Considering a new build? New construction can be a great option for a lot of buyers. There’s a lot to be said for being able to customize features and buy a new home with warranties in place. It can allow you to sell an existing home without having to put yourself in a contingent-offer situation, buy you the time needed to relocate, or help you to avoid a multiple offer situation and the stress that can come with trying to secure a contract in our competitive Greenville market.
The process seems simple enough: tour a few neighborhoods, talk to the on-site agent, pick a floorplan and a lot, make your deposit, and the build begins. There are no sellers to deal with, no inspection period with repairs to consider, and no drawn-out negotiations. So why involve a buyer’s agent? Won’t you get a better price if a buyer’s agent isn’t involved? Won’t negotiations go better if you can handle them yourself?
Not so fast. In any real estate transaction, it’s important to have a professional on your side, even if the process seems straightforward. As realtor.com puts it: “You can rely on the builder’s agent for background information- just don’t make this individual your sole point of contact on the buying and selling process.” Besides the peace of mind gained by having an experienced professional along for the ride, “
Unfortunately we’ve heard many stories where someone visits a gorgeous model home and impulsively decides to start the process then and there. A few signed documents later, with a non-refundable deposit in place, they end up wishing they had given themselves more time to think it through and had brought with them a professional who works full-time in the industry to act as a go-between with the on-site agent and help decipher the myriad of paperwork. Their remorse is furthered when they realize the price of the home would not have been impacted if they had been assisted by a buyer’s agent. Besides the peace of mind gained by having an experienced professional along for the ride, “Your REALTOR® will be key to helping you navigate this process . . . they can guide you through construction and help anticipate and solve any possible snags along the way.” (The Mortgage Reports)
Still have doubts? Here are the top 5 reasons you should consider using a REALTOR® when buying new construction:
1. Help you find a great builder
An experienced agent can rely on their own experience and that of their colleagues to help you find a builder you can trust. Quality of workmanship, warranty, included features that make them stand out from others, and track record in resolving issues all contribute to a builder's reputation. Getting a clear understanding in the beginning can alleviate serious headaches down the road. For custom builders or developers who don't have a model home, an agent can find you examples of existing builds to look at for comparison and see finishes in person. With the help of a REALTOR®, you can focus your time on creating your home buying checklist, layout, and list of must-haves.
2. Advocate for you
Even though a friendly representative will greet you at the sales center, don’t forget that they work for the builder. The goal of on-site agents is for you to have a great experience, but their fiduciary duty ultimately lies with the builder. Ideally your own agent should accompany you from the start (in fact, many builders require your agent register with them at the first visit). Good agents will attend your options meetings, walk-throughs, and inspections. Through experience, REALTORS® typically have an understanding of the parts of the house where you're likely to find problems during a build and will be sure the builder is aware of them if found. An experienced buyer’s agent can help you navigate any sticky situations that may arise, whether at the construction site, with financing, or getting to the closing table.
3. Help you review your contract
Even if you’ve purchased a home before, the contract for new construction is a whole different animal. Your buyer's agent will make sure you understand everything, from floor plans to earnest money requirements, escalation clauses, financing or existing home contingencies, deadlines for requesting changes, and timelines for completion. Since the process can be overwhelming, it is important to work with someone whose only job is to communicate your best interests to the builder and their agents. A good agent will also help identify if there are addenda required to protect you if something falls through. Experienced agents know the language and do their due diligence to be sure you have a great experience.
4. Assist with negotiations
Buyer's agents know the areas where you’ll find the most wiggle room when it comes to negotiations. Because builders ideally want to keep the actual sales price higher to help convince future buyers of the value of homes in the community, they’d rather throw in closing costs or other upgrade credits. As skilled negotiators who can advocate on your behalf, buyer’s agents can secure better deals, upgrades, or incentives for you throughout the process. Some builders are still using escalation clauses to cover the rising cost of building supplies. An experienced agent can help the buyer recognize and understand the financial ramifications of an escalation clause. They can also help negotiate ways to minimize your risk, like requesting an option to void the contract if the total price exceeds the original price by a certain percentage.
5. Point you toward smart upgrade choices
Builders will offer you endless options for finishes and upgrades, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Many times the on-site agent has relocated here to represent the builder and doesn't know much about the area. An experienced REALTOR® will have knowledge of the local market- what’s trending (or perhaps may be too trendy!), what improves the value of a house, and what modifications or additions to consider to allow for ease of future upgrades (think: pre-wiring for fans or including both electric and gas service for the range, etc.). A seasoned real estate agent can recommend the upgrades that will get you the most bang for your buck in resale value, suggest finishes that might be cheaper to do on your own, and help you avoid over-improving, which can also jeopardize your appraisal before closing. Their expertise ensures you focus your budget on areas that will give you the greatest return on your investment.
The guidance, knowledge, and expertise of a local real estate agent can make all the difference in turning your vision of the perfect home into a reality. With a professional you trust by your side, you’ll rest easy knowing someone is there to protect your money, your time, and your new home. Wondering if new construction is right for you? Search new construction listings and get more homebuying tips on our website.Posted by Tammy Crabtree on