New Construction, Do I need an Agent?

New Construction, Do I need an Agent?

So, you are considering buying a home that is new construction, and you ask yourself “Do I need New Constructionan agent?” The answer will vary depending on who you ask. Most new construction developments have on site sales staff and if you ask them, they most likely will tell you that you do not need an agent to buy a home in a new construction community. If you ask a real estate agent if you need an agent you will get a very different answer. So which is correct? Actually both but you should consider some facts.

In Virginia you cannot sell real estate unless you are the owner, a builder, an attorney, an executor of an estate or a licensed real estate agent. Builders fall into a group all their own as their sales staff are considered an extension of their company and are also exempt for the requirement to have a license to sell.

 So why is the license so important? As a licensed real estate agent we are required to meet educational requirements to get and maintain our license. These requirements include specific training on agency relationships, contracts, fair housing and much more. We must continually update our education through continuing education every licensing cycle. As a licensee, real estate agents are regulated by Virginia DPOR at the Real Estate Commission which provide oversight and also provide consumers a means to address complaints and search records for compliance when they are considering an agent to work with.

So, back to the question; new construction, Do I need an agent? In my opinion YES. Just as all real estateNew Construction agents are not created equal, neither are builders. Just as with any profession the quality of the person you are hiring and the service you receive can vary wildly. This is just one of the reasons it is so important to work with a licensed real estate agent.

Consider a few facts.

  • Builders hire a sales staff to work for them not you
  • Builders sales staff are exempt for the requirement for license
  • Builders sale staff are trained by the builder to sell their homes
  • Builders sales staff represent the builder
  • Builders sales contracts are written by the builders attorneys
  • Builders sales contracts are very different from the contracts used in resale
  • Builders pay the buyer’s agent fee
  • NOT having an agent will NOT save you money

I am not saying that builders are not reputable but don’t you think that it would be a good idea to have someone working for you, just for you?

So what are the advantages of having a real estate agent represent you when buying new construction? First let me say that just as with builders, not all agents are the same either. It is important that you hire an experienced agent with a good reputation. You should check the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation site for outstanding complaints. Research your agent online; see how much business they do. Look for online references and feedback from their previous clients.

 Now let’s look at what an agent can do for you when you are considering new construction.

  1. A good agent earns their living by seeing that your needs are met and will put your interests first, even ahead of their own. That’s what they get paid for. They will stay with you through the whole process.
  2. A good agent will not cost you a dime and not using one will not save you money. Builders pay the buyers agents fee. They do this as a cost of doing business and have figured this into their sales price. Most builders are happy to work with agents and actually will market to agents to encourage them to bring their clients to their communities. If you choose to not have an agent represent you, the builder will make more money.
  3. Good agents know the area. They know all of the developments, neighborhoods, schools, and future development. The builder will be trying to sell you their development and may not point out other communities you should consider
  4. Agents know builders and full time agents often have worked with the communities you are looking in. A good agent knows who is good and who is not.
  5. Agents know contracts. While a Real Estate agent is not a lawyer they are familiar with the standard contracts used in resale and new constriction and will be able to explain to you what you are signing and what the differences are. Builder contracts are very different from resale contracts. A Realtor is your representative, not the builders.
  6. The home buying process can be stressful and complicated. An experienced agent will guide you through the process and monitor deadlines to ensure you are not caught off guard.
  7. Home Inspections. Most reputable builders will allow you to have your own home inspection which is a must in my opinion. Builders make mistakes too and an independent inspection by a qualified inspector could save you a lot of trouble down the road. As REALTOR, agents also know who the good inspectors are and work with them regularly.
  8. Options for financing. Most builders will try to get you to use their in house lenders. Sometimes this can mean added incentives for you as a purchaser. A good agent knows the market and what a good deal looks like. The also can refer other lenders to you to compare rates and closing costs. Remember as a REALTOR they receive no benefit from any particular lender so their opinion is unbiased.
  9. Monitoring your transaction. Good agents will follow you through the entire process form the first visit to closing. They will be your representative in negotiating everything from price to options. They know what is being offered by other developments and know what you should be able to expect.
  10. Follow up. You have a full time job and a family to manage, a good agent will take some of the burden off of you by monitoring deadlines and ensuring you receive what was promised.

So to answer the question “New Construction, Do I need an Agent?” In my opinion having and agent represent you when you are considering buying new construction is a must. For more information on new construction in Loudoun County call us today at 703-831-7653.

About Barry

Keller Williams Reston/Herndon
11700 Plaza America Drive
Reston VA 20192
Keller Williams Leesburg
50 Catoctin Circle NE #101
Leesburg VA 20176
Licensed in Virginia

Comments

  1. Hello there, I got over to your web site via Reddit. Not an item I ordinarily read, yet I appreciate your perspectives none the less. A big heads up for developing some thing worthy of reading!

  2. In my experience, there’s no value added by taking an agent to a new construction. The new construction process is set up for “off the street buyers” The prices are established and dictated by the market. Especially here in Clarksburg where the houses practically sell themselves and there are waiting lists for lots. With that said, what specifically can an agent do for me? We took an agent to the new construction, she got her name on the list and collected her comission- that’s literally IT! And I really don’t blame her because there was nothing for her to do. So for me, someone who has bought a new construction, I would take my chances without one. You may be able to get more from the builder on your own because you are saving them thousands in comissions. If not, you can always find a willing realtor later. My advice would be: see what you can get from the builders without an agent BEFORE you sign anything. If they won’t play, go get an agent you like, make a cash incentive deal with them before you BEFORE you sign anything (1 percent or so) and move forward with the willing party. It sounds shady, but as a home buyer you have to realize that the ball is in YOUR court and NOBODY gets paid unless you buy so you’ve got to make the system work for you. In the end, you’re the one that has to pay the mortgage- not them! So take care of yourself… Once again, I’m not a real estate agent, just an EXPERIENCED student of the game

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