Ten Benefits of Having a Buyer’s Agent
Many unwary home buyers stumble upon a new neighborhood under construction, walk into the on-site sales office, and contractually commit to buying a home through the seller’s or builder’s real estate agent without being represented by their own agent. This is a bad idea for most home buyers. On the surface, it might not seem necessary to involve your own real estate professional in a transaction where the desired property has been identified and viewed, and where you can easily deal directly with a builder or the builder’s agent, but believe it or not, using your own real estate agent is the smart thing to do, not only because doing so provides you with an experienced professional who is looking out to advance and protect your interest (and not that of the seller or builder), but also because it doesn’t cost you a penny since the seller typically pays the real estate commission. Any home buyer who is thinking about new construction should consider the following advantages to using a Buyer’s Agent.
Here are ten advantages to using your own real estate agent when buying new construction.
1. Just as a real estate professional calls on experience and knowledge of an area to help buyers locate pre-owned homes in a community, he or she can also direct buyers interested in newly-built homes to developments and communities that match client specifications.
2. A Buyer’s Agent can recognize and suggest builders with a reputation for delivering a high-quality product, responding quickly to issues, and being financially sound. Not all builders are created equally, and neither are the houses they build.
3. A Buyer’s Agent may be familiar with how a builder prices his or her products and where there may be room to negotiate price or upgrades. Typically builders are not very flexible on price but many have been known to add anything from “free” granite counter tops all they way to “free” bonus rooms to close the deal and some will offer substantial closing cost assistance if you can close by a certain date.
4. Without representation, you are one buyer purchasing only one home, whereas a buyer’s agent can bring more weight to the negotiating table since a buyer’s agent may significantly impact a builder’s bottom line by providing a steady supply of customers. [Note: The builder may require your Buyer’s Agent to accompany you on your first visit to the site. Check with the builder or better yet, play it safe and have your agent accompany you on the first visit.]
5. The lender approval process may go smoother if a Buyer’s Agent is involved scheduling visits, accompanying you to lender meetings, and helping expedite required documents.
6. What might seem like a simple transaction can grow legally complex and risky – you need adequate projections to ensure you don’t forfeit your deposit otherwise have to buy a house that it not what you were promised. A Buyer’s Agent is familiar with those complexities and the risks inherent in the home buying process. When such questions arise, Buyer’s Agents can steer buyers to the right advisors and services.
7. When relocating to a new area, Buyer’s Agents can be particularly valuable resources. In addition to providing local area information regarding schools, day care or elder care services, public transportation, proposed development, and so on, once construction is under way, they can periodically stop by the work site, supply you with progress reports, and photograph or videotape phases of the construction.
8. A Buyer’s Agent can assist you as you face hundreds of design choices and consider which upgrades could potentially add value to the home when it comes time to sell.
9. A Buyer’s Agent can accompany you at the site while you okay the plumbing and electrical locations prior to dry walling, as well as on the walk-through or builder orientation. Recognizing a missing or oddly placed plumbing or electrical outlet is a skill that comes with experience and can save you lots of headaches and money later.
10. Lastly, and as stated above, most often the builder pays the Buyer’s Agent’s commission, thereby allowing you to enjoy the individual attention, support, and protection afforded by your own agent at no cost to you. You enjoy individual attention and support at no cost to you.