Building your own home from the ground up is exciting. You get to choose many aspects of the home right from the start that you otherwise could not do with an existing home. Remember, however, it is still a home purchase and possibly one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. Entering into the transaction without knowing all of the details can be a recipe for disaster. This is why most people recommend using a realtor for a new construction home. The realtor can help you from start to finish, ensuring you get the better end of the deal during your home purchase.
Have Someone on Your Side
You might not think there is a lot of stress involved in purchasing a new construction home. After all, you are in charge of the decisions. The fact of the matter is there is a lot to think about and decide. While there are builder representatives available to answer your questions and help you make decisions, they work for the BUILDER. This means their thinking may be more skewed than you think. They will look out for the best interests of the builder, not you. A realtor, on the other hand, works for you. He will make sure you get the best price as well as ensure that you are not taken advantage of during the process.
Let the Realtor Negotiate
Unless you are a seasoned lawyer or sales professional, negotiating may make you want to run and hide. Unfortunately, it is one of the most important parts of the home purchase process. If you cannot successfully negotiate, you might end up paying more for the home or specific upgrades than necessary. A realtor with experience in the area, knows the ins and outs of negotiating with new construction builders. He can help you get the most bang for your buck as well as help you decide which upgrades are necessary and which you can do on your own down the road (usually for less money).
Important Details Involved in New Construction
Purchasing a home is often an emotional process. As soon as you fall in love with the home, you might find yourself doing whatever it is the builder says you must do. In order to take the emotional factor out of it, you can let your realtor handle the process. Let him make sure you get everything in writing so that no detail goes overlooked. This also helps to protect you down the road when there are disputes during the inspections.
You Pay for it No Matter What
While hiring a realtor is technically free for the buyer, you still pay for it in the backend. The kicker is even if you don’t use a realtor, you still pay the same price. Many builders include a 3% commission in the price of the home. This is perfectly legal, whether you use a realtor or not. Can you guess where the money goes if you opt not to hire a realtor? If you guessed the builder, you got it right. This means you basically hand the builder another 3% for nothing. They don’t do anything extra to receive the money. A realtor, on the other hand, would earn that commission by making sure you get the best deal possible.
Use the Realtor’s Experience
It is difficult to purchase a new home. Sometimes it is even worse than purchasing an existing home. You have to make many more decisions. The layout of the home might be set, especially if you purchase in a cookie cutter subdivision, but everything else is up to you. Should you upgrade the kitchen cabinets? Is the whirlpool tub worth it? Should you have carpeting or hardwood installed throughout the first floor? These are just a few of the questions you will encounter. Why not use a realtor’s experience with each of these questions and more? He can tell you based on his experience what works and what doesn’t. He can also give you a good frame of reference in regards to prices. This will help you put everything into perspective when you decide how to proceed.
Use the Realtor’s Resources
There are many different aspects that go into the new home construction process. You don’t just pick out a home, choose your upgrades and move on. The next step is finding a lender, dealing with title companies, and muddling your way through the various inspections. If you don’t have personal friends in each of these industries, you could find yourself playing eenie-meenie-minie-mo with who is best to use. Or you could be at the mercy of the builder, which again, could be a financial win for the builder. Instead, use the realtor’s resources. Many professionals work together to create relationships so they can all help one another out. For example, a realtor may have a few mortgage brokers he deals with, each of which has their own specialty. He may also have title companies he prefers using or a specific inspector who he knows will be open and honest about everything he finds.
In reality, hiring a realtor costs you nothing. Yet you have so much to gain in return. Having someone that is on your side and ready to protect your best interests is the best thing you could do when you purchase a new construction home. Yes, you will still need an attorney to cover you on any signed documents or to oversee the closing, but the realtor will see you through the details in between signing the contract and closing on the home. Before you start shopping for a new home, secure a realtor and bring him/her with you the first time you step foot on a builder’s doorstep. This way the builder has to accept the realtor as your agent and will let him help you make the decisions and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.