Definitely take an agent with you.....because that Agent's Fudiciary responsibility is to you. Taking business cards most often does not work. Most developers will not accept an agent after the fact.
When you do the Punch List walk-through, your agent will point out everything she (he) sees and ask the developer to fix it. When you walk through with just the developer's representative, perhaps you might think it is too "small" an item to ask them to repair or repaint, when indeed it should be fixed.
Two different sets of eyes on the contract and all disclosures is also helpful. And your Agent can help you negotiate! I do not believe developers will lower the price just because you do not have an agent. After all, their staff is on commission too.
Most Realtors are worthless, I don't need someone who is going to drive me around on Sunday and ask me what I think.
I need a bad mofo that is going to get me what I want or save me some serious money.
A dual agent can't really fulfill all of their duties as fiduciaries to both parties. A dual agent, in a negotation can function as a conduit of the offer/counteroffer but can't advise.
Also the agent representing the seller is contractually bound to the seller and the attempt to get the buyer to use them is part of the representation of the seller's interest.
The information you've got from Kevin, Tanja and Michael are valid. You've selected an agent, and may have been working with them, take them with you on your tour of the new developments!
Happy hunting and good luck!
I believe one of the benefits, especially in new developments that a realtor working with a buyer can provide is the guidance through the sales process. This said, often times, the new developments have their own purchase contracts and escrow processes which are quite different from buying a resale. However, having someone to help negotiate on price, concessions (e.g., pre-paid HOA dues for a certain period, upgrades in features for the unit, etc.) and the inevitable "punch list" (items that need to be repaired, replaced etc. when you have your final walk through before your close of escrow). Finally, having someone that understands the contractual process is a great asset to have as your personal representative in the process so that you aren't doing this alone. That realtor then should be your first call if any problems or issues arise after the sale -- even if it's a few years afterward.
So in short, the added value are many matters and issues that are unknown to a first time buyer or perhaps someone who has previously never purchased a new construction unit.
Soon as you register alone you need to use the in house agent. What kind of choice do you have? I hope you find the right solution. Good luck to you.
Tanja Beck, Broker Associate
Zephyr Real Estate
4040 24th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
PERSONAL APPROACH...PROFESSIONAL RESULTS