk to them about their experience with the builder. How does he follow up on problems after completion? What is his warranty? And lots of questions about his experience level.
Also a real estate agent that lives and works in the area is a plus in terms of community information, schools, shopping, commute times, etc.
Weichert, Relators-Wayne Murray Properties
As many of my colleagues have said already, it is important to have a realtor with you. As many have pointed out, the sales people work for the builder. It's just like buying a new car, if you are not careful, they will always get you in the end. One move builders try is offering you upgrades for free and then not including them in the contract, so after the house is built, you complain that ut wasn't done and then you have no leg to stand on. The important thing is to make sure you get a realtor with knowledge. When new builders, it is not about negotiations. Anyone can "negotiate" a contract. You start low, they start high, and you go back and forth.......make sure you pick someone who knows the questions to ask the builder, someone who knows the are you are buying in. Interview your realtor. Interview 5 or 6. The most important thing is you get along. Just like any business relationship, it won;t work if you can't communicate with them. Please let us know if you have any other questions and my colleauges or myself will certainly be there to answer. Good luck!
YES, you should get a Realtor to represent YOU, the buyer - the sales counselor at a new home community works for the SELLER/BUILDER. Buying a "new" home vs. an "existing" home still is a negotiation process. Reputable Realtors know how to negotiate on your behalf regarding sales price, upgrades, options, financing terms and more.
Additionally, Realtors can guide you regarding the quality of construction. Lots of new homes look pretty, especially the model homes that have several upgrades incorporated, but you also need to know about the builder's structural/construction process, the warranties it provides, taxes, development fees, if any, etc.
A qualified Realtor also can assist you in obtaining financing. New home builders often offer buyers incentives if they use the builder's preferred lender. Your Realtor can help you evaluate whether using the builder's lender or a different lender is the right way for you.
As an Accredited Buyer Representative who has had extensive EXTRA training in working for buyers, I've represented numerous first-time buyers. The homebuying process, beginning with the search for the right home and all the way through the closing, can be a bit daunting for a first-time buyer. Having a qualified Realtor you can rely on to look out for YOU and explain each step helps you make informed decisions.
And, typically the Realtor is paid by the seller, so what do you have to lose?
Please call me at 713-397-0734 or email me at email@example.com if you'd like to discuss your homebuying search.
The short answer is YES!! You always need a Realtor working for your best interest in any purchase of a home. Regardless if it is a resale home with a family selling or a business such as a builder and a new construction home. In fact, you need the Realtor MORE as this builder sells homes much more often than an single family and could take advantage of you.
Now most builders build a quality home, but might not tell you things you can do to protect yourself. This includes reviewing of sales in the area to confirm the price you are paying is far, allowing you to inspect the home in multiple stages VS only once when completed, reviewng the pros/cons of upgrades on a home and so much more. Finally, some builders might encourage you not to have a Realtor and thus "save" the commissions off the sales price. Guess what, the commissions come from a marketing department and does not effect the sales price. In other words, you can have a Realtor, the builders pays the Realtor and you could possibly still get the discounts plus a lot more.
A Realtor that works for you and has the Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) is specially trained to assist you with the purchase of a new or resale home. Also, what would you say if I told you I could possibly find you the same home 1-2yrs old and 20% less than the builder? The builder would never tell you about those homes that are on the market.
Lets talk about your needs and when you plan to get started. I have the ABR designation and have worked with 1st time buyers for 19yrs in the Katy/Houston area. Check my web site for more information.
Happy Holidays and Good Luck!
We have worked with too many folks who, like yourselves, bought new homes or built new homes. And why would one need us? ...to understand the process from looking at homes, comparing the different builders, understanding the advantages of going with spec homes vs. building, making certain that your lender is communicating with the builder and you, and finally possibly getting additional perks with financing and builder upgrades depending upon where you are precisely buying.
Also, it important to look at the WHOLE community and neighboring subdivisions - evaluating existing home sales. Its important to analyze because you don't want to buy in a neighborhood that is adjacent to one plagued with foreclosures. Will the new home Sales Counselor give you this VERY important information? I think not. And as Jim Sweat mentioned below, it costs you nothing at all.
Also, sometimes the builders are offering incentives that the Realtors know about, but you may not find out about if you go directly.
All of this could vary by market and the cooperation level of the builder.
I also have a few blogs on my Trulia profile that may be of use to you when considering values on homes. That information is pertinent all across the country.
All the Best,
Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, GRI, CDPE, e-PRO, ILHM
Sandals Realty http://www.ExplainShortSales.com
I would also love to help you with the insurance portion of becoming a home owner. I would be glad to provide you with a home insurance quote so that you would know what the cost of insurance would be. Please contact me at any time and it would be my pleasure working with you.
Auto â€“ Home â€“ Life - Annuities
3000 Research Forest Dr, Ste 200
The Woodlands, TX 77381
Tel: (281) 364-1090 ext 08391
Its a huge purchase and you are signing a legal contract. Lots of things can go wrong.
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The Marie Souza Team - Top Selling on Cape Cod
Cape Cod Real Estate Services
You're many answers already but the bottom line is yes, definitely take an agent with you who will be representing your interests, not the builders. Many homebuyers make the mistake in thinking they will get the house for less money by not having an agent with them. This is not the case.
A good, experienced agent can save you a lot of money with a builder and knows the right questions to ask. For example, is there a Jacuzzi tub or a tub with jets? When you find out later that a Jacuzzi tub is merely the brand and there are no jets, it's too late.
Happy New Year and best of luck to you!
Elyse Berman, PA, ABR, GRI, ePRO
Realty Associates Florida Properties
9174 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33434
Mail to: Elyse@ElyseBerman.com
Happy New Year! I see many good responses below, but I did not see the question back to you, "Is the home listed opn your local MLS?" If not, then this would become a little more complicated. Most likely it is listed for sale on the MLS and also then apprears on Realtor.com. If it is an MLS listing the builder/owner has their own Realtor so you would at very first glance be at a disadvantage not having your own professioonal advocate managing and negotiating the transaction. I have sold many new construction properties and you absolutely want to have Professional, pro-active reprersentation as there is a myriad of issues and protocol that a competant agent can guide you through and protect your best interests.
I work 7 days a week so I am sure I can accommodate your schedule!
Thank you very much for reaching out to our real estate community.
Realtor Lisa Jones, GREEN, ICREA, CIPS
Golden Key Achiever, over $50Million in recent residential sales!
203-529-3065 Private Fax
My Agent Bio:
When you call me my answer is still OF COURSE. The main point is BEFORE you begin your search select a Realtor you trust and allow them to guide you to begin getting information and processes set up BEFORE you look at homes. There is some pre-planning and preparation we will help you with to make it much easier for your home buying processes.
Looking forward to helping you, Kathleen (281) 799-4002
NOTE: THIS ANSWER IS TOO LONG....SO HERE IS PART ONE!
First of all, in most states you do not pay the buyer's agent anything whatsoever. The seller/builder pays their comission. So why not get the best representation possible.....it costs you nothing.
Second, I am reminded of a visit from one of our corporate attorneys a couple of years back. He visited us during one of our weekly sales meetings. He asked this question: "What do you folks think is the number ONE legal problem/issue that is being litigated today in our courts?"
I would HIGHLY recommend having a Buyer's Agent represent both you & your husband! The Sales Counselor represents the builder. That rep's #1 priority is to make the builder money. A Buyer's Agent represents you and he/she will make sure to get you the best deal possible. Speak to an agent that has experience with new home construction. Also, I would HIGHLY recommend for you to get a home inspection once the house is built.
I wish you and your husband the best!!
Make it a Blessed Day!
Tamika A. Goree
Happy New Year, Kathleen
Ivan J Gonzalez, MBA
The Realtor Who HATS It All
Cocho Int`l Realty
I agree with the previous answers. You definitely need a Realtor to 'represent' you during the purchase of a new home from a builder. As honest and cordial as they may be, the fact is that they still 'represent' the builder and have the builders best interest at heart, not yours. A Realtor will be more suited to negotiate in your behalf, guide you throught the process, and most of all, have your best interest at heart. The builders are glad to work with Buyer's Agents and have built it into the price and their budget to pay the Realtor's commissions. Most builders either prefer or require you to come in with your Realtor the first time you visit the project. Best of success.
Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
1776 S. Jackson St. #412
Denver CO 80210
The Benefit to you is REPRESENTATION, as the on site sales person represents the Builder.
The Good Life Team
Keller Williams Landmark II
Serving Queens, Brooklyn & Nassau
Can you go to a builder by yourself? Absolutely! If you have already contacted the builder (If you know the builder you would like to work with.) Then it probably is late to call a realtor.
If you are working with a realtor and have not contacted a builder then it would be a good idea for you to look at several properties and communities that may be of interest to you before making your final selection. This will give you a broader perspective and help you narrow down exactly what you are looking for.
Also, for your protection makes sure that you get a good real estate attorney to go over the contract and the "Home Owner's Association" information, should there be an HOA. You need to know exactly what you are getting into before you build a home. They can also help you with some suggestions regarding the builders time line.
Several of the realtors below have given you some suggestions on the information and where to get it regarding your builder, as well as questions you should be asking.
This is your first house so take the time and shop around.
A seller/Builder that represents you may not work as hard to get the best terms for you and give you 100% representation for no money out of your pocket.
In a long drawn out answer my anser is YES get your own realtor to advise you in your home purchase.. You will be happy that you did.
1) Interview 3-5 Realtors
2) They should be full time or have a VERY flexible part time job
3) They should have participated at least 15 transactions last year
4) They should have participated in at least 2 build jobs last year
5) They must attend all meetings with the builder or builderâ€™s representative which you are present. This can be as many as 15-20 meetings; many agents will not attend these after the contract is signed. You need their representation throughout the process not just at the signing of the contract.
6) They must participate in all negotiations involving change orders and should assist in providing the proper documentation and amendments to the contract.
7) Lastly run a background check and try to obtain credit scores (ask them to provide) on both the Builder and the Realtor. You will be surprised that some the people offering financial advice to you and yours are not solvent and may be inclined to say or do anything to close a deal.
Iâ€™m sure I left something off this list but itâ€™s a place to start, if I was to rank this as my top 3 it would be #5, 6 & 7. Many will not fit all 7 items but try to choose someone who fits the majority of the list. Hope this helps, it was meant to give you another perspective not just the same perspective
The best time to interview and select your REALTOR is BEFORE you go out "Window Shopping". Your local REALTOR will be able to negotiate and secure the best possible transaction for you.