7 Key Reasons to ALWAYS Have a Buyer's Agent for a New Home

Written by Posted On Friday, 13 December 2013 05:55

It is foolish for a home buyer to enter into a new construction contract without an experienced real estate agent. The advantages are many; aside from the obvious ones. The fact that having buyer agent representation is often FREEcannot be repeated often enough. So too, should the misconception that not using a buyer’s agent will save money be constantly repeated - that simply doesn't happen. Remember that that site agent represents the builder/developer. There is a listing contract in place that specifies the agent's duties and the commission paid by the builder. When an unrepresented buyer contracts a home, the commission agreed upon does not change, it is simply reflects the listing broker (site agent) receiving both sides of the commission.

The site agent is legally bound to represent the best interests of the builder, not the home buyer. They are expected to work to secure the builder the best deal; not do anything illegal of course but they will not - can not - negotiate against their client. This is consistent throughout the course of the build; the builder is their client, the buyer is their customer. Many new home agents actually welcome experienced buyer agents. A few reasons include:

  • Site agents want to sell homes, not handle every aspect of the buyer for months after the contract.
  • Site agents find it much easier to deal with another agent as opposed to directly with a buyer.
  • Buyer agents often handle questions and potential issues long before the site agent is called.

It might not seem obvious, but there are many benefits to buyers using an agent to represent them when buying new construction:

  • Site agents depend on agents in the field to sell homes – nothing is better than word of mouth advertising for a builder. And when it’s a good experience, agents talk.plumber
  • Agents talk even more when it’s a bad experience. Who is an unrepresented going to complain to? Who is an agent going to complain to? The entire office…
  • An experienced buyer’s agent knows how to present requests and negotiate. Many builders are inflexible, but a good agent can work with the site agent to get things done that might not normally happen.
  • An experienced buyer’s agent knows how to read and explain a new construction contract. While the site agent can, they will not offer options for things that become sticking points.
  • A buyer’s agent will be there even after the home closes. It is routine for issues to arise during the first year of a new home. Site agents tend to forget a buyer’s name after the contract is signed.
  • An experienced buyer’s agent will have suggestions and advice along the way, including on options, inspections, mortgages, construction issues….
  • An experienced buyer’s agent will be able to analyze the data and trends in the area and offer advice.
Note repetition of the term experienced buyer’s agent. There is no substitute for experience and unfortunately, real estate is an industry with an insultingly low entry and performance bar. Given the amount of money spent on building a home, it is prudent to properly qualify your real estate agent. Cousin Tommy and Susie from the tennis team might have their license and be awesome folks but unless they know what they're doing, trouble will result. Everything is easy...until it's not. Buying a home and certainly building a home are exciting ventures. Just as with any life changing event – and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home is life changing – success is found with the guidance of those experienced in the specific arena. When that guidance and direction is available at no cost, it’s completely ill advised not to take advantage of that opportunity.
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Hank Miller, SRA

Hank Miller is an Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser in the north metro Atlanta area. Since 1989, real estate has been his full time profession. Hank´s clients benefit from his appraisal and sales experience; they act upon data, not baseless opinions. He is an outspoken critic of the lax standards in the agent community.

Hank remains an active certified appraiser and completes specialty work for FNMA, lenders and attorneys. He is a well-known blogger and continues to guest write for multiple industry publications as well as national outlets like the WSJ, NYT, RE Magazine, USA Today and others. He is a regular on public Q&A sites on Zillow, Trulia and many others.

Hank consistently ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the metro Atlanta area. He runs the Hank Miller Team and is known as much for his ability as he is for his opinions. He is especially outspoken about the lack of professional standards and expectations in the real estate industry.


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