One of the constant misconceptions that I have run into throughout my real estate career is the notion that if you’re buying a newly constructed home, you don’t need to have a REALTOR® representing you. Well, I’m here to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth!
It’s regarded by a lot of folks that when they walk into a model home and speak with the sales representative, that is the person who will represent their interests in a sales transaction. However, those sales reps are there for one reason, and one reason alone. They are hired by the builder to be an exclusive representative for the builder only. While most builders are reputable in terms of the quality of the product they build, they are not out there to give a buyer the best deal they can get.
Let’s look at a sales transaction from the beginning. When you first meet the sales rep or the builder, typically, it’s in the model home. These homes are usually constructed with most, if not all of the options the builder is offering. The model is also normally well-furnished and decorated. The idea is to present the buyer with such an overwhelming image, that they will sign a contract of sale before they know what hit them. Many questions need to be asked at this point, prior to signing a sales agreement. Some include, but are not limited to, the size of the development, the makeup of the price structure in the community. What is the lot size? Are the premiums to be paid on certain lots? How will the lots be cleared and graded? Will any of the public utilities appear on your lot? Is the builder offering incentives, such as closing cost assistance or upgrades?
After the pre-contract questions are asked, then it’s time to negotiate. This is a critical point in the process. A lot of buyers believe a builder will be more flexible with them on the price of a home if they are not working with a REALTOR®. In fact, most often, the opposite is true. An experienced REALTOR® is aware of the market conditions and generally has a good feel for the amount of flexibility builder actually has on his pricing based on prior sales. Recent clients of mine actually started negotiating a price with a builder and thought they were getting a good deal. Before it was too late, they engaged my professional help as their buyer’s agent. I was able to help them negotiate and saved them over $30,000.00 on their new home.
When you’re finally ready to sign the contract, you really need the expertise of an experienced REALTOR®. Builder’s contracts are very long, detailed, and can be confusing. Most importantly, they are entirely written to serve the interest of the builder. You want to have someone in your corner, to protect your interests.
These are some of the possible pitfalls that you can experience, but there are other traps that a buyer could run into. Did you also know that, even though a final inspection is performed prior to settlement, with the builder, you really should also conduct your own independent inspection? There are many times in the buying process where you’ll be very thankful that you had a good REALTOR® representing your interests. Just remember, this is likely to be the single largest purchase you will make in your entire life. Be smart and have the help of a professional to gain peace of mind and a successful transaction. For more information on this and other real estate related matters visit www.AlFriedman.SunRealtyOBX.com
Thank you to our contributing author Al Friedman. Al is a 2019 Bronze Award producing Broker Associate at Sun Realty and is a caring agent who enjoys helping our community members find the best home at the best price. Al has special marketing packages for educators, first responders and veterans who are ready to sell their Outer Banks area homes as well.