White front door with small square decorative windows and flower pots

Using a real estate agent to buy a new home can save you both time and money.

When it comes to new construction homes, many buyers think they can save some money by buying directly from the builder’s sales agent instead of using a real estate agent. This route can lead to costly mistakes. If you're planning on buying a new construction home, consider the following reasons for using a licensed real estate agent before reaching out to a builder’s sales agent or signing a contract.

1. The builder’s sales agents represent the builder.

A Realtor walking into a new house

The sales agents watch out for the builder’s interests.

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

2. A real estate agent represents you for free.

A Realtor showing a mature couple around a new home

A real estate agent's fees are not paid by homebuyers.

While it’s true that real estate agents don't work for free, in this situation, their fees are not paid by homebuyers. 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 real estate agent or not.

3. A real estate agent understands the community.

Exterior view of a new home

A real estate agent will have the expertise to help you make better decisions.

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, floor plan, and any optional upgrades. If you're looking for advice, real estate agents who are experienced with particular active adult communities can be found on each of the 55places community listings.

4. A real estate agent can negotiate to get you a better deal.

A Realtor handing keys to a homebuyer

Real estate agents understand the community’s recent sales record.

While you may consider yourself to be a savvy negotiator, real estate agents 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're buying a home in another state where you may know less about the area.

5. A real estate agent will consider your investment and the home’s resale potential.

A Realtor holding a tablet with wooden model homes on top

A good real estate agent will have a more long-term interest in your investment.

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

6. A real estate agent can explore all of your options.

A mini wooden house beside a magnifying glass

Once your real estate agent knows what you want, they can help you find it.

Sales agents will only tell you all of the options that are available for new home constructions in their communities. Once your real estate agent 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 real estate agent will help you understand the contract.

A model home beside a key on top of blueprints

A real estate agent can help you fully understand everything in your agreement.

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 real estate agent can help you fully understand everything in your agreement before you sign it.

8. A real estate agent can watch over your home during construction.

The building frame of a new home

Many real estate agents are happy to watch over your new home.

When you're 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're relocating to the area and currently live far away. Fortunately, many real estate agents are happy to watch over your new home, make sure upgrades are on track, and even send you progress reports.