Do I Need a Realtor When Purchasing New Construction?

As the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex continues to grow, new home communities help to fill the increasing demand for housing options. If buying new is right for you here are some things to consider…

While building a home can be a dream come true for many, the reality of the home building process can be a surprisingly daunting task. This is by no means the fault of the consumer, as the majority of people neither understand the complexity of the process nor the way builders do business. This is why we highly recommend hiring a Realtor who has experience with the new construction industry.

Builders and their sales representatives represent the interests of the home builder – not the Buyer. Few people realize that sales representatives are generally not licensed agents and are not governed by the Realtor® Code of Ethics. Builder sales representative do not fall under the same rules of conduct or standards of practice that Realtors® or licensed real estate agents do. The Builder’s sales process is heavily stacked in the Builder’s favor. Having the representation of a Buyer’s Agent costs a Buyer nothing -- not a dime.

That being said, not all Buyer’s Agents are created equally. The job of a Buyer’s Agent in new home construction is to guide the Buyer through every step of the process from contract to close, and negotiate on their behalf to secure the best deal possible. This requires specialized knowledge that comes from both selective training and on-the-job experience. When interviewing agents to find the right fit, a qualified Realtor® should be able to provide both credentials and client referrals to substantiate their background.

WHAT BUYER’S DON’T KNOW

It is a common misconception to believe that by not using a Buyer’s Agent, a Builder will cut a Buyer a better deal on the sales price of the home. This is not the case. The commission paid to the Buyer’s Agent comes from a separate marketing budget most Builders already have established in their annual business plans. A

reputable Builder will welcome and encourage Buyers to have their own representation and will not discourage them by attempting to leverage Buyer's Agent commissions.

Another common misconception is to believe a Builder’s contract is non-negotiable. While it is true in our current DFW market prices are typically firm, a competent Realtor® with experience in new home construction will be able assist in negotiating additional terms and incentives. Our belief is, “If you don’t ask you don’t get!” Most Buyers are unaware there are extras and savings to be had. For instance, many Builders will negotiate closing costs, design credits, and upgrades if you know what to ask for.

A third, and potentially very costly misconception is believing new home construction is flawless. As with any home purchase, Buyers need to know what they are getting into before they buy! The right Realtor® will encourage their Client to hire a third party inspector to complete an independent inspection of the home prior to closing. Builders are human too, and sometimes items are overlooked or not completed properly. Inspectors and Buyer’s Agents work together to have these items addressed and resolved before closing.

Building a home is an exciting journey though not without its obstacles and issues. This is why we highly encourage everyone building a home to partner with a Realtor they can trust -- one who will help guide Buyers through the building process and successfully bring them to the closing on their new home.

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