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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

Fax(972) 382-8860

Address Lisa Biddle
Lisa Biddle Realty Group - KW768
218 W 4th Street
Anna, TX 75409

New Construction July 15, 2020
580
Listed
164
Avg. DOM
$207.76
Avg. $ / Sq.Ft.
$410,000
Med. List Price
580 Properties
Page 1 of 49
$419,700
Subdivision: Celina Village
5
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
3,180
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
2
Days on Site
14386422
MLS
OUTSTANDING New 4 Bedroom 4 Bath home just minutes from downtown Celina located on a quite cul-de-sac. This property will not last long. Open floor plan with wonderful view of friendly neighborhood....
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4936 Lexington Court Dallas, TX 75206
$499,000
Subdivision: Lofts on Bennett Avenue
3
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,276
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
3
Days on Site
14386727
MLS
Welcome to the Lofts on Bennett Avenue, a collection of seven thoughtfully designed new construction fee-simple townhomes with Elevator capability. With a modern style throughout 3 bedrooms and 3.5...
$249,900
Subdivision: Northridge Estates
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,650
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
5
Days on Site
14385668
MLS
Beautiful newly built home next to DOWNTOWN MESQUITE. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, open floor plan. This house has it all; Elegant kitchen with custom cabinets, great Island, quartz counter tops, lots of...
$470,000
Subdivision: Willowcreek at Auburn Hills
5
Beds
4
Baths
2,949
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
5
Days on Site
14385816
MLS
MLS# 14385816 - Built by Taylor Morrison - Ready Now! ~ This beautiful home features an open-concept design throughout the kitchen, nook area and living room, creating the perfect space for...
$373,500
Subdivision: Swalwell Add
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,720
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
6
Days on Site
14363567
MLS
Recently completed craftsman style condo in a small community, designed and built with extreme attention to detail. This 2-story condo features an open floor plan with large bedrooms, walk-in...
$373,500
Subdivision: Swalwell Add
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,720
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
6
Days on Site
14364230
MLS
Completed craftsman style condo in a small community, designed and built with extreme attention to detail. This 2-story condo features an open floor plan with large bedrooms, walk-in closets, office,...
$373,500
Subdivision: Appeal & Harper
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,720
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
6
Days on Site
14381162
MLS
Just finished! Craftsman style condo in a small community, designed and built with attention to detail. This 2-story condo features an open floor plan with large bedrooms, walk-in closets, office,...
$373,500
Subdivision: Swalwell Add
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,720
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
6
Days on Site
14381165
MLS
Just completed craftsman style condo in a small community, designed and built with attention to detail. This 2-story condo features an open floor plan with large bedrooms, walk-in closets, office,...
$373,500
Subdivision: Appeal & Harper
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,720
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
6
Days on Site
14381159
MLS
New craftsman style condo in a small community, designed and built with attention to detail. This 2-story condo features an open floor plan with large bedrooms, walk-in closets, office, nice balcony...
$649,000
Subdivision: Trophy Club Oak Hill
4
Beds
4F11/2
Baths
3,228
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
6
Days on Site
14383457
MLS
RARE FIND! Masterfully built NEW construction custom home offers a PRIME location minutes from DFW Airport, Grapevine Lake & a golf cart ride to the highly desired Trophy Club Country Club! The club...
$240,900
Subdivision: North Pointe Crossing Phase 4
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,608
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
6
Days on Site
14385180
MLS
The charming Maple plan by LGI Homes is located in the family-friendly community of North Pointe Crossing. This spacious one-story home has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a 2-car garage. This home's...
$268,900
Subdivision: North Pointe Crossing
4
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,210
Sq.Ft.
2019
Year Built
6
Days on Site
14385196
MLS
The Cypress is a gorgeous, two-story home featuring an open floor plan, 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The Cypress showcases a master suite on the main floor complete with an in-suite bathroom with double...
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NTREIS data last updated July 15, 2020.