New construction is booming in the Greater Vancouver area. With new homes sales going at a brisk pace, some buyers are worried they will lose their favorite lot or the one house under construction that meets all their needs.
Here are some reasons having a buyer’s agent is extremely important for new construction:
1) The builder’s representative is sometimes not a licensed real estate agent but an employee of the builder. Their legal obligations to you as a buyer are different than having your own Realtor.
The problem is that the builder’s representative is asking many questions which buyers shouldn’t be answering that expose the buyer’s motivation for buying. Buyers are lulled into answering feeling like the builder’s representative is nice and professional. That type of information would not be accessible to the seller in a situation where the buyer is buying a used home because the buyer’s agent would know the info but not share it with the seller’s representative.
Do you need a Buyers Agent with New Construction?
2) Communication is the biggest complaint that buyers have with new construction. Buyers have an understanding based on what the sales representative says and then the buyers move on to deal with the project manager who actually builds the house. Sometimes the builder will then tell the buyer something different and if there is nothing in writing to prove it was included in the contract, it is difficult to enforce. Examples of items are drainage, grading, how many steps to the front door and from the garage into the house.
3) Final Sales Price. Buyers need help understanding what their final sales price will be after they make all 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 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 help resale and which ones just help the builder’s profit margin.
4) Zoning and adjacent land in a community is a very important consideration. Builder’s representatives practice how to present less desirable aspects of a lot or community to buyers to minimize questions and objections. A good buyer’s agent is going to explain to you how those aspects affect 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. What type of housing or commercial buildings or the proximity of future roads that might be built is very important information a buyer should consider before purchasing a new home.
5) Contracts. Builders usually use their own contracts that are drafted by their attorneys and are clearly written to benefit the builder over the buyer. Contracts on used homes usually use a contract drafted by the state bar that is designed to be more equally weighted between the buyer and seller.
Even if you visit a new home sale center before you realize you need a buyers agent, it is a good idea to get a buyer’s agent involved before you make an offer. The process of buying a new home is not as simple as you might have thought.