Do You Need a REALTOR® When Buying New Home Construction?

Do You Need a REALTOR® When Buying New Home Construction?

When you’re house hunting, One of the first decisions to make is whether to buy an existing home or build a new home.  If you decide that you would like to explore the new construction route. While some home buyers might assume there’s no need to work with a REALTOR® when purchasing a pre-construction build. After all, the builders and developers have on-site representatives promising to take care of all the paperwork, right?

Well, Not so fast. There are a number of advantages to working with someone who has your best interests in mind. Here’s a few reasons why and what you need to know if you’re thinking about buying a brand-new build:



Buying a new build can be a lot more complicated than purchasing a resale. So if you're one of the home buyers asking if you need a realtor, the answer is YES and here are few of the many reasons why:

  1. You need Representation Because It Is Important 

    When it comes to pre-construction, home buyers must navigate multiple steps and interact with several people before closing. Depending on the rules and regulations of your state, you may or may not need a realtor when buying new construction and some builders will tell you that you don't need one because the builder has one in house that will handle all the paperwork. Keep in mind that using the builder's real estate agent means not having any representation that is working in your best interests. The builder's agent is not a neutral party working for both you and the builder, they are representing the builder’s best interest. Bottom line? The builder’s rep has the builder’s goals in mind, while your own agent is a valuable resource with just one person to satisfy: You.

  2. You need someone Negotiate On Your Behalf 

    The most fun benefit of opting for new home construction is the opportunity to customize your home to suit your preferences. Sure, you can simply trust a sales representative to haggle with the builder, but that may not get you the best deal or added perks, like free upgrades or new appliances. And with the customization of a home comes an increase in the price. Your agent will guide you through that process and share advice on the upgrades that are most likely to add long-term value to your home. In addition to making decisions around design, buyers must also make technical choices about electrical work or construction add-ons during the build. Having a realtor means the ability to negotiate the upgrades and changes on your behalf. 

  3. You might need help understanding Contract Contingencies & Inspections 

    Builder contracts can be complex and differ from traditional home purchase agreements. Understanding the fine print in a purchase contract is not for the faint of heart. Your agent can help you navigate these contracts to make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions. They’re also skilled negotiators who can advocate on your behalf and can point out the confusing clauses you’re better off negotiating on. 
  4. You need someone to Make Recommendations On Improvements & Upgrades

    Generally a buyer is given an allotment for things such as lighting fixtures, carpet choices, cabinetry, counter tops and other home features. And designed model homes offer all the bells and whistles, tempting buyers into adding all sorts of extras onto the standard price. Sometimes, these upgrades aren’t worth it. One of the worst things that a buyer can do when building a home is spend lots of money on upgrades and improvements that may hurt the value of the home. A REALTOR® will advise you and can help you decide what’s worth doing and what can wait and it could save you thousand of dollars. Your agent will ensure you focus your budget on areas that will give you the greatest return on your investment later on.


One reason why buyers opt not to work with a realtor for new construction is to save money. This is based on a misunderstanding of how real estate agents are paid. Buyers are led to believe if they don’t use an agent, the builder will subtract the price of a REALTOR®’s potential commission from the purchase price. The sellers pay the agent fees, which means the new construction builder will pay your REALTOR® and since the seller (the builder) pays your agent’s commission, it only makes sense to insist on having one. Builders are reluctant to reduce prices because those discounts are available for other buyers to see.

This is important to keep in mind: The builder, in nearly all cases, will not give you a discount for buying a home without an agent as this agents fees comes from a different avenue. The benefits of having a realtor are available at no cost to you, so what is there to lose? 

An article from The Mortgage Reports sums it up like this:

Your Realtor or real estate agent will be key to helping you navigate this process. . . . they can guide you through construction and help anticipate and solve for any possible snags along the way.”


Agents Knowledge of the Local Market, Construction Quality and Builder Reputation

An agent also has the expertise to evaluate the construction quality and reputation of different builders. Their knowledge and experiences with local builders allow them to offer insights into each one’s track record, customer satisfaction, and construction practices. This information can help you avoid any potential risks and help you confidently select a builder known for delivering quality homes.

You’ll benefit from working with a local expert who knows the project’s neighborhood, target audience, materials used and sales data. Enhance your search for homes by saving your search and getting notifications. Most importantly, they’ll know which builders are most reputable for delivering on time. 

Your agent is well-versed in the emerging communities and upcoming developments that could influence your decision. It’s important to consider how the neighborhood and the surrounding area might evolve before making your home purchase. Your agent can help you find a community that perfectly aligns with your preferences, lifestyle, and future needs.


Bottom Line

A REALTOR® can also offer information on what is the best time to buy—pre-construction, mid-construction or after the building is completed. The guidance and expertise of a local REALTOR® can make all the difference in turning your vision of the perfect home into a reality. Let’s connect so you can feel confident about purchasing your new construction home. If you decide that this is the path for you and you want to know what’s available in our local market, give us a call! Together we’ll explore your options and the benefits of an all-new home.

Registration will begin April 3rd. All potential buyers will need to submit some documents, along with a CalHFA pre-approval letter from a lender as part of CalHFA's registration requirements.

Registration will close on April 29th. Shortly after, they will begin issuing vouchers in a lottery style to the winners. Each voucher lasts for 90 days so buyers who receive one will need to move quickly on their purchases.


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