Many buyers often assume that they do not need to use a real estate agent when purchasing a new construction home. In fact, many on-site new home sales reps (and that is what they are “sales reps” – with one objective – selling houses) will tell prospective buyers that they do not need their own real estate agent. While it is technically true that one does not have to have a real estate agent to facilitate the purchase of a new home, nothing could be farther from the truth than “you don’t need one!” The builder has representation, why shouldn’t you?
Your real estate agent is just as important on new construction home purchases as on a resale purchase. However, not just any real estate agent is qualified to be the right agent to help you with your new home purchase. Make sure that you are working with an agent who is not only very familiar with the specific area, but also with the construction process…even if you are looking to purchase a completed inventory home.
Most builders will use their own contracts & forms (instead of the promulgated forms typically used for pre-owned homes), so it is also important that your agent also has adequate knowledge to assist you in fully understanding all of the terms (not just the terms that the sales rep wants to explain to you…).
The right agent can help you make educated decisions regarding your lot choice & structural options, if building from the ground up, and provide you with information on what is best suited for re-salability in the area. Builder sales reps are not qualified to advise on resale value.
Once you have decided on a community & home or floor plan, the right real estate agent can help you negotiate. They will be able to provide you with information on pricing & incentives that are currently being offered by other builders at competing properties as well as pricing & information on comparable existing homes in the area. Basically, you will be armed with the information that the builder & the builder’s sales rep would prefer that you didn’t have!
The right agent will also help with your financing, whether you are using the builder’s prefered lender or an outside lender.
If you decide to build a home from the ground-up or if you choose a home that is still under construction, your agent can assist you with construction meetings & “walks” throughout the completion of your new home. Even if you choose a completed home, your agent can assist with the final walk-through & home orientation. During these meetings with the construction supers or managers, it can be very helpful to have an extra set of eyes & ears…and to have someone who can help put the construction lingo into dialog that makes more sense. (Let’s face it, some of these construction guys aren’t the best with communicating…). Again, it is extremely important that your agent is very familiar with new construction homes.
New construction homes typically have to pass several inspections throughout the building process. However, it is still advised that you hire your own 3rd party inspector. The right agent will be able to refer you to one or several of trusted inspection companies & will assist in scheduling the inspection & will go-to-bat with the builder if items need to be addressed before closing.
Closing…this is definitely another reason you will greatly benefit from having a qualified real estate agent by your side. You wouldn’t want to go to closing for a pre-owned home without your trusted agent, so why would you close on a new home without one? With all of the paperwork, HUD statements, signatures & money changing hands, you shouldn’t go it alone!
So…even though you may be told that you don’t need an agent when purchasing a new construction home & that the builder’s sales “counselor” will help you, you really should have your own representation.
Would you go to court if the other side had an attorney and you didn’t…and the other side’s attorney “offered” to help you?
Didn’t think so!
Having a real estate agent represent you, does not cost you a thing. The builder is responsible for paying the agents commission. (hmm..maybe this is why the sales reps are sometimes instructed to discourage the use of an agent…just a thought!) Make sure that the builder know upfront that you have an agent, if your agent has not accompanied you to the community. Many builders will require that your agent is listed on your initial registration. Also, make sure that your agent is involved with the contract process & that they are listed as your agent on the sales agreement with the builder.
If you are currently considering purchasing a new construction home in San Antonio, and want someone who can assist you with any & every step of the process, we would love to help. Give us a call (210) 209-8711 or shoot us an email today. Or, simply fill out the form below… This is what we do. Everyday.