6 Reasons to Use a Buyer’s Agent when Purchasing Your New Construction Home
New construction neighborhoods can be very appealing. You get to choose your floors and cabinets and they often have great design studios with lots of choices for light fixtures and counter tops; but, the one thing they don’t have is your back. When you sit down with a site agent you must always remember that they have the interests of the seller as their top priority. That’s why it is so important to have a Buyer’s Agent representing you. Think of it this way, the site agent wants to make sure that his or her client is protected against any potential harm. When you put all your trust in that agent you become the second most important client. New home builders are not actively working to harm you, but protecting you is not their first priority.
1. First and foremost, remember that this representation costs you nothing. Sellers pay the buyer’s agent’s commission, but that buyer’s agent works directly for you.
2. It’s not always a good idea to just “stop in” to check out a new home community. Make sure you have a signed agreement with a buyer’s agent before you visit. Site agents log you in and will note if you are working with an agent. If you don’t hire an agent before you go you could lose the opportunity to have your own representation.
3. South Carolina has an eight-page contract for the purchase of an existing home designed to protect consumers. Often there are addendums and disclosures so you are looking at 15+ pages of contracts. I know them in detail and use them every day, but your typical home buyer does not. In new construction the contracts are often 25+-pages of details you may or may not have ever considered. They are written by the builder’s attorneys and are designed to protect their interests. It’s important to have someone advise you who understands the implications of what you are signing.
4. New home builders don’t typically negotiate price. They have sold 22 Magnolia floor plans in that neighborhood at $375,000 and that is the price they expect. The only real negotiation is on the lot you choose and premium lots have a premium price. A good buyer’s agent can help you find the places where they do have some wiggle room such as the selections. I convinced one builder to throw in the upgraded refrigerator and exchange carpet on the stairs for wood treads for my new construction client. In addition, I have been in thousands of homes and can help with selections to know what is on trend (and more importantly what’s no longer trending and why) and help identify punch list items you might not notice.
5. Builders also frequently offer enticing incentives like money for closing costs to make sure buyers use their preferred lender. Why not, it’s easier for them in the long run. Loans are actually products with lots of options to meet many different goals. Their preferred lender may not have the product that best meets your particular needs. Once again, you are not their number one priority in that relationship either, you are the second most important client. I have a fantastic team of lenders, real estate attorneys, home inspectors and more who will have your needs as their only priority.
6. Follow up is critical. I have a system for follow up that keeps me on top of my transactions. It’s my job. You probably have a great method for doing your job well, but you may not be as attuned to the timing of real estate transactions to stay on top of everything. Buyers are busy with their own jobs and lives, and packing to move. Let a professional handle the calls, reminders, headaches, and deadlines, and let the builder pay him or her to do it!