One of the questions that comes up quite often, both on my St. Johns Community Connection page and in my day-to-day dealings in real estate, is “Should I have a realtor if I’m building a new home or buying a new home that’s already constructed?” The short answer is, YES! You should always have a realtor you trust working for you and your best interests in ANY real estate transaction – including new construction.
So, this begs the question, “Why?”
Well, I’m glad you asked! There are several reasons:
- The site representative who works out of the model home and sells the new construction works for the BUILDER, not for you. In all dealings, they have the best interest of the builder at heart – this is a problem. You need someone advocating for you and protecting your best interests … someone who knows real estate and deals with the home buying process on a regular basis. A Realtor!
- Realtors are on-top of the deals being offered by all the builders and can often use this knowledge to negotiate a better deal for you, the buyer. For example, you really love a home by builder A, but builder B is offering a special on their homes that includes a washer/dryer, a screened-in porch, and $5,000 to closing costs. If your realtor knows this (and he should), 9 times out of 10 he can negotiate the same deal with builder A on the home you really love.
- Realtors know what to ask for. Did you know that many times simple things like blinds or a garage door opener aren’t included with the purchase of a new home? I certainly didn’t before I became a Realtor. I assumed that, because I’m spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a brand new home, it would surely come with blinds, a garage door opener, and things like gutters and ceiling fans, right? Wrong. BUT it can come with those things if your Realtor negotiates them for you!
- To the builder, you are one customer and one sale – once you’ve signed on the dotted line, they’ve got you locked in and often won’t exactly go above and beyond to help you. To the builder, Realtors are repeat customers who are capable of bringing them millions of dollars worth of business. This means that (usually) they like to keep realtors happy and will work harder to fix problems that arise during the transaction.
- Realtors can help recommend good financing. Say you’re getting $10,000 toward your closing costs; that’s great! But did you know that might also mean your interest rate is a whole percentage point above the industry average? The saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” isn’t always true, but it can be. Often preferred lenders who work with the builders will offer great deals, but will raise the interest rate. Over time, this could end up costing you more than if you just paid the closing costs and took a lower rate.
- Using a Realtor is free! You’re probably thinking, “Well, can’t I get a lower price on the home I want to buy if I don’t use a realtor? They’ll probably just credit the realtor’s commission back to me on the purchase price of the home.” Wrong. The realtor’s commission is already part of the purchase price of the home and, should you elect to not use a realtor, that commission will simply go back to the builder with no benefit given to you.
- Realtors know the process. We know what to expect at every point of the transaction, from signing the contract to getting the keys at closing. This means we can often anticipate problems and solve them before they become major issues. If you’ve ever bought a new home, you know the problems that can arise and anytime we can avoid these problems, it makes life much easier!
So, say it with me … “When I buy a new home, I will use a Realtor. When I buy a new home, I will use a Realtor. When I buy a new home, I will use Gary as my Rea-…” Kidding. Yes, I’d love to represent you in any real estate transaction – especially new construction – but any Realtor who you know, like, and trust to work hard on your behalf will be just fine.