DR Horton...Pulte....Plantation...Lennar...KB...Fieldstone...the list goes on and on. Each of these builders have something different to offer buyers: size and price value, neighborhood amenities, luxury features, floor plan variety, purchasing incentives, and optional upgrades. Each builder is different, but all new home purchases have ONE thing in common: Buyers NEED a Realtor to represent them.
MYTH: A buyer can save money on the purchase of their home by NOT using a Realtor.
TRUTH: The builder will NOT negotiate a lower sales price, or offer additional incentives, if you choose to not have a Realtor represent you when purchasing a new home. Realtors' commissions are not paid from your transaction, they are paid from an account separate from the sale of your home. You have everything to lose and nothing to gain by choosing NOT to have a Realtor represent you.
1. A local Realtor knows the area, market, and community. They can advise you on these items based on your needs, goals, and future plans for the property.
As a home buyer, you have probably done your research on things such as school districts, area, features wanted in a home and community, your targeted price range, and desired monthly payment.
What about the other things your need to consider? Community size, current market conditions, resale trends, and area growth are a few of the things that most buyers do not think about.
As a Realtor, my job is to provide you with as much information as possible, bring concerns to your attention, inform you on market trends, and help you make a purchasing decision based on your short-term and long-term plans.
2. You need a Realtor to review and explain your purchase contract.
Sales people at a builders office work for the builder, they are not there to represent you, the buyer. This is not saying that they are "evil" people who will try to take advantage of you, or not address your needs. You are their customer, not their client. My experience with builder sales representatives have been very positive, but sometimes you need a second, un-bias, opinion of your purchase options. Is this home REALLY a good, solid, investment for you and your family? Based on the market, are you paying a fair price for the house?
A Realtor will treat you as a client, not a customer, and can help you work through the pro's and con's of a house, neighborhood, and subdivision. They can also help you compare incentives between similar builders.
3. A Realtor can help guide you in the purchase process.
In some ways, purchasing a new home is similar to purchasing a pre-owned home. There is a purchase contract with deadlines and time frames, you will most likely have a lender, there will be a title company, insurance agent, walk-through, and meetings.
Realtors know the right questions to ask, how to navigate the purchase process, and the avenues to take if something were to go wrong with your purchase. Realtors can troubleshoot, provide recommendations, and anticipate/diffuse potential problems.
4. A Realtor looks out for your best interests.
Sales people at a builders office work for the builder, and most do not hold a real estate license issued by the Texas Real Estate Commission. They are familiar with their community, their features, the prices and features of their competition, transaction processes, and their sales contracts. However, they do not always have general real estate industry knowledge (IE. general financing and insurance options) that is essential to protecting the best interest of a buyer.
For example: I had a buyer purchasing a home in a new subdivision that allowed USDA financing. The buyer, and the subdivision, were both pre-qualified for a USDA loan. The sales contract language centered around the assumed financing of a VA or HUD loan. This was a problem because a USDA loan does not fall under the categories of HUD or VA loans. Her contract did not provide any protection for a USDA loan in the event that she, or the property, did not meet underwriting guidelines and appraisal conditions. In short, this means that with the way the contract was written, she would lose her $500 earnest money (deposit) if the home did not appraise, or if she/the house did not meet final approval for the loan.
I called this issue to the attention of the sales representative, who did not know that protection for USDA loans were not covered in the contract, and suggested that proper USDA wording be added to the sales contract in order to protect the buyer's $500 deposit.
Problem solved and buyer protected! This would not have happened if I had not been there to review the sales contract before she signed.
Before you visit the office of a new home builder, seek the counsel of a Realtor...or better yet...call ME! I would love to visit with you about your home purchasing options. :)
Keller Williams Realty