I just looked at new homes with my son this past weekend - just looking and was appalled at what the builder reps said and also how evasive they were with answers in the homes we previewed. They did not know that I was an agent, and saw me as a parent who could mess up their sale.
When I could not get a straight answer to the simplest of questions, I wondered how any buyer could hope to get "the best home at the best price" or even a win-win without representation.
My son was offered 3% off if he did not use an agent . UPFRONT! Most of us that have worked for builders know that they have to turn a profit, 30% mark up on upgrades is not unusual, and they want to sell the less desirable lots first. Any smart builders rep will not point out any negative qualities of the home or community. If you are building from dirt, you see the jazzed up model, and not a true indicator of what is offered at base price. If you dont do this every day, you may not know to look for differences in anything from a cadet toilet to an elongated one, to the heights of ceilings, doors, type of hardware, lighting, plumbing, finishes, trim. The list is enormous. Most people get intimidated even with an experienced agents help.
This is getting way too long, but in Texas the builders rep does not even have to be a licensed real estate agent, so there is no fiduciary responsibility, no concerns about fairness, and certainly no code of ethics for that builder's rep to worry about. I just wonder where they were planning to make up that already built into the price 3%. Title policy? Back end by "encouraging" the buyer to use their preferred lender? Gouging the buyer on upgrades? Cutting corners?