Why use a Realtor to purchase a new home?
Not all builders are created equal. An agent representing you knows this. Finding a builder with a quality track record is important. Workmanship, warranties, reliability differ from builder to builder.
How can I get the most bang for my buck? Closing costs or upgrades may be on the table with your own agent negotiating. Don't forget, the sales representative at new homes represent the builder's interests, not yours.
Upgrade options are overwhelming. Finishes? Cabinets? Pools? An agent can help advise you on the upgrades that will help your home retain the most value.
New construction contracts can be hundreds of pages long. Deadlines, timelines, requirements, and payments are all in the contract. An experienced agent can help protect your interests.
What makes buying new home different from a traditional sale?
Builders advertise the lowest base price for homes
"Starting at 300k!" means just that. Builders will often use fully upgraded home in ads while juxtaposing it with their lowest-priced unupgraded model. If you want the home that is pictured in the advertisement you will need to fork over potentially tens of thousands of additional dollars as upgrades do not come with the "standard model". What is also commonly NOT advertised are lot prices, the land the house is built on. Some lots have premium prices and cost even more.
Why do builders advertise like this? Simply to get you in the door to make a sale. An experienced agent can get you the true price of house in the picture without you ever having to take your entire day to go to a new home development.
New home = Nothing wrong, right?
New homes can have construction defects, improperly installed fixtures, HVAC issues, plumbing issues, electrical issues. New products (cars, electronics, medicines) have problems all the time. Homes are no different.
Code inspectors are required to ensure a minimum standard (note the word minimum) and may also miss things.
Ideally, having two inspections is the best route. The first before the walls are closed up to inspect framing, insulation, systems, and overall quality of work. The second when construction is fully finished.
If issues are found, they can be corrected immediately by the builder. You can negotiate a remedy with the builder before you hand them the entire amount for the home. You are making a massive investment in purchasing a new home, you should be getting what you paid for.
Don't forget, nobody has lived in the home yet so the first person to find out if something is wrong will be you.
Some home builders will balk at wanting a home inspection done... which is all the more reason to have one done as it is in YOUR interest, not theirs.
Can I view new model homes?
Technically yes, but be aware.
You must decide if you want your own representation BEFORE stepping foot onto a new home lot. Viewing a new construction without a Realtor may legally bind you to giving up representation.
As soon as you walk through the door you will be greeted by a sales representative that will ask you to sign in. If you decided later down the line that you want to purchase a home in that community, the builder may not allow you to bring an agent to the table as they will have you listed as "unrepresented" when you viewed the property. If you want to have representation and still view model homes, call your agent and set an appointment time with them. They will still sign you in, but now you will bel listed as "represented" in the company's database.
Remember, many major builders are often publicly traded companies that are beholden to shareholders, not you.
Will I save money if I choose to NOT use Realtor to purchase a new construction home?
As the buyer, you are not responsible for paying any agent commissions in the transaction. Commissions are paid by the seller, or in this case, the builder. Builders will not lower the price of the home if you decide to not use a Realtor.
I'm a good negotiatior and I know exactly what I want. Why should I use a Realtor?
A good Realtor knows the right questions to ask, when to ask them, and when to push. They represent your best interest and have experience in negotiating on a daily basis.
Real Estate is it's own specialized business, with its own terms and legalese. Not using an expert can often lead to frustration, regret, stress, financial mistakes, and even legal battles. Using a Realtor allows you to have peace of mind as their job is not only to negotiate but to make the experience of purchasing a home as easy and stress-free as possible.
Do I need to work with the builder's preferred lender or do I use my own?
That depends. You don't have to work with a preferred lender for a builder but sometimes there are advantages. Builders will offer discounts on closing costs that could save you quite a bit of money. However, shopping around and knowing what your monthly payment would be from an alternative lender is always the smartest thing to do. Make sure that if you do use a lender, that they have experience in getting loans approved for new homes. There is inherently more risk in new builds for lenders as the process is much longer so some lenders may not offer the option to lend for new builds.
The yard will be completely done when I move in, right?
Many builders will not do the yard or will only offer basic landscaping in the purchase price. Some builders will charge an additional fee for yards.
Many times it is common for buyers of new builds to complete the yard themselves so it is always a good idea to factor this into your purchase. Keep in mind that there is usually a deadline you must meet to complete your yard outlined in your contract. The HOA of the community may also take issue with your yard not being completed, even backyards.