Did you know that some people will walk into a builder's model home and sign a contract to buy or build a new home without a real estate agent? I know that because when I am working with a homeowner that wants to sell their home and we have to discuss the potential buyer objections to their home, they always cite that the builder's agent never mentioned these issues to them during the buying process and are surprised these were not mentioned when they were building their home. Sometimes they spent too much money on upgrades and features that would be considered an "over-improvement" in the future or are not items with long term value in re-sale.
I love working with new home builders and over almost 2 decades, I have established good relationships with many local builders and their sales agents. I am always working to maintain a good working relationship but never at the expense of my buyer clients. That's because as my clients' buyer's agent, I am their fiduciary. That means I work solely on their behalf and interests. As a Realtor, I also am bound to work under a Code of Ethics that a real estate agent (who is not a Realtor) or any sales agent does not agree to abide by. This is one of the key reasons I am proud to be a Realtor.
I explain to prospective new home buyers that the builder's sales agent is an employee of the builder and obviously is there to work on behalf of the best interests of the builder. Builders and their sales agents are not involved in the future re-sale of the homes that they sell to home buyers. Thus, resale potential, home design trends, home location, and pricing are all considerations that I evaluate on behalf of my buyer clients whether they are buying a pre-owned home or a new home. A builder's sales agent does not consider any of this as their charge is to sell the builder's homes at the onset. Rightfully, they expect the buyer and their agent to take on any due diligence in the buying process and do not assume any responsibility for future re-sale.
No doubt building a new home, customizing it's features or buying a home already designed with the latest features is exciting. However, there are additional complexities you don't have with a pre-owned home. With a pre-owned home, you can walk-through it, evaluate it, assess its features, quality, and floorplan. The current owner also has to disclose any known condition issues. With a new home, you or the builder are designing the home in advance and you won't be able to see and walk-through the finished product until the construction is complete. At that point you are long obligated to purchase that home.
Here is what my clients have shared how they found me to be an invaluable resource:
1) I know the local area and market - Knowing how this community competes with similar or surrounding communities is important to ensure the community is a good fit for your preferences, lifestyle, and future needs. It also is helpful if there are any known future developments that would impact a buyer's purchase such as commercial or road development nearby.
2) I can help evaluate construction quality and share builder reputation - With almost 20 years of experience assisting home buyers purchase new homes, I am able to share my experience with new construction and builders in our area that provides information for buyers to consider in their purchasing decision. That includes customer satisfaction long after the sale as I maintain contact with my clients and always ask about their long term experience living in their new homes.
3) I assist with home customization and upgrades - I keep up with house design trends and also in upgrades that provide long term value to your home. I also provide guidance to ensure that my buyers consider a budget in their upgrades so they are not unknowingly over-improving on a home they are building.
4) I am familiar with builder contracts and the negotiation process - All builder contracts are customized by the builders' attorneys and are written to benefit the best interests of the builders and not the home buyers. Having experience in working with home builders, I can share the potential pitfalls or concerns that could arise based on builder contracts. For example, after the pandemic there were supply chain issues that caused construction delays and added costs for materials and labor. Some builder contracts began to add clauses that allowed these unforeseen costs to be passed onto the buyer. Knowing this in advance would be helpful for a budget conscious buyer. I also know as the new home inventory shifts what incentives or added benefits buyers may be able to ask for and receive based on other builder offerings.
Not all buyers know this but I do let my clients know that nearly all new home builders will pay the buyer agency fees so buyers do not have to incur buyer representation costs for my services. This creates an added financial benefit to my clients beyond the purchase of their new home.
Are you considering building or buying a new home? If so, I would love the opportunity to chat about the process and how I may assist you in the process. Don't hesitate to reach out to me today!