For your sake, contact a realtor!
Howard Rose III
Russell & Jeffcoat Realtors Inc.
Commission is paid as directed by the listing agreement between the builder and sales agent. Your negotiations aren't going to change that. If you select a custom builder for a custom job, that is the exception. That builder is working for you, and no commission is involved.
In response to the idea that builders don't negotiate... If the market is hot, and buyers are willing to pay full price, then no, the builder has no incentive to negotiate because another buyer will come along. They also try to protect the value in a subdivision. When a builder lowers prices, it affects the appraised value of all the other homes in a subdivision. In a tough market, builders are less willing to sit on inventory and will do what they need to in order to get homes sold.
Sit down with a Realtor and discuss the advantages. That won't cost you anything!
I really think that it is always better to have representation. Yes, you can negotiate the price with builders, I don't know what 'people' are out there saying that you can't but you can - I've done it. A buyer agent may be able to find out if the recent pending sales in the development have dropped in price - making it necessary for you to negotiate down your price. That being said, you may have an issue of whether or not the builder is going to pay an agent commission at all. If you've already been to the site/builder and talked with them, signed in - whatever, the builder may not be willing to pay an agent for 'bringing the buyer' if the agent didn't do so. Is the builder offering commission at all? Some don't. Being represented by an agent and the agent getting paid a commission are two different issues. I bought a lot a few years back in NC and hired a Realtor because I wanted to make sure that the right questions were asked. You may be able to bring an agent into the scene now, have them negotiate for you and the agent get paid through the transaction. Don't sign anything with anyone until you are sure of what you want to do, how you are going to do it and how everyone is going to get paid. I had a friend once who went to a site on his own and signed a purchase agreement on a lot THEN called me to ask me to go back with him and make sure everything was ok. I explained to him that he would now have to pay my commission since the builder won't. He didn't want to do that and got tied into a property for 6 months with no construction starting. When it finally did start, the builder told him that the price would be higher since the lot he selected would now need a different home built on it. Months later he finally got out of the contract and then he and I found him a home. I know that's a typically scary Realtor story, but stuff like that happens.
Also, who is telling you that you can negotiate the price? Consider your sources.
I purchased my first home without representation-big mistake.
In this market, you may be able to negotiate the price, and or negotiate upgrades. This depends on the neighborhood and how motivated the builder is to sell. Your agent can help you figure this out. Find an agent ASAP! When you "register" with the builder, they will want to know if you are working with your own agent. Find someone who has experience dealing/negotiating with new construction.
This is a great time to be a buyer!
Carolina One Real Estate