Building a brand new home has become more common in the past few decades than it was or previous generations. A wide variety of budget-friendly builders have cropped up in suburbs and cities alike, making new construction more attainable for more families. Most new construction neighborhoods have representatives on site that will walk you through model homes and explain the process to you. Builders also usually have their own customized contracts and paperwork. Purchasing new construction may seem pretty cut and dry when you look at the fact that there are existing price tags on each model and upgrade. This leads many home shoppers to ask, "Do I really need to hire a real estate agent if I’m buying new construction?" All bias aside, the short answer is yes. You absolutely need an agent on your side, no matter what you’re buying. Here’s why.
The builder’s agent works for the builder.
Yep. That super friendly agent who shows you around the model home and tells you all about upgrades and options works for the builder and the builder only. They’re working with their client’s best interest in mind, which boils down to making a sale for the highest and best price. Having an agent on your side means you have someone to look out for you when jargon and numbers start getting tossed around. Some buyers believe that going in without an agent might save them money. That’s not true, and in fact, it leads us to our next point.
You’ll have a professional negotiator on your side.
The majority of new construction buyers think that the price sticker on a model is the final word. Real estate agents know that everything is negotiable. Negotiating the price of a brand a new home is somewhat different from negotiating with a traditional seller, but your agent is a pro. He or she will know how to get creative, and if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll even get a few upgrades or perks thrown in at no extra cost. If you want to save money, hire an agent.
Your agent knows you have options.
Lots of builder representatives will try to get you to use their in-house lender to secure your mortgage by telling you that it will make the whole transaction easier. That might be true, but it also means you might not be getting the best mortgage for you. A good agent will have connections with numerous mortgage lenders and will know who specializes in what and who has the best options for their client’s needs. Whether you’re looking for a conventional loan, a VA loan, or have some special circumstance, you need to shop around to find the perfect lender for you.
An agent knows what to look for in the contract.
Everyone knows contracts are full of legal jargon and industry terms that can get pretty confusing. Many unrepresented buyers skate right over the unfamiliar language and trust that the seller is honest. Initial here. Sign here. Moving right along… A house is likely to be the largest purchase you’ll make in your life. Do you really want to just sign a legal document and then cross your fingers and hope it turns out well? No. Your real estate agent knows exactly what to look for in a contract. They know what language should be present and what terms raise a red flag. They know whether something’s an industry standard or out of the ordinary. They also know exactly what to ask for when it comes to seller concessions like closing costs and home warranties. Did the builder claim that they’ll throw in upgraded countertops if you pay for the cabinet upgrade? An agent will make sure any promises like that are in writing.
Whether you’re buying a fifty-year-old home or building a brand new, custom dream house, you’ll want a licensed agent in your corner. That agent knows the ins and outs of home buying and selling because they do it every single day. They’ll have your best interests in mind throughout the transaction. Make sure you’re represented before you even begin to look at model homes. Going to a builder or developer without hiring an agent first means you’re working without a safety net.