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Should I use a Realtor if I'm Buying from a Home Builder?

“If I’m buying a new house directly from the builder, why do I need a Realtor?” Well, according to Houston Realtor® Patrick Welsh, an unrepresented buyer can be at a real disadvantage by deciding not to use an experienced real estate professional.

“As a Realtor, many people think I’m just trying to salvage a commission by recommending that a buyer retain my services for a purchase from a builder. All too often buyers think that they don’t need a Realtor to represent them since they can find the builder all by themselves, drive right up, negotiate the deal and move in!

My job is to represent the buyer’s best interest and help them through the transaction with the least degree of hassle and frustration. And our goal is to get the buyer the most value for the least money. I’ve heard many a buyer say they don’t need an agent before a transaction, but I’ve never had a represented buyer say to me at the conclusion that they were sorry they had me at their side representing them. The least important part of our job is driving the buyers around to look at houses (although it is important); our real value comes later in negotiating and working through the process on behalf of our client.

Representation. The builder representative at the model home may look and sound like a real estate agent there to help you. However, the builder rep is a salesperson for the builder, and as such represents the builder’s best interest. I love the analogy I heard recently that when a buyer deals directly with that rep (saving the builder the buyer’s agent commission) it’s like the buyer paying for the builder to not represent them. Real estate agents and Realtors are licensed professionals bound by law and professional ethics while builder reps are not constrained by those requirements.

Negotiation. Sure the buyer can negotiate effectively. Buyer negotiations can be effective, as long as the buyer knows what incentives are typical and customary, how to compare alternative financing, who pays for what (title costs, appraisals, inspections, additional warranties, surveys, closing costs, etc.), what upgrades cost and how to apply builder concessions, and many other issues. Realtors make it look so easy by asking questions that the buyer doesn’t know to ask.

Inspections. This is a big one. As a buyer’s Realtor, I insist that my client always get a home inspection. The number and severity of new home defects often rival resale home problems. The builder rep is not likely to make any such demands of the buyer. This issue alone justifies our involvement in the transaction. Buyers will often think that the new home warranty will take care of all their problems. That is simply not the case. Here is a real world example. On new, high end property, my inspector flagged a number of items including the incorrect installation of the air conditioner systems located in the attic. The builder argued that everything was in order. After our insistence of a problem the HVAC contractor admitted the error and repaired the problem. Turns out the mounting brackets used to dampen the vibration were installed upside down, thereby focusing the vibration to the structure rather than reducing the vibration. That family might have lived in the home a lifetime with unnecessary noise and vibration were it not for the inspector.

Buyer Agent Cost. That typical 3 percent commission comes from somewhere right? Nobody charges the buyer the commission; the seller pays it. Reputable and honest builders absorb this cost as part of their expense base. There are occasional builders that skew prices to compensate, but this is considered to be both unfair and unethical. In fact today, many builders are paying bonuses and incentives to agents above the standard commission structure. As Realtors we are very often sought after components of the real estate transaction.

The Sequence. This can become a bit tricky. Builders can become resistant to buyers who show up at the builder site and let them think they are unrepresented by a Realtor. The best process is to either shop with your Realtor or at least immediately inform the buyer’s rep that you are working with an agent and that you are represented. Maybe offer the agent’s card or at least name and company as you ‘register’ with the builder. This insures that the agent is ‘in the loop’. It is strongly recommended that you do not do the paperwork or contract without your agent being present to review and advise.

My comments here are not meant to encompass all of the benefits of having a Realtor represent a buyer, nor all the buyer issues that could arise. This is just a brief overview, and there is much more to it. However, I hope this serves as a short course for buyers to give them cause to consider what is in their best interest.”

Source: realtor.com

Phone(972) 333-0301

Emaillisa@lisabiddle.com

Address Lisa Biddle
Lisa Biddle Realty Group - Compass
218 W 4th Street
Anna, TX 75409

New Construction September 26, 2020
302
Listed
166
Avg. DOM
$216.42
Avg. $ / Sq.Ft.
$431,950
Med. List Price
302 Properties
Page 1 of 26
$667,564
Subdivision: Roanoke City Center
4
Beds
4F11/2
Baths
2,832
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
2
Days on Site
14441549
MLS
Integrity Groups presents Roanoke's first Brownstone's. There will be 35 homes with several models and options to choose from. You have the option to add an elevator and a fireplace in these...
$573,900
Subdivision: Ladera At Highland Village
2
Beds
2
Baths
2,254
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
4
Days on Site
14440007
MLS
Don't miss this opportunity to purchase the gorgeous Model Home. Premier Retirement Community for active 55 & above in Highland Village. Enjoy the club house, pool, fitness center pavilion,...
$319,990
Subdivision: CrossPointe
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,571
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
5
Days on Site
14436132
MLS
Built by M-I Homes - Model Home for sale. This is your chance to live in an actual model home. Enter through the covered porch to be drawn into the wide and bright foyer and into the family room....
$574,990
Subdivision: Vineyards Ph 2, The
5
Beds
4
Baths
3,050
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
5
Days on Site
14437904
MLS
Here’s Your Opportunity to own Gehan's MODEL HOME in the desirable community of the Vineyards in McKinney! Situated on a premium lot and loaded with tons of options and high end design details....
$216,900
Subdivision: Camden Park Addition, Phase 2
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,677
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
5
Days on Site
14439558
MLS
Home includes high ceilings, arched doorways, and rounded corners. Upgraded master bath with spacious closets. Granite kitchen countertops with built-in Stove, Dishwasher, and Microwave. If...
$675,000
Subdivision: Lexington Ph Eight
5
Beds
4F11/2
Baths
4,047
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
7
Days on Site
14436365
MLS
WEST facing, Stunning 5 Bedroom 4.5 Bath home with study, game, media room in the fabulous gated community of Lexington. impressive two-story foyer & great room. A large kitchen with a center island...
$339,000
Subdivision: Mercer Crossing
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,642
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
9
Days on Site
14436887
MLS
Ask about our MEGAsale promotion of 6 months mortgage on us. Megatel Homes will credit the first 6 months of your new mortgage payment. See your community sales consultant for full details. contract...
$339,000
Subdivision: Mercer Crossing
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,642
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
9
Days on Site
14436878
MLS
Ask about our MEGAsale promotion of 6 months mortgage on us. Megatel Homes will credit the first 6 months of your new mortgage payment. See your community sales consultant for full details. contract...
$437,258
Subdivision: Creeks Of Legacy
4
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,981
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
9
Days on Site
14437299
MLS
This lovely 2 story brick-front home features a roomy gourmet kitchen that opens to the great room with a fireplace & dining space. You will also find 9ft first-floor ceilings, a downstairs master...
$399,000
Subdivision: Harvard Villas
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,909
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
10
Days on Site
14436115
MLS
Ask about our MEGAsale promotion of 6 months mortgage on us. Megatel Homes will credit the first 6 months of your new mortgage payment. See your community sales consultant for full details. contract...
Open 9/26
4136 Crowe Lane Mckinney, TX 75071
$399,000
Subdivision: Hardin Village
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,462
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
10
Days on Site
14433868
MLS
Ask about our MEGAsale promotion of 6 months mortgage on us. Megatel Homes will credit the first 6 months of your new mortgage payment. See your community sales consultant for full details. contract...
$489,900
Subdivision: Austin Waters Ph 1
3
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,642
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
10
Days on Site
14435791
MLS
Gorgeous NEVER LIVED brand new custom built contemporary corner townhome in sought after Austin Waters subdivision. Open & bright floorplan w natural light throughout. Endless upgrades includes...
Information is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS or NTREIS. The information being provided is for the consumer's personal, non-commercial use, and may not be reproduced, redistributed or used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Lisa Biddle Realty Group - Compass are marked with the NTREIS IDX logo and information about them includes the name of the listing brokerage.

NTREIS data last updated September 26, 2020.