When your house hunting, the attraction of new construction is undeniable. You will be the first to live in a clean and fresh home with brand-new appliances and the finishes and treatments that you picked or that you won't have to worry about making any cosmetic or structural upgrades for years.
If you are interested in buying a new construction, the builder's agent will be ready to help you with the process. But make no mistake: You need your own real estate agent from the get-go! Even if it seems like a plug and play to sign up with the builder's on-site agent, you're going to want someone representing your side of the deal.
What is a builder's agent?
When you buy a new construction, the home's builder is considered the seller, and the agent representing the builder is called the builder's agent.
Since the builder’s agent represents the builder, they will always have the builder's best interest in mind and not the buyers.
Why you should hire your own real estate agent
It's a good idea to have your real estate agent accompany you on your first visit to the new construction. Why? Because the builder (aka the seller) will be responsible for paying the commission, and needs to know if you'll have a real estate agent representing you. So bringing your agent to the first visit will make it clear that the builder's agent will be on the hook for paying commission. Some builders might even refuse to pay your agent a commission if you don’t register the agent the first time you visit the home on a new construction site.
“Your real estate agent's job is to help you get the most value for your money, with the least hassle and frustration,” says Patrick Welsh, a real estate agent with Keller Williams, in Houston.
When buying new construction, here’s what your real estate agent will help you with that you might miss out on if you stick with the builder’s agent:
How the builder's agent can help you
With all that said, the builder's agent can be a valuable resource for learning about your potential new home. They are knowledgeable about the construction and available amenities, as well as the housing development and general community vibe. You can rely on the builder's agent for background information—just don’t make this individual your sole point of contact on the buying process.
Everyone wants to walk away from buying a home—whether it be a new construction or not—with peace of mind. Having a real estate agent in your corner will help facilitate that.