Buying a new construction home without a seasoned REALTOR® will put you at a disadvantage from the very beginning.
REALTORS® have rigorous training, first hand experience, access to the Charleston MLS and a prestigious code of ethics which ensure they work for YOU. From CMAs (Comparative market analysis) to negotiations on upgrades to help with inspections and walk throughs, hiring a REALTOR® could make purchasing a new construction home a breeze rather than a headache.
Below you’ll find my 5 top reasons why you should never purchase a new construction home (or any home for that matter) without an REALTOR®:
You will not be “saving money” on commissions
One of the most common reasons I hear for people not hiring a real estate agent when they buy a home is because they believe they will be saving themselves money. This just isn’t the case.
Builders/Sellers have already allocated commissions from the sales price of a home as compensation for both buyer’s and seller’s agents so no money should be coming out of your pocket. You will not be “saving” commission costs if you don’t hire an agent.
Instead that commission in its entirety will either go to the sales agent or the builder will be pocketing the difference. In essence, if you don’t hire an agent for yourself, you could potentially be ensuring a seller’s agent doubles their salary when they don’t have your best interests at heart.
Sure, a Builder may offer you incentives in the form of closing costs if you use their preferred lender, but rest assured these tactics do not benefit you. Offers like these are created solely for the benefit of the builder and the lenders b/c it denies buyers the chance to shop around for lower rates. Up front it may seem as if you’re saving money, but you’ll actually be paying more in the long run.
Sales People in Showrooms Are Not Your Friends
On the same side of the coin, understand that the sweet as syrup sales staff in the marble encrusted showroom are not your friends.
They have the builder’s best interests at heart, not yours. Just like in a court of law, be careful what you say to the sales staff because it can be used against you when you’re buying a home. You may say to them the house is your dream home and has everything you could ever want and more. Then, when it’s time for negotiations, the sales agent won’t budge on price. Why?
Because this staff represents the seller and it is their job to get the highest sales price possible for their client. They’re not going to lower prices when they know how desperately you love the home. Also, oftentimes builders sales agents aren’t even licensed real estate agents so they have ZERO obligation to disclose discounts or pertinent information to you.
You May Miss Out On Buyer’s Bonuses & Incentives
Builders/Sellers often mention discounts &/or buyer bonuses in the MLS to encourage agents to bring their clients to see the homes. Any notes in the MLS can only be accessed by a REALTOR® so, if you don’t have a buyer’s agent, you’ll likely miss out on these incentives.
Seller’s agents are not obligated in any way to tell you about these deals. In fact, in most states if an agent is licensed, unless seller’s agents have explicit permission from their clients allowing the mention of these discounts they are are required, by law, to NOT disclose this information because they are working for the seller’s only. It is very unlikely you will successfully negotiate lowering the price of a new construction home without an experienced REALTOR®.
Builders Are Dependent on REALTORS® to Bring Them Buyers
Most builders understand that being on good terms w/ agents is imperative for sales so they make it a point to maintain good relationships with them. In fact, most builders prefer buyer’s agents be involved because it reduces their liability in transactions and widens the possibility for future sales. This gives buyer’s agents an upper hand because they aren’t going to bring clients to builder’s who are insensitive to client’s concerns or who have a bad reputation.
Seasoned agents have experience, knowledge, and deeply rooted relationships with the best builders in the area and will not become involved with builders who are going to put their buyers in harm’s way. Buying a new construction home w/o a solid understanding of the builder you’re buying from is going to put an unrepresented buyer at a disadvantage straight from the start.
Don’t Get Stuck With A Home You Can’t Resell
Builders/Seller’s are out to make top dollar for their homes and, without an experienced REALTOR® on your side, you may end up paying too much for what you get. In other words, when it is time to sell your home, you may not be able to compete w/ the sales in your community because your house is more expensive and has fewer upgrades than others on the market in your area.
Hiring a REALTOR® could avoid this headache because they could run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which compares the sales and features of similar homes in your neighborhood. CMAs ensure the price you pay and the upgrades you include are on par with others and could potentially keep you from being upside down in equity before your home hits the market.