The Advantages of Having Your Own Agent Represent You When Buying a New Construction Home
You Want It All
I am the fortunate REALTOR® who had the opportunity to ride with buyers, Jim and Jane to visit a new construction property. Upon entering the new construction sales office, the new home sales agent asked us to register our visit, which we did. Then, the sales agent gave us a map to the model homes and a brochure which included a long list of attractive amenities. The property was located in the hot central valley of California, so one of the amenities of particular attraction was the air conditioner. The brochure noted that all models included central air conditioning.
But, when we did the final walk-through to approve construction of the property prior to the move-in date, we noticed there was no central air conditioner installed in the house. The buyers and I went back to the sales office and spoke with the sales agent about the missing air conditioner. The sales agent said without hesitation that we were correct in noticing there was no air conditioner. Then, the sales agent went on to explain that the model the buyers selected did not include an air conditioner. Of course, the buyers were furious. But, I happened to have a copy of the brochure that was handed out on the first day of our visit and right there on the brochure were the words, “Included in all models”, and then the list of amenities. The sales agent back-peddled a little bit and said, “Oh that was a typo.” I could hardly believe he said that. “A typo?” I asked. Then I went on to explain to the sales agent that a typo is when a word is misspelled. This amenity was clearly meant to be on the list. We went back and forth about the issue and then I put my real estate hard hat on and started talking to the sales agent in legal terms, reminding the sales agent that since the air conditioner was listed as an amenity on the document (brochure) the agent handed to the buyers, it was reasonable for the buyers to believe the document was reliable.
Incidentally, the buyers told me later that if they had been on their own, they would not have known they had a right to challenge the sales agent. They would have moved into the house without an air conditioner.
The sales agent wouldn’t budge on his declaration that the inclusion of the air conditioner was a misprint, but I asked that the matter be brought to the attention of the legal department and asked the agent to get back to me within the next 24 hours. The buyers and I left the office and the next day the sales agent called me to apologize about the misunderstanding. The agent went on to confirm that there would, in fact, be an air conditioner installed in the house before the buyers moved in.
This is just one case of many that I could share about how valuable it is to have a real estate agent accompany you to view houses in new construction communities.
(Note: The names of the buyers have been changed to protect their privacy.)
The Advantages of Having Your Own Agent
The introduction to this article is the perfect example, and just one reason for having your own agent represent you when buying a new construction home. Here are more reasons for having your own agent represent you when buying a house from a new home seller.
Like with any home purchase, terms and conditions need to be worked out so that all parties benefit from the transaction. You can consult with your own agent who understands your needs and can work with the new home sales agent to make sure the contract is written in a way that considers your needs as well as the seller’s.
Sometimes it’s just good to have someone with you for moral support. Additionally, when you have your own agent with you when touring new home models, you can get instant feedback on different floor plans and structure.
Your agent can also be the person you call for questions and answers. Instead of calling the new home sales agent, you can call your agent. You can also have your agent make calls to the new home sales agent and receive calls from the sales agent, as well. This could save you a lot of time and effort throughout the course of the transaction.
If an issue arises at any point during and after a transaction, you have your agent to help you sort through the issue and come to your aid if necessary.
Remember, the new construction sales agent has a professional allegiance to the seller, so even though they may not do anything outwardly wrong, they may not step up or go out of their way to help you get what you want or need.
How to Make Sure the Agent at the New Construction Home Site Allows You to Work With Your Own Agent
While new construction community agents invite outside real estate agents to represent buyers, there are formal procedures to assure you and your agent can work together on your new home purchase.
If you want your own real estate agent to represent you, there is only one rule to follow:
Your real estate agent MUST accompany you when you visit the new construction community for the FIRST time.
If you visit a new construction community the first time without your agent, you forfeit your right to have your agent represent you through the transaction. Very few new construction communities veer away from this rule. Sometimes, if you present your agent’s business card to the sales agent they MIGHT accept it, but don’t count on it. They are very adamant about the buyer and agent arriving together on the first visit. But, after the first visit and registration with your agent, you can visit the property as many times as you like without your agent and your agent will still be included as part of the transaction and able to represent you.
While most new construction communities welcome buyers who are accompanied by their own agents, there are a few new home communities that do not allow agents to accompany buyers. Your agent can find out ahead of time, which communities do not accept outside agent representation.
The question about agent compensation is always in the air. Let me bring it front and center. Yes, your agent will be compensated for helping with the transaction. It may not be as much as if they helped you purchase a previously owned home, but new construction home sellers reward agents for bringing buyers to the community to purchase homes. As well, when a buyer has their own agent to represent them, the new construction sales agent has another professional to help with communication and the tasks involved with the sale.
Video: Buying a New Construction Home
In the video titled, Buying a New Construction Home, you’ll receive some helpful tips about the warranty that comes with new homes, getting a home inspection, being conscientious of the location, additional costs associated with exterior projects such as landscaping, and unexpected delays such as bad weather. Only 3:07 in length and professionally produced by AOLOnBusiness. Enjoy your tour of this beautiful new home.
Buying a New Construction Home
Call Your Agent
Whenever you have the opportunity to have help during a real estate transaction, it will be to your advantage. So, before you go to visit a new construction home community, contact your agent. Ask them to accompany you to register and view the models. You just may need an agent to help you get an amenity or more favorable terms when purchasing your new home.
Real estate information; clear and simple!
Marlene Bertrand is a Broker/REALTOR®.
Calif. Bureau of Real Estate Lic. #01056418.
© 2013 Marlene Bertrand
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