If you are in the market to buy a new home, you probably think you are on your own. Real estate agents only help you purchase existing homes, right?
That’s not the case. In fact, it’s extremely important that you use a real estate agent even when you buy a new construction home. You need someone on your side representing you. Even though everything seems so ‘cookie cutter’, there are times when you need to make decisions that require someone ‘on your side’ to help you.
The Builder’s Agent
Yes, the builder has an agent. This is the person that works to sell you the home. This person probably works on commission. That means he/she will do what they can to get you to upgrade and pay more for the home. While they do have your best interest at heart because they want you to love your purchase, they are also in the business to make money. They can guide you along the way in the purchase, but they don’t represent you.
The Real Estate Agent’s Help
If you hire a real estate agent, they will be with you from the start. In fact, you should consider taking your real estate agent along with you to your very first visit to a builder. This way they know that you are working with an agent. Why is this important? It’s because the builder is responsible for paying the real estate agent’s commission. The builder is the seller, just like the seller of an existing house pays the real estate agent, so does the builder.
Your real estate agent will then help you make decisions regarding your new home purchase. He/she will provide you with the pros and cons of various developments so that you can decide for yourself, which one is right for you. Think of him/her as a neutral third party helping you to make a smart purchase.
Once you choose a home, the real estate agent’s job isn’t done. You still have to agree on a price and sign the purchase contract. Before you do so, the real estate agent can help you with a variety of factors. The agent can do the negotiating for you. If you are like most buyers, this is the worst part of the process so it’s nice to have someone do it for you. In addition, the agent can negotiate any extras or upgrades that you may want.
The real estate agent can help you understand the various types of financing available to you as well. It can be overwhelming to decide if you should go with builder financing (because they can be pushy) or find your own. Your real estate agent can recognize if it’s a good deal to go with the builder. He/she can also put you in contact with lenders that they have in their network. These are usually lenders that they know work well and can handle your situation.
Finally, agents can help you through the home inspection. Many people assume that they don’t need one because it’s a new home, what could be wrong? Unfortunately, there are often things wrong with new construction that you don’t realize until after you move into it. Many of the problems may be covered under the builder’s warranty, but that’s only if they make themselves noticeable before the warranty expires. If you miss that window, you could be on the hook to make the repairs yourself. Your agent can help you understand the inspection report and the negotiations that might be necessary due to the issues found.
The good news is that you don’t have to pay a real estate agent even when you buy a new home, so what do you have to lose? It’s another person in your corner in addition to your real estate attorney. This helps to ensure that your new home purchase is a successful one!