Homebuyers are attracted to the tall flags in front of new home models like moths to a light. Some are ready to buy. Some are just starting the process. Some are trying to get decorating tips.
If you fall into one of the first two categories, it’s absolutely in your best interest to bring your real estate agent with you on your first visit to a new build. In no particular order, here are 10 reasons why:
- Independent representation. The folks in the sales office are very nice and very helpful. They also work for the builder and are representing the builder in the transaction, not you. No matter how friendly they seem, they are not working in your best interests.
- You only get one shot. If you visit a new build without an agent on your first trip, you can’t be represented independently. Well, theoretically you can but the agent won’t get paid (unless you pay them) and we don’t work pro bono as a rule.
- Emotional buffer. Model homes are staged to the hilt to trigger an emotional connection between potential buyer and home. Negotiating with a builder required some emotional detachment, however. That’s where an agent can help.
- There are incentives and there are incentives. Odds are your agent has worked with a particular builder before or knows someone who has. Because of that we may know of additional incentives the builder may be willing to concede that are not advertised or mentioned up front.
- Price protection. Especially in a market such as this, it helps to have someone keep an eye on pricing for the home you’re buying. Some builders may adjust the final price if they’ve lowered their asking price in the interim (depends on incentives that were offers, etc. but it can happen.) Most buyers don’t have the time to watch.
- Home inspections. Builders do not like home inspectors. They will do everything they can to talk you out of using a home inspector. Agents like home inspectors. They’ll help you find one that can inspect the home at different stages of the building process to check for issues.
- Home warranties. Did you know you can get an extended warranty on a new build through a home warranty company? If you’re waiting for a builder to tell you, then that answer almost certainly is no.
- Good cop, bad cop. Of course the builders’ broker won’t sign the contract if the sales person writes in too many incentives. Unless you know that they will. We know. Think of the “my sales manager says” trick from the automobile lots.
- No out-of-pocket cost. Here’s one of those situations where the lie is put to the argument that buyers pay their agents’ commission in the sales price. Whether you bring an agent or not, the base price remains the same. But the net at the end can end up lower if you have someone who knows what they’re doing compared to going it alone.
- Additional advice. From the initial lot selection to the design center, there are several decisions a buyer can make that will limit future value. Take this from someone who carpeted the master bathroom to save a few bucks (and whose agent showed up at the new build to register us and never was heard from again. Needless to say, I don’t work that way after witnessing such schlock first-hand.) Few consider resale when they’re first buying but that’s exactly the time it should be considered.
If you have specific questions about how having an agent accompany you to the new builds can benefit you, feel free to drop me a line.
[tags]new builds, real estate negotiation[/tags]