That nice, shiny new construction house you found might look pristine and convince you that you don’t need a real estate agent to buy it. And isn’t buying a new construction home easy? There’s the model, and there’s the homes being built right next door.
When you first step into a new model home, you see how beautiful the home is decorated. The features of the model home are top of the line, and it looks and feels great. It’s like buying a new car. It’s designed to entice you to buy. But hold on a second, let’s step back a bit and start from the beginning.
What are the reasons you need a real estate agent for a new construction house?
Sure, as a home buyer, you could go it alone and buy a new home by yourself. But it makes much more sense to hire an agent to represent you in your home purchase for a number of reasons.
Know the best time to buy
Your experienced real estate agent will have the best understanding of your local market. This is no matter whether you’re buying an existing home or looking at a newly constructed home. Therefore, they know the area’s real estate market and can help you get the best deal possible on the sale price.
Your agent will know how much homes cost and the going rate for different construction projects in your area. They’ll be able to tell you if you’re getting railroaded on the sale price. Or they’ll be able to tell you if a builder overcharges you on quartz counters and security fencing.
Another thing your new construction agent can help you determine is the best time to buy. Some of the nation’s larger builders are publicly traded companies. They answer to shareholders and need to meet sales goals. Your agent could help you realize that the best time to buy a new construction house could be toward the end of the quarter. With the quarter ending, a builder might be more aggressive with sales. And they might be more open to negotiating in order to meet home sales goals.
Help you find the right builder
If you choose your real estate agent wisely, your agent can put this knowledge to work for you in finding a home builder you can trust. They know about quality of workmanship, warranties, track records for resolving issues and more. Start putting together your home buying wish list to get yourself organized. Then you can hit the ground running when it’s time to discuss how your new home will look, what its layout will be like, and what features you will want.
They also know how to spot a deal. Just because builders won’t often lower the base price of a home doesn’t mean there isn’t space to negotiate for free upgrades or financial incentives. An experienced agent knows the complicated negotiations around new builds and when the timing is right to ask for deals.
Stand up for your interests
When you don’t work with an agent to buy a new construction house, the agent representing the builder won’t be working in your best interest. This means you are not their top priority, as they are working for the builder. Having representation from a new construction agent means that an experienced professional has your back through the real estate transaction.
A buyer’s agent will help you think through things like your budget and the cost of each upgrade. Or, if the builder asks for a delay in construction, a buyer’s agent will push back and try to keep the builder on schedule. Their first priority is your happiness.
You may be a great negotiator. Even good negotiators are more effective when they negotiate for other people than they are when they negotiate for themselves because they don’t have an emotional connection to what they’re buying. An agent will look at the transaction from a dollars and sense perspective without being swayed by emotions.
Negotiate on your behalf
A new home can be expensive, especially if you’re opting for new construction. In many cases, builders advertise the base price of their homes. This is often for the most basic model of the home. It’s likely not the home you see when you tour the model. Models usually include many upgrades.
However, one of the benefits of buying new construction is customization. You can make a new construction home your own. One of the benefits of working with a new construction agent is that they can negotiate the customizations with the builder on your behalf. This can help ensure you get a fair price for your upgrades and alterations to the floor plan.
An experienced new construction agent can negotiate on your behalf throughout the construction process. And they can get you the best price possible, particularly in the event of:
- An unreasonable payment schedule – In most states, a contractor or builder can’t ask for more than 33% of the total cost of the home upfront, and without a seasoned agent by your side, you could be agreeing to a payment schedule that conflicts with the structure of your construction loan.
- Changes to the scope of work – Nearly every construction contract will have a “change of work” clause included. This clause explains the process in which a builder can change construction at any point in the project, and how they must inform the buyer. A new-construction buyer’s agent will have experience with changes in scope, and can help suggest a process that’s easiest for you.
- Waiving your right to legal recourse in the event of a dispute – You’ll have little to no legal recourse on any of the above issues if you sign away your right to legal recourse. A buyer’s agent could also help you hammer out a builder’s warranty into your closing costs that would cover defective material and labor as well as keep both sides from costly legal fees if problems arise.
Navigate inspections and contingencies
You know you need an inspection when you buy an existing home. But getting your home inspected is an important part of buying a new construction house too.
An experienced new construction agent can recommend the right inspections for a new home. For example, if the new construction home has a septic system, it might be smart to make the purchase contract contingent on an inspection of the septic system. This might prevent plumbing issues down the road.
There are many other scenarios in which a new construction agent can help with the new home buying process. They know which inspections are necessary on a new construction home and can make sure all are performed before closing.
Zack Sulsky is Trelora’s Chief Product Officer. Zack joined Trelora in 2017 and has helped lead the company from its roots as a local real estate disruptor to a growing national brand. In his role as CPO, Zack is responsible for customer experience, product, and technology. Prior to joining Trelora, Zack was cofounder and COO at Edify, a Techstars- and NSF-backed startup in educational technology.