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    Should you use a real estate agent when purchasing a new build?

    Purchasing a home is the often the largest financial transaction of a person’s lifetime.   So why do some Buyers purchase a new build without the help of a Realtor?   Unfortunately, the public doesn’t always realize the ramifications by going at it alone.  They end up signing a builder contract with no representation, completely guided through the process by the builder and its staff.    

    So why should a Buyer use a Realtor to represent them in the purchase of a new build?  

    • It costs the Buyer nothing!  The builder has already built the cost of the buyer side commission into the price of the house.  If the buyer doesn’t have an agent, the builder is NOT going to discount the price.  The builder will just make more money on that transaction.   It seems like Buyers assume that they will save money if they go at it alone — but that is a false assumption.
    • Have another set of eyes when writing the contract.  Builder contracts are written by the builder’s attorneys and are written heavily in the favor of the builder.  They are also not the state approved contracts that we use in most deals, ones that heavily protect Buyers.  
    • Have an advocate for the Buyer.   The builders and their agents are generally great people, but they have the builder’s best interests in mind and do NOT have any fiduciary responsibility to the Buyer.   This is the biggest purchase that most people will ever make in their lifetime — why would they not have a professional helping protect their interests?
    • Experienced Buyer Agent will ask the right questions.   At the Thayer Group, we use a proprietary “New Home Builder Checklist & Questions” guide when negotiating with a builder.   That way the Buyer knows the answers to many of the items that the builder probably won’t be bringing up voluntarily.  Important items pertaining to soils conditions, home warranty, landscaping requirements, construction time, etc.  The list is a long but very important one!
    • Connections for Buyer with vendors.  Buyer Agents will have a pipeline of great partners that are available to help the Buyer – mortgage lenders, inspectors, appraisers, contractors, etc.   Again, why not have professionals with the Buyer’s best interest in mind assisting them every step of the way?
    • Help to differentiate between upgrades and standard features in a model home.   Experienced agents will be able to quickly point out what is standard and what are upgrades as you tour the model homes.  The models are always absolutely stunning.  But the cost of the fully upgraded model will most likely be hundreds of thousands of dollars higher than what the Buyer is initially seeing on the price sheets.  They need to know what the base price really pays for, and that will help determine how the house fits in the budget and also helps compare apples to apples as they look at other houses as well. 
    • Agent will be there to help guide the Buyer through the whole process.  From making the initial decision, to contract negotiations, to design center, to walkthroughs, to closing.  Their agent is there to support them and protect them!

    New builds are a great option for Home Buyers.   And a great Realtor is there to assist in the entire process.  We just need the Buyer to realize that they need our help. 

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