We often advise our clients that it is foolish for a home buyer to enter into a new construction contract without an experienced real estate agent and subject themselves to “dual agency”.
The advantages of using a skilled buyer’s broker are many; aside from the obvious ones. The fact that having buyer agent representation is often FREE cannot be repeated often enough. So too, should the misconception that not using a buyer’s agent will save money be constantly repeated – that simply doesn’t happen.
Remember that that site agent represents the builder/developer. There is a listing contract in place that specifies the agent’s duties and the commission paid by the builder. When an unrepresented buyer contracts a home, the commission agreed upon does not change, it simply reflects the listing broker (site agent) receiving both sides of the commission.
The site agent is legally bound to represent the best interests of the builder, not the home buyer. They are expected to work to secure the builder the best deal; not do anything illegal of course but they will not – can not – negotiate against their client. This is consistent throughout the course of the build; the builder is their client, the buyer is their customer.
Buyer agent representation is typically free when building a home, there is no reason to not exploit this benefit
Many new home agents actually welcome experienced buyer agents. A few reasons include:
- Site agents want to sell homes, not handle every aspect of the buyer for months after the contract.
- Site agents find it much easier to deal with another agent as opposed to directly with a buyer.
- Buyer agents often handle questions and potential issues long before the site agent is called.
It might not seem obvious, but there are many benefits to buyers using an agent to represent them when buying new construction:
- Site agents depend on agents in the field to sell homes – nothing is better than word of mouth advertising for a builder. And when it’s a good experience, agents talk.
- Agents talk even more when it’s a bad experience. Who is an unrepresented going to complain to? Who is an agent going to complain to? The entire office…
- An experienced buyer’s agent knows how to present requests and negotiate. Many builders are inflexible, but a good agent can work with the site agent to get things done that might not normally happen.
- An experienced buyer’s agent knows how to read and explain a new construction contract. While the site agent can, they will not offer options for things that become sticking points.
- A buyer’s agent will be there even after the home closes. It is routine for issues to arise during the first year of a new home. Site agents tend to forget a buyer’s name after the contract is signed.
- An experienced buyer’s agent will have suggestions and advice along the way, including on options, inspections, mortgages, construction issues….
- An experienced buyer’s agent will be able to analyze the data and trends in the area and offer advice.
Buying a home and certainly building a home are exciting ventures. Just as with any life changing event – and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home is life changing – success is found with the guidance of those experienced in the specific arena. When that guidance and direction is available at no cost, it’s completely ill advised not to take advantage of that opportunity.
You may have noticed the "ABR" in our signature and wondered want that stands for...
"The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®, to real estate practitioners who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria."