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March 8th, 2017 7:15 AM by David W. Welch
There are a number of reasons why you should have an agent representing you in a new home purchase transaction. First, of all no matter how nice the new home sales person is, they are not representing you. They have a legal obligation to represent the interests of the builder/developer. Doesn't it just make sense to have a real estate professional representing your interests? The builder thinks it is important to have a professional representing them in the transaction. You should really do the same.
Your agent, while not a lawyer, can help you to understand the differences in the 'standard' contract and a builder's contract. They are not the same, and your agent should have the experience to know what questions to ask, and what those differences can cost you. Yes, I said 'cost you'. There are costs a seller customarily pays here in The Sunshine State, but the builder's contract often shifts those costs to the buyer's side of the ledger. While your agent may not be able to negotiate a change in those costs, at least you will go into the transaction more fully understanding your obligations and costs. I recently had a couple that decided not to purchase new, when they realized how much those extra expenses were going to cost them. We ended up finding a re-sale in the same neighborhood that was less than six months old, with a very motivated owner by the way. They were able to purchase the same model home with many of the same features and upgrades they liked without waiting to build.
There is another benefit to having an agent representing you in a new home transaction. You may only buy one house from that builder, but your agent may have sold many homes with that same builder. Recently, I represented a new home buyer purchasing a home that was completed just in time for the builder's year end financials. We arrived at the closing agent's office, and closed without any issues. Since it was the end of the builder's fiscal year, there were 24 other closings scheduled for that day, and roughly half of them had last minute issues creating delays for the buyers. Two families I met in the waiting room said they had moving trucks and movers (charging by the hour) waiting for them to close to move into their new home. When we left, they were still waiting to find out if they would be able to close that day or not. They did not have a real estate agent representing them. I cannot say that all the buyers experiencing delays that day had no agent, but part of my job was to make sure everything was ready to go beforehand. Builders do respect the role of the buyer's agent, and they want us to keep bringing buyers to their communities. That potential for many future sales, may just give your agent a bit more clout with the builder.