Do I really need to Hire a Realtor for my New Build Home Purchase?
The U.S. Census Bureau reported over 1 Million homes were started and closed in the month of May, with steady increase since 2014.
With home production on the rise and newly constructed homes flooding the market, new neighborhoods are popping up all over the US.
This increase shows a lot more home buyers are purchasing new construction home builds.
Although many home buyers understand the importance of hiring a realtor some buyers may contemplate if that is the best option.
In short, yes you should hire a realtor when purchasing a new build, however, take a look at some of the blind spots you may encounter when purchasing a new construction home.
So lets start from the beginning…
1) FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBLITY
You are driving around a neighborhood and notice new and shiny homes being built. You walk in and meet a sales representative. This person is very knowledgeable on the area, floor plans, and development of the neighborhood.
Don’t be fooled, although the sales representative is knowledgable, they have a fiduciary responsibility to the builder that employs them, NOT YOU. Sales reps working for home builders are hired to sell homes and move their product off the shelves. Their success is determined by how many homes they can sell. Working in a traditional sales role, they often have quotas and sales goals that have to be met. Builders also do not require sales reps to have a real estate license.
2) DISCOUNTS AND INCENTIVES
After finding a home and floor plan that suits you, the sales rep will likely talk about incentives the builder is offering. These incentives are offered at various times throughout the development of the home. This is a tactic to pull you in and seal the deal. Hardwood floors, upgraded counter tops and an outdoor kitchen might all sound great, and you may be ready to sign a contract immediately.
Wrong! Although these incentives sound great, it is just a tactic by the builder and sales representative to get the property under contract.
Upgrades offered by home builders entice buyers to make knee jerk decisions and get them emotionally involved.
3) SAVE MONEY
So now that you have decided on a home, floor plan, bells and whistles the builder is offering, you might think you are saving money by not hiring a realtor. The sales rep also suggested using the builders preferred lender and title company.
This is a big no no. The 3% used to pay a realtor is LEGALLY a part of the purchase price of the home whether a realtor was used or not. It is a big misconception to think the percentage used to pay the realtor can be discounted from the purchase price of the home.
Legally no discount of the purchase price can be done without using a realtor.
Builders do not like to reduce home prices and would much rather offer incentives like paying closing cost instead. If a realtor is not used, the 3% will go back to the builder in the end.
Also, don’t ever automatically use the lender and title company suggested by the builder. It is important to shop around for better rates and lower fees. If this is not your first home purchase, you might also consider using the lender and title company from past home purchases. Using the lender and title company suggested by the builder is a way for the builder to mediate risk.
Once you hire a realtor, remember they are working on your behalf. A realtor can help you navigate the world of new construction. Including sitting down with the sales representative as you are going through floor plans, listening to incentives offered, and explaining the process of purchasing a new construction home with a builder.
Once you have signed a contract with a builder, this is just the beginning of the process. A realtor can manage taking you from contract to close. Including financing, working with the title company, inspections, and construction mile stones.
These are some of my tips and recommendations. Please contact a licensed realtor before you purchase your next new construction home.