In Northern Virginia it would be difficult not to see a Builder’s sign during your weekend travels. Toll Bros, NV, Ryan Homes, CalAtlantic, Van Metre, Lennar, and more are building in Loudoun County all the time. So you drive by and you figure, “I’ll just have a look”. You wander through the glamorous model home & BAM! You’re in love. You’ve been swept off your unsuspecting feet. You simply MUST have it.
The Builder Rep is helpful and accommodating, offering cookies and drinks and loads of information about the community. They give you the “inside scoop” that they’re about to raise prices in a few days, and you really should go ahead and write an offer to get the price they’ve quoted you today because future lot releases will have a premium. So you write a contract.
We hear this story from friends, family and past clients several times a year. Of course, we wonder why they didn’t call us and they tell us that they thought they were getting a better deal by working directly with the Builder. Often we find out because there’s a problem with the Builder and they suddenly need representation.
We want your New Construction experience to be different! So we’ve made a list of 10 great reasons to hire a Realtor to represent you in your New Construction Purchase. It is a complicated process and there are many things that can go wrong along the way.
- Representation – The Sales Representative’s job is to protect the Builder. No matter how helpful & friendly they are when you are chatting with them, they do not represent you. If there is a dispute you want someone experienced on your side.
- It’s FREE to Hire us – Buyer Commissions are paid by the Seller, or the Builder. That’s right, we will represent you at no cost to you! More Importantly – the Builder will NOT discount your price because you don’t hire a Realtor. They just pocket that money. If you’re not hiring a Realtor, you’re paying the Builder to have an advantage over you.
- Incentives – The Builder Incentives offered typically require you to use the Builder’s preferred Lender & Title Company. We have found on many occasions that the hidden fees charged by these Builder Partners actually cost as much as the Builder Incentives, if not More!
- Preferred Lender – The Builder’s preferred lender is often assigned to your file, you don’t get to choose who you are working with. Also they can have hidden costs, and their rates tend to be less competitive. Because the Builder feeds them a steady stream of business, they are less inclined to “work hard for your money”. Meaning – they may not pick up the phone on evenings & weekends like an independent lender does.
- Reality Check – The Model Home is Drop Dead Gorgeous. But it is not a realistic representation of the home you are buying. A typical model has $50K or more in upgrades to make it more appealing to Buyers. Of course you’ll love the upgraded cabinets, countertops, flooring, baths, built-ins and extravagant exterior finishes. During the options selection process, your Realtor can be the voice of reason guiding you to choices that actually enhance your home’s value long-term. Your Realtor may also negotiate appointments to get you into other near-finished homes of your Model in the neighborhood so you get a clearer picture of what you’re really buying.
- Lot Selection – What makes a lot desirable to a buyer? Which lots put you in the best position for future resale? Your Realtor knows which lots are preferred by Buyers and can help you choose a lot that meets your needs and your budget without losing sight of potential resale value.
- Special Circumstances – Builders sometimes have Spec Homes or homes that did not sell because the potential Buyer’s financing fell through, or they were transferred out of state. These homes may be available with additional incentives that your Realtor will hear about first if he/she has an established relationship with that Builder.
- Appointments & Advice – During the Builder Process there are several appointments with the Builder. Pre-Construction Meeting, Pre-Drywall Inspection, Audio/Wiring appointment, Design Center Appointment, pre-settlement walk-through, final walk-through and more. Your Realtor can attend as many or as few of these appointments as you like and can guide you through what can be an overwhelming process.
- Problem Resolution – Your Realtor is your Representation. It is their job to negotiate with the Builder on your behalf so that you don’t have to worry about one more stressful conversation when you are occupied with packing. We recently had a New Construction Buyer’s build delayed from May to November due to inclement weather. Our client was forced to move into temporary housing. Needless to say she was not happy with the Builder after having to move twice and find temporary housing for herself and her two cats. Sue Russell was able to negotiate with the Builder and convince them to credit our Buyer $7000 toward her additional expenses.
- Strength of Negotiation – When a conflict arises, who do you think has more pull with a Builder? Joe Buyer who will buy a home one time and live in it for the next 5-10 years; or a Realtor who sends the Builder Business and talks to Buyers every day? Because of the relationships the Dwell Well Group has developed with local builders, we can get you better results.
To get your Realtor listed as your representative with any DMV Area Builder, be sure to Register with your Agent’s name at Every Model you visit, Every Time! Ask your Realtor for a hand-full of extra business cards for open houses or Builder events. If you do not tell them up front who your Agent is, they are under no obligation to honor that relationship.
Don’t forfeit your right to representation – it costs you nothing and can save you thousands!
Special Thanks to Sue Russell for co-writing this article.