8 Reasons to Use a REALTOR When Buying a New Home

by Susan Quilty on June 13, 2011

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A real estate agent who is familiar with buying and selling in a given community will have the expertise to help you make better decisions when choosing your lot, your floor plan and any optional upgrades.

When it comes to new construction homes, many buyers think that they can save some money by not using a real estate agent and, instead, buying directly from the builder’s sales agent. This is a myth, and one that can lead to costly mistakes.

If you are planning on buying a new construction home, do not talk to a builder’s sales agent—or sign anything!—until you have considered the following reasons for being represented by a Realtor:

1. The builder’s sales agents represent the builder, not you.

The sales agents who work for home builders can be very pleasant, friendly people. They are happy to show you the community’s selling points and each home’s fabulous upgrade options. However, at the end of the day, a sales agent’s job is to make sales and watch out for the builder’s interests.

2. A Realtor represents you—for free.

While it’s true that Realtors do not work for free, this is a situation where you will not be paying their fees. Production builders understand that they will be paying for the homebuyers’ real estate agent fees. They anticipate this cost and factor it into the price of the new home, whether you use a Realtor or not.

3. A Realtor understands the community.

A real estate agent who is familiar with buying and selling in a given community will have the expertise to help you make better decisions when choosing your lot, your floor plan and any optional upgrades. If you are looking for advice, real estate agents who are experienced with particular active adult communities can be found on each of the 55Places.com community listings.

4. A Realtor can negotiate to get you a better deal.

While you may consider yourself to be a savvy negotiator, Realtors have specific experience within a community which gives them an edge. They know what promotions may be coming up, and understand the community’s recent sales record. This is especially helpful when you are buying a home in another state, where you know less about the area.

5. A Realtor will consider your investment and the home’s resale potential.

Builder’s sales agents are primarily focused on the sale at hand. A good Realtor will have a more long-term interest in your investment. They will want to help you buy a home that will have a strong resale value down the line, especially because he might be the one you call to help sell that home someday.

6. A Realtor can explain all of your options.

Sales agents can tell you all of the options that are available for new home constructions in their communities. Once your Realtor knows what you want, they can help you find it—even if that means expanding the search to a resale home, or to neighboring communities.

7. A Realtor will help you understand the contract.

Even if you’ve bought and sold real estate before, the sales contract is likely to have some confusing wording. Misunderstanding the legalese can lead to some expensive mistakes, particularly if there are problems during construction. A Realtor can help you fully understand everything in your agreement before you sign it.

8. A Realtor can watch over your home during construction.

When you are buying a new construction home, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the progress while it is being built. This is easier said than done if you are relocating to the area and currently live far away. Fortunately, many Realtors are happy to watch over your new home, make sure upgrades are on track, and even send you progress reports.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marianna Steel June 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I found this out the hard way in the summer of ‘06 when I decided to build a home. I went through the builder’s sales reps cause I thought he was a good guy — and of course, I got taken in by the “charm” of his two agents. All they cared about was how they were dressed and their commission. I went through total hell that summer with these people. I do not wish to revisit the gory details, so will end this note with that, but this information needs to be in the hands of ALL buyers who are even thinking about building a new home. Oh, and, I would also get an attorney to watch over the entire procedure, as I trust no one now.

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Kathy Sperl-Bell June 18, 2011 at 6:09 am

In most states, the community sales people are not licensed Realtors; they are employees of the Builder. They don’t have the same legal requirements of disclosure nor are they subject to the same Code of Ethics as Realtors. And, even though the Settlement Attorney represents the Buyer by law, most builders insist that you use their designated Attorney and maybe their own Mortgage Company. Your Realtor is truly on your side and wants you to make a good decision that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

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Nathan Taylor February 11, 2014 at 2:20 am

Having an experienced realtor by your side when you are investing in a new house is very important these days. It has become really hard to own a house all by yourself.

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Charles Goldstein February 17, 2014 at 6:10 am

You don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does.

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