There’s a fair amount of people that believe they do not need a Realtor® when buying a new home. The thinking behind this notion being the buyer can negotiate better terms with the builder if a commission isn’t being paid to a buyer’s agent. This may be true with a small, local builder. In Central Florida, we don’t have many of those. In short, having a Realtor® represent you in a new home purchase is a smart move. It costs you nothing, provides you representation throughout the process, does not affect buying power, and has the potential to save you thousands of dollars.
Names like Lennar, KB Homes, Taylor Morrison, Ashton Woods, Toll Brothers, Maronda Homes, Standard Pacific, Shea, etc. abound. These are all national builders. These national builders have 2 things in common: their sale staff works for them and commissions for buyer’s agents are not “built into the price” of a new home. Commissions for buyers’ agents are budgeted elsewhere.
If a buyer does not have agent representation when purchasing a new home, the builder is saving a few bucks and has their staff working for them. Yes, sales staff for builders are nice and make you feel warm and fuzzy. They can be an absolute pleasure to work with, but what happens if something goes wrong? Who will the builder’s sales staff be fighting for then?
This is one reason why having Realtor® representation when buying a new home is important. Your agent is your ally. If something goes wrong during the construction process, your agent can work with the builder and their employees to make it right. Your agent can make the calls, put on the pressure and work as your liaison to make it right. Your Realtor® may have several transactions with this builder in the course of neighborhood construction. Your Realtor® also talks to other Realtors® and buyers and builders…..the builder wants to ensure they have a good reputation not only with you, buying one house from them, but also the Realtor®, who has the potential of bringing several buyers to the builder’s community or communities.
Another reason to secure a Realtor® when buying a new home are incentives. Builder incentives exist. Sometimes they are promoted, other times they aren’t. Often times, builders will list their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”). Incentives may be listed on MLS, but not on public facing sites. Sales closed out through MLS must include the dollar amount of any sales incentives provided to buyers. Your Realtor® will have that information. S/he will know what the builder has been providing as monetary incentives based on information provided in MLS.
I often see builder sales closed out where the Selling Agent was listed as “NON MFR REALTOR” (typically an unrepresented buyer) and the Seller Credit was listed at $0 or $5000 when other sales in the same community had significantly higher credits provided to the buyer.
If you are looking at new construction, get a Realtor® involved in the process early. Your Realtor will gladly join you on community visits and model home tours. If you decide to go out on your own one day, be sure to list your Realtor’s® information along with yours on any registration card you fill out. Carry his/her business card with you. Make sure it is included with the registration form. If you go to a site on your own and your registration does not include your agent, you may be out of luck….many builders will not allow a Realtor® to represent you if you have registered and neglected to include your representative in the transaction.
Having a Realtor® represent you when buying a new home can save a lot of stress, get you a better deal and help ensure you are being served properly throughout the home building process.