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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

Email[email protected]

Fax(972) 382-5017

Address Lisa Biddle
0615464
Lisa Biddle Realty Group - KW N Country
604 W White Street B
Anna, TX 75409

New Construction October 5, 2022
29
Listed
72
Avg. DOM
$398.24
Avg. $ / Sq.Ft.
$800,000
Med. List Price
29 Properties
Page 1 of 3
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2
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
1,584
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
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Days on Site
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MLS
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5
Beds
3
Baths
2,640
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
9
Days on Site
20173541
MLS
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Neighborhood: Lawn at Glen Abbey
3
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
4,119
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
13
Days on Site
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MLS
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$669,900
Neighborhood: InTown at Las Colinas Station
3
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,105
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
19
Days on Site
20166405
MLS
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Neighborhood: Magnolia West
5
Beds
5F11/2
Baths
4,759
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
20
Days on Site
20157020
MLS
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$329,900
Neighborhood: Camden Park
4
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,119
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
27
Days on Site
20159752
MLS
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Neighborhood: Rainbow Ridge Add
4
Beds
2
Baths
1,677
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
27
Days on Site
20151123
MLS
Nearly new home. Brick with Stone Accents. Home includes high ceilings, arched doorways, and rounded corners. Spa-like master bath with spacious walk in closets. Gourmet kitchen with Granite...
$520,000
Neighborhood: West Crossing
4
Beds
3
Baths
2,105
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
34
Days on Site
20155805
MLS
MLS# 20155805 - Built by Highland Homes - Ready Now! ~ Highland MODEL Home Now For Sale! At West Crossing in Anna. 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Baths, 3 CAR GARAGE, Study, Formal Dining, Bay Window, Covered Patio...
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Neighborhood: Trails Fossil Crk
5
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,688
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
45
Days on Site
20146751
MLS
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Neighborhood: A0174 C CARSON/ ACRES 18.58
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,964
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
47
Days on Site
20143874
MLS
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Option Contract
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$800,000
Neighborhood: Country Roads
3
Beds
3
Baths
2,679
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
48
Days on Site
20144077
MLS
Crown Group Model custom home on 2 acres available now. This 2,679 SF completed model home includes many upgrades - foam insulation, trane energy efficient HVAC system, hand scraped hardwood floors,...
$649,990
Neighborhood: Berkshire
3
Beds
2F21/2
Baths
3,362
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
50
Days on Site
20142890
MLS
Built by M-I Homes. Have you ever dreamed of owning the model home? Now is your chance! This beautifully designed, open-concept Zacate boasts dozens of upgrades including 2-story ceilings in the...
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 - KW N Country are marked with the NTREIS IDX logo and information about them includes the name of the listing brokerage.

NTREIS data last updated October 5, 2022.