Do I need my own Realtor to purchase a new construction home?
Yes and No. You don’t have to have an agent, yet it is highly recommended and here’s why.
You should have your own representation. By having a Realtor represent you that means they are looking out for YOUR best interests. Not the interests of the home builder. Ultimately look at it like this, the builder is the seller and the builder’s agent is representing them as the seller’s agent. You as the buyer should have a buyer’s agent where they are looking out for your needs. The builder’s agent will always have the interests of the builder in mind, not you.
What will your own agent do for you? There are many things they will assist you with and here are some of them.
1. Recommending financing. Many times, a builder will have their own financing, yet you don’t have to use them and sometimes it may be best not to. Definitely see what they are offering and ask your agent for other recommendations. This is where it’s good to shop around and I would recommend contacting 3 financing institutions before deciding, so you have a variety of options.
2. Helping you negotiate your offer. If you want upgrades or specific items done, having your own agent can help you with that. It’s not always guaranteed you will getting it, even having your own agent, yet a Realtor has the negotiation skills to better assist you.
3. Reviewing the contract. Many times, there are things in the contract that you won’t know about or know how to detect or what may be considered “normal” terms. Your agent will know what to look for and point things out, such as who is paying Doc Stamps on the Deed or paying for Title Insurance, that you may be unaware of.
4. Assisting you with inspections. Your agent will go with you during the inspection prior to closing to make sure everything in the home was done correctly or that it will be done correctly. I’ve seen many buyers not ask for something to be done as they don’t want to “bother” the builder or they are too scared to ask. Since your agent is looking out for you, they will take care of all of that for you as well and make sure things are done right.
5. Asking the right questions. Your agent will know the questions to ask the builder’s agent to make sure you are getting everything you need throughout the process, so you know whether it is something you’re OK with or not.
Buying a home isn’t always easy so having your own representation, whether you’re building a new home or purchasing a resale, is always the best option to take. One thing I always say, you wouldn’t go to court over a $300,000 lawsuit and represent yourself, so why would you not have representation buying a $300,000 home.