Have you ever been to a model home? It’s one of my favorite parts of the Real Estate business. I LOVE seeing new floorplans, the incredible upgrades and features, and most of all- the decorating!
Everything is new- and- fresh- and- shiny and with all of the visual stimulation, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and want to sign a contract right then and there. But don’t let the awe of a stunning model home distract you from getting the best deal possible- which would be with your Realtor present.
Here’s the thing about new construction: the site agent- while super friendly and accommodating- works for the builder.
This means that while they may seem to have your best interest in mind, they are really only focused on getting the highest profit for their boss- again, the builder.
Who is going to make sure you get everything you need and more at the best price possible? Who knows which upgrades to ask for that the builder will most likely agree to? Who can discuss with you if its really worth using the builder’s preferred lender?
The answer is –your Realtor!
Some folks think bringing their Realtor to the builder with them will increase their purchase price. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Did you know that it costs YOU absolutely nothing to have your Realtor help you purchase a New Construction home? Let me say that again. IT COSTS YOU ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO HAVE YOUR REALTOR HELP YOU PURCHASE A NEW CONSTRUCTION HOME.
BUT- you will GAIN a wealth of benefits.
It is actually thoroughly unethical and sometimes illegal for a builder to discriminate against you having a personal representative. Most builders welcome Realtors because we speak the lingo and can help you understand terms and breakdown the processes that could otherwise be lost in translation. Good Realtor/Builder relations are key to healthy new construction markets, and we usually have a great time working together.
If something goes wrong and the builder makes a mistake as seen in this post about granite selections, your Realtor can help you get it fixed . In a case like that, I not only had the problem solved but also negotiated the buyers additional bonuses to compensate for the mistake. If they had been on their own with no representative, there would likely not have been as satisfactory of a resolution.
So how do You make sure the builder knows you are working with a competent and valuable Realtor?
The #1 Best way to secure your Realtor representation is to bring your Realtor with you on the initial visit. Relationships can be established, important questions will be asked, terms can be reviewed, and your mind will be set at ease.
…On the flip side…
If you happen to walk in to a builder’s model by yourself, the first thing you’ll be asked to do is sign in. On that page, there will be a spot to write down your Realtor’s name. If you really want to be proactive, you can ask them to also attach one of your Realtor’s card’s to the form as well.
Doing this will not only ensure that they’ve got you covered, but will also reinforce to them that you are represented by someone who will make sure the builder is working at the top of their game and needs to offer the best service possible. Giving your Realtor notice that you will be going in, even if its “just to look” PRIOR to actually going in can be extremely beneficial to you as well.
Unfortunately, if you do not do this on your initial visit to the builder, there is a strong chance they will not not allow you to add in your Realtor representative later. Sometimes there are exceptions, but this is not always the case.
What can happen without a Realtor representative?
Horror stories I’ve witnessed when folks have unintentionally moved forward in a new construction home purchase without a Realtor:
- Landscaping package only included grass to be installed in the front of the home- side and backyards left as dirt.
- Closing costs changed from the original promise.
- Home sale contingencies allowing too short of a time to complete prior transaction (ESPECIALLY if you’re trying to FSBO…more on that later).
- Per diem charges for buyer delays.
- Repairs not being made.
- Tiles written in on a design to be installed at a diagonal put in the straight traditional way.
- Advertised incentives only lasting through a certain period of time.
Do yourself a favor and rely on a great real estate agent who can help make the new build home purchase process a lot less stressful. It never hurts to have someone else rooting for your team. Always bring your Realtor with you when you are buying a new construction home.