I am constantly reminded of how many homebuyers would have benefitted from my services if they had simply taken the time to ask. Unfortunately, most of the time it is after the contract has been signed and generally once there is an issue that in many cases could have been avoided. Most of the time, the issue is the result of lack of communication between builder and homebuyer or a lack of understanding of the new construction process.
Therefore, let me be so brazen and bold to tell you all that you are greatly increasing your odds of having a bad and frustrating experience with a builder if you do not have a professional real estate agent representing you in this transaction. Let me be clear, I am not here to bash and be disrespectful to new home builders. I am simply stating that an additional set of eyes and ears can help during this nine to twelve month process and sometimes even longer.
Here are ten reasons why I believe it is so important that you hire an experienced real estate agent to join you and your family on this journey of making the most expensive purchase of your life.
1. Your agent will be representing you and you only, but the builder pays your agent’s professional fee. That fee is paid from the builder’s marketing budget, so if you do not have representation the builder keeps that money.
2. You are going to be involved with making so many decisions regarding builder, floor plans, standard features, upgrades and then financing options, it is good to have a third party to help you with those decisions when needed.
3. Your agent will have a short list of preferred mortgage lenders that they can refer to you for loan pre approval. This allows you to negotiate from a position of strength as the builder knows you can buy their home.
4. Builder contracts are all written for the benefit of the builder. Having a real estate professional with you is the best way to make sure everything is in writing and clearly understood as well.
5. A real estate professional is your best source for unbiased opinion and research of the builder or builders that you are considering working with.
6. A good agent will ask the builder to clarify for both of you what is standard in the model home and what is an upgrade, so you can be more informed when considering price and upgrades.
7. HOA restrictions are so incredibly important to understand and your agent can help you with what to be aware of and what to be concerned of. An educated consumer is so important with regard to the HOA Covenant of Restrictions.
8. Your agent is an experienced negotiator and he is there for you. Each builder is different regarding how they negotiate the purchase price you will eventually pay. Your agent is tasked with being creative and imaginative to reach a price that is agreeable to you.
9. A professional agent will not only be there with you during the different phase inspection meetings with the builder, but also encourage you to schedule a third party home inspection before you close.
10. Your agent’s experience and understanding of the builder’s warranty program will be an asset if you have concerns or problems after closing. Most builders have very comparable warranties and your agent can share his thoughts with you if they see something that seems different or unusual.
I personally enjoy working with clients that are considering new home construction. Yes, it is a journey, but I can truly be an asset to my clients during the process to make it more enjoyable and less stressful than if they are on their own.
Steve Lester, REALTOR® is with Keller Williams Realty living in Allen, Texas.