Hiring a real estate agent or doing all the work yourself: recommendations for those who want to buy a new build

Some clients might think that purchasing a freshly-built construction isn’t as difficult of a process as buying one of the numerous houses that already exist. It’s unfortunate, but this opinion is far from the truth – if you decided to become an owner of a new build, you should be ready to face a lot of difficulties. Not only you will have to basically navigate the whole construction, you will also have to spend much more money. There are a few factors that might significantly influence builder prices and either increase or decrease it, such as:

  • Where your new home will be located?
  • How much the land there costs on average?
  • How big or how small your house will be?
  • How much money you will have to spend on materials for the building process?
  • How high are labor costs?
  • What is the valuation of similar properties on the market right now?
  • How high will be builder impact fees?

As you can already imagine, answering all those questions will require a deep knowledge and quite a lot of experience in the whole building process. If you lack both of those, the right thing for you might be hiring a professional realtor, who will do all of the hard work for you. Knowledgeable and skilled real estate realtors might be quite expensive, but overall with the help of one of them you will not only save a lot of money you might have spent on something you didn’t really need by mistake if you controlled the process yourself, but will also spare a lot of time and nerve cells.

Top-7 Reasons Why You Might Need Realtor’s Help When Buying New Construction

Of course, in the end of the day, it’s yours and only yours to decision to hire a real estate realtor or do all the work yourself. In the majority of states both variants are acceptable for those who buy a new construction, but, nevertheless, most buyers prefer leaving all the boring work to professionals. For those who are still unsure what to choose we created “Top-7 reasons why you might need realtor’s help when buying new construction”. This list might provide you with various causes and demonstrations of the value of a real estate agent.

1.                      Real estate agent will be on your side during negotiations and will make you their prime concern. Our buyers often ask the same question - is it truly better to have a personal agent when dealing with a developer? After all, some clients believe that it will be much more beneficial for them to use builder’s real estate agent instead of spending money and hiring one for themselves. Why? The answer won’t surprise anyone – because it’s cheaper. Of course, this reason is very valid, but you shouldn’t forget one simple truth – builder’s realtor is primarily interested in their client’s profit, not yours. It may seem harsh, but it’s the truth - builder’s agent will always try to sell real estate for a higher price and try to convince you to spend more money than you were planning to. Tour satisfaction is not the last thing in their list of priorities, but far from the first either. However, if you hire a realtor for yourself, you will have someone «in your team», so to speak. Your realtor will make your satisfaction his main goal and will be much more suitable for negotiations.

2.                      Real estate agent will help you communicate with the builder and save as much money as possible. As we already mentioned, your real estate agent have no interest in you spending more money than necessary (unlike builder’s real estate agent), which means they will help you with staying within budget. New home builders often negotiate prices, and you will need someone really experienced to help you with saving money and avoid unnecessary expenses. In most cases building companies list prices for plain home, but if you want to make this house truly yours, you will be able to add changes to floor plans or significant upgrades. Those upgrades and changes, of course, have a price-list of their own. Usually numbers on this list are quite high, so you will definitely need to negotiate them with builder’s real estate agent. That’s exactly what your agent should do – they will negotiate the prices and make the whole process as beneficial for you as possible. You will not only be able to change and create plans for your dream-house yourself, but will also save some money doing it.

3.                      Real estate agent will help you choose improvements and upgrades according to your budget and preferences. Yes, negotiating prices is important, but choosing the right thing among numerous variants is even more important. Usually there is a list of changes and features buyer can implement into the floor plans – for example, what kind of counter tops will be included in the kitchen, what kind of carpet will be used in the living room etc. Don’t expect builder’s real estate agent to suggest you something real and cheap – they will try to make you go overboard with upgrades, which will increase their profit but won’t be beneficial for you at all. Choosing all of this on your own may be very hard, not to mention that you can spend too much money on all these upgrades and significantly decrease the value of the home altogether, which can become a big problem when you decide to sell this house in the future. Experienced real estate agent can help you decide, which improvements and upgrades are worth it and which are unnecessary and overpriced. Moreover, real estate agent will be able to recommend you which improvements you shouldn’t implement because they will have a negative effect on the resale value. Not many homebuyers are thinking about reselling their real estate right in the process of buying it, but it’s a real possibility, and with a help of knowledgeable new construction realtor you at least will be aware how much each upgrade affects resell price of your house.

4.                      Real estate agent will give you recommendations about which inspections should be performed on new construction. Inspections are very important regardless of whether you buy an already existing home or a new construction. Some people believe that if a house is brand-new and freshly-build, there is no need in inspections that will only take time and money. Unfortunately, it’s not the case and a new construction can have as much problems as an old house. If you want to avoid any unpleasant surprises, you should hire a real estate agent and listen to his recommendations regarding what inspection should be performed in the new construction. Of course, you can try and deduce it yourself, but visiting new construction without a realtor is not a good idea, if you don’t have enough experience in the building process. This will help you to not only be sure that your new home is going to be safe and solid, but also reveal problems that might become possible in the future and prevent them from happening. Not to mention that most impactions are pretty inexpensive, and your realtor may help you with finding professional for the job.

5.                      Real estate agent will help you to find the best lender or lending companies for you. Home development is a very complicated process, especially if you don’t have money at hand and need to use a home construction loan. Not all lenders are ready to offer you a loan for new construction, which means that often you have no other choice but utilize a lender that is local. This is where your real estate agent will come in handy – they will find the best deal for you by weighing all the benefits and drawbacks of all potential loan options. It can save you a lot of money and time, because finding a truly good lender is anything but easy.

6.                      Real estate agent will help you to keep the build on track and control the transaction. Depending on how big your new home will be, where it is located, who builds it and what season it is the construction might take from twelve and up to fifteen weeks. There are a lot of things that can result in slowing down the whole building process – for example, if the weather is really bad for more than a few days, you might have to wait additional few weeks or even longer. Builder’s real estate agent will do everything they can to negotiate more time for their clients, so if you don’t want to wait longer than necessary, you should be ready to fight back. Your real estate agent will be able to not only keep builder on schedule, but also control all potential changes in plans and keep you updated. After all, sometimes even one additional week might be a huge inconvenience, and the more you learn beforehand about the building plans, the more ready you are for all future surprises.

7.                      Real estate agent will comb over the new-construction contract for you and make sure everything in it matches your expectations. There are numerous jokes about not reading the fine print before signing the contract, but people often forget that it’s a real thing that can lead to various problems in the future. Many companies try to include some pretty questionable terms in their contracts, some of them include using poor but cheap building materials, delaying or not including completion date, asking for an unreasonable or inconvenient payment schedule, changing work plans without warning you etc. All of it can lead to numerous additional expanses in time, money and nerve cells, not to mention that some situations may even require attorney representation. If you want to prevent this from happening, you will need a real estate agent’s help. They will decode the contract for you and bring up any possible issues immediately. Also, realtors often work with attorneys and may ask them for help if something strange or shady is going on.

As you can see, real estate agents can help you in many ways and make sure that the experience of buying a new construction is very easy and pleasurable. But you have to understand that you will need not just someone, but a person who is experienced in new constructions and have enough knowledge to help you in every possible way. In order to do it you have to imagine accurately how your new home should look like and how it will be developed. It brings us to the next part – what you should ask and learn when buying a new construction home.

Questions to Ask When Buying a New Construction Home

We have already talked about this particular theme in our article «15 Questions to Ask When Buying a New Construction Home». Now we will mention the most important among them that can help you avoid any misunderstandings with builders and determine what kind of real estate agent you might need.

How much experience does the company have?

 If the company has many years of experience and numerous finished projects under the belt, chances are they value their reputation and their clients. Also, it would be easier to search for a real estate agent who already has experience of working with this particular company, if they have been on the market for many years.

Who will control the building process and can you moderate it?

When it comes to buying new real estate, you should always be allowed to come and monitor the process at any time. If for some reason the builder is against it, your real estate agent’s work will be much more difficult.

Are you allowed to buy building materials and appliances for your future house yourself?

Some developers have nothing against giving homebuyers complete freedom and a possibility to pick things that will be used in the building process. On the one hand, it’s good, because no one will be able to interfere with you creating the house of your dreams and expressing yourself. But on the other, if you don’t have much experience in choosing building materials, you might need a help from the realtor with a specific background who knows the difference between various types of flooring.

Can you include changes in the plans of your house during construction?

Many developers are strictly against changes in the plans, even little ones, so you should either be ready for this or hire a realtor who will be able to negotiate on your behalf with the builder. You should also learn beforehand about all the upgrades you can implement, but deciding what to choose among them will be easier after your realtor check out how good is their quality.

What are company’s main priorities?

Priorities can say a lot about companies and how different they are from all the others on the market. Your realtor should also be aware about builder’s strong and weak qualities in order to understand what kind of result you will get. You should always choose companies that are very open about their work, clients, partners and materials they use. More transparent companies are often much more trustworthy and committed to the satisfaction of their clients.

As you can see, becoming an owner of the new build is not an easy task whatsoever. It requires a lot of time and money, not to mention how stressful it can be. That’s why it’s recommended to find an experienced and knowledgeable realtor who will take half of the work from your shoulder. You can use Internet to search for your perfect real estate agent and communicate with them directly online. For example, you can use Inew-homes – here you will be able to find not only already developed and new, freshly-build houses available for buying, but also start searching for a professional who will help you with becoming an owner of the house of your dreams. We wish you luck!