Buying New Construction: Do I Need an Agent?

Nothing feels nicer to walk into than a brand new home. Clean walls, fresh paint, new everything, nothing broken or out-of-date. “The home is going to be new, gorgeous, and flawless. What could possibly go wrong? I’ll surely get a discount from the builder if I don’t bring an agent . . . I can handle this one on my own.”  So, why should you consider bringing your own agent before meeting with a new construction builder?

 No Extra Cost to You

Typically, realtor fees are included in the price of the home. Builders expect you to come with an agent, and they want to keep a good rapport with that agent! If they take good care of our client and make you happy, the odds are in their favor that we will recommend them to future clients—another incentive to do all they can to take good care of you during your new home construction. They need good agents, which is why they are willing to pay us out of their profits.

When it comes to built-in realtor fees, fees are rarely reduced in such a way that make the home less expensive in the end: selling one home for less would lower the value of all of their homes. And savings that may seem apparent in the beginning for you not having a realtor, is often missed out on later when it comes time to negotiate details or make concessions without an experienced realtor advocating for you. Often, there are many incentives that can be offered to savvy buyers of new construction who have a good agent advocating for them, that amount to significantly more than what can be saved up front by not bringing a realtor. On top of that, we have seen many headaches and sometimes extra fees for the customer avoided due to our ability to step in and negotiate on their behalf. Note: To have an agent represent you, you need to have that agent with you on the initial visit to the builder!

 Who is Working for Who Here?

During the entire new construction buying process, the builders’s on-site sales representative who is selling you a home is working for . . . only the builder. As their employer (and the one who writes their paycheck), that is where their loyalty lies, as it is with most business. While they owe you honesty for questions that you ask, they do not owe you full disclosure, confidentiality, or loyalty.  If there are negotiations or concessions to be made, whose best interest is in the forefront of their mind? The builders! Their goal is to represent their company well, to sell you a home, and to save their company as much money and time as possible in the process. As the customer in this situation, it is solely up to you to look out for your best interest and to ask the important questions.

As your realtor, we only work for you. We are in your corner throughout the entire process. You are not our customer, you are our client! As such, we owe you fiduciary duties: confidentiality, diligence, respect, accounting, etc. We must put your best interest at the forefront! Our loyalty is to you and you alone. Our primary goal is to serve you in such a way that you walk away from your closing knowing that you were well-cared for, well-advised, and wanting to come back again the next time you need help! That means assisting in all areas of negotiations, helping to ask the important questions that you may not know to ask, and protecting you in all things regarding the contract.

 Experience Matters

As full-time real-estate professionals, we have been the rounds and know what to expect and what to watch out for.  We know what questions and concessions to ask for. “Does the refrigerator come with the house? Is this particular cook top or stair-rail standard in your homes? Will the builder install blinds throughout the house? Are towel and toilet paper fixtures included in the bathrooms? What about planting a privacy hedge between this home and the road?” We have been able to prevent closing dates from being moved back at extremely inopportune times. We frequently assist clients by taking photos of the home at different stages and keeping them updated throughout the construction process. We will recommend a reputable home inspector to walk through your future home before closing to make sure everything looks good, rather than the county inspector that works with the builder. We have been able to spot and correct mistakes made during construction: missing windows, wrong paint colors, damages to shingles, concrete, or drywall, holes in the backyard, drainage or privacy issues, etc—making sure things were going as they should before it was too late to correct it. Many of our clients who formerly purchased new homes on their own, have told us that they found it to be much more difficult negotiating repairs on punch-out lists during final walk-throughs on their own.

 In addition to all this, we take the time to get to know our clients and their needs, which in the long run, saves you a lot of time driving all around town looking at homes and neighborhoods that may not suite your needs or your budget.

The bottom line is this: Buying a home is a huge commitment. When you can have an experienced realtor devoted to your best interest, negotiating for you at no cost to you, why not jump at the chance? The Jim Mills Team would love to help make purchasing your new home a more pleasant, less stressful experience!