5 Reasons to Work with a Buyer’s Agent on New Construction – New Construction in 2023 has changed since the Pandemic. In 2023, there will be fewer supply chain issues to delay construction and fewer multiple offer situations. New homes are still desirable and needed in a growing area, so there are many new neighborhoods being developed throughout the Triangle area. As the real estate market is stabilizing, having a buyer’s agent represent you on a new construction home is as important as ever.
Here are 5 reasons why having a buyer’s agent is a must when purchasing new construction:
- The builder’s representative is often not a licensed real estate agent but an employee of the builder. Their legal obligations to you as a buyer are different than what the NC Real Estate Commission requires of licensed real estate brokers. The problem is that the builder’s representative often asks questions in an effort to expose the buyer’s motivation for buying. Buyers are often lulled into answering, feeling like the builder’s representative is nice and professional. However, that type of information would not be accessible to the seller in a situation where the buyer is buying a used home – making the seller (in this case, the builder) aware of your personal situation, which will leave you at a disadvantage during negotiations. Involving a buyer’s agent during the entire new construction process will ensure that you don’t inadvertently give the builder a leg-up on you.
- Communication tends to be the biggest complaint that buyers have with new construction. Buyers tend to have an understanding of the floor plans and available upgrades based on what the sales representative or the builder’s website says. Still, then after the contract is signed, your contact person is the project manager (aka builder) who actually builds the home. Sometimes, the builder will tell the buyer something different than what the builder rep said, and if there is nothing in writing to confirm it was included in the contract. Items like drainage, grading, and the number of steps to the home’s entry have the tendency to become points of contention during the construction process. Working with a buyer’s agent early in the process will ensure that important items are clarified and negotiated ahead of time and agreements between the buyer and builder are put in writing.
- Buyers can benefit from having an agent’s guidance in understanding what their final price will be after they make all of their selections. The process in our area starts with the buyer signing the contract, and then the buyers go to the design center to select upgrades and finishes such as flooring, cabinets, appliances, etc. Having a buyer’s agent who attends those meetings helps ensure that the information provided by any of those builder employees is documented. Buyers also need help understanding what selections and upgrades will help resale and which ones just help the builder’s profit margin.
- Zoning and land adjacent to your home or adjacent to a community are very important considerations. Builders’ representatives practice how to present less desirable aspects of a lot or community to buyers to minimize questions and objections. You, as a buyer, often don’t know what to ask and are lead by the builder representative who works only for the builder. A good buyer’s agent is going to explain to you how land adjacent to your property or the neighborhood itself affects the resale value and how the community might change. An example is land not owned by the builder that is currently undeveloped. It could be in the process of being developed or could be developed in the future. It could also have a zoning change in the future that would change what could be built there. The type of housing, commercial buildings, or the proximity of future roads that might be built is very important information that a buyer should consider before purchasing a new home.
- Contracts on existing or resale homes usually used are contracts drafted by the NC State Bar Association, which are designed to be equally weighted between a buyer and seller. Builders, however, often use their own contracts that are drafted by their attorneys and are clearly written to benefit the builder over the buyer. A buyer’s agent can help to decode the more dense language in the contract and ensure that buyers have full understanding of what they’re signing or suggest an attorney that can answer specific legal questions about the document. New home communities often have a number of disclosures and addenda in addition to the contract, so the total number of documents can be overwhelming. NC is not an attorney review state, so it is important that the buyer understands that once they have signed the contract, they are committing to the terms. There is no period of time on new construction contracts for buyers to terminate for a change of heart or a further review of the signed documents.
Even if you visit a new home community before you realize you need a buyer’s agent, it is a good idea to get a buyer’s agent involved before you make an offer.
The process of buying a new construction home is not as simple as you might have thought. If you’re interested in buying or building new construction and want the peace of mind of a professional advocating on your behalf, please call me. I’d love to work with you to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible! Call Amy for your Shair of the [new construction] market: 919-818-5001.