Archive for February, 2013

Why Having a Realtor When Buying a New Built Home is a Good Idea

by: Maria Hass –
I’ve visited many new construction home sites recently in Chandler and Gilbert areas to help my buyers decide between purchasing a resale home or a newly-built home. Maracay Homes, Layton Lakes, Adorra Trails in Gilbert and Fulton Homes, Evans Ranch and Paseo Lindo in Chandler were among the builders that offered floorplans that met my client’s size of home.

For about $30,000 to $50,000 more on average, the buyer of a new construction home receives a one year warranty on materials and labor and a five-to-10-year warranty against structural damage – not to mention financing assistance ranging from $2,000 to $6,000 which can be applied to closing costs or upgrades.

Of course, the new-build home buyer also has the option to partially customize the layout and flooring in the home based on the builder’s available options.

On the downside, backyard landscaping, window treatments and any home improvements are added costs for the buyer of a brand-new home. And the location is generally not as central as more well-established neighborhoods.

Having compared the prices of new and resale homes, one of my clients feels that there are an adequate number of resale homes that meet his price point, but not new construction homes. He would have to raise his price by $30,000 to $40,000 to get into the same sized home for a new construction home or settle for a smaller home for the same budget.

During our visits to new home sites, I saw many people unaccompanied by Realtors who were hopping from one model home to the next as if buying apples. The only difference is, apples cost nothing compared to buying a house. It made me wonder if homebuyers know the benefits of having a Realtor by your side when buying a new home.

These are just some of those many benefits:

1. Buyer Protection – A buyer’s Realtor acts similar to a lawyer in that she or he protects the interests of the buyer. In new construction homes, the Realtor that greets you at the office is generally a paid employee of the builder. This Realtor has the best interests of the builder in mind – NOT yours.

2. Contract Interpretation – A buyer’s Realtor will interpret and disclose to you significant items in the contract that the builder’s Realtor may forget to mention unless you ask. This includes your rights to earnest money, cancellations, verbal representations, inspection, resolutions, cost and incentives. The contract you are signing is a Builder’s contract wherein the builder’s interest, NOT your interest, is protected. I came in to a new home site recently and was met by a builder’s Realtor. I asked her what incentives they were offering. The couple who were buying a home overheard my question and then asked the same question of the builder’s Realtor. Let’s face it: Realtors work in the business, know what to look for, and know what to ask and when. Good Realtors know the real estate laws and customers’ rights, have the resources to verify information and know the market.

3. HUD – The itemized expenses and credit of the purchase transaction are contained in the HUD. Realtors know which expenses are legitimate and which are not. Some builders may add costs to your expenses if you don’t know what are the legitimate charges. It is easy to get away with illegitimate charges if buyers do not question them. After all, “what you don’t know won’t hurt you.” So, you could be taken for $3,000 or more and you may never realize it.

4. Freedom – Many buyers just want to go and look at new homes and not take the time to wait for their Realtor. However, Realtors do not get paid if they don’t accompany the buyer at the first meeting. Once the Realtor has signed in on the first visit, the buyer can come in at any time afterwards without the Realtor. So, potential buyers should alert their Realtor ahead of time if they’re interested in a particular development before making a first visit.

5. Commission – Some buyers think that by not having a buyer’s Realtor, the 3 percent Realtor commission will be given to them. Well, think again. The 3 percent commission is seen by the builder as a marketing expense, not a commission.

6. Buyer Representation – The best thing is this: a buyer’s representation by a Realtor is FREE. The seller pays for buyers to be represented.

The next time you visit a new home, think about what you stand to gain – and to lose – if you make that visit without consulting your Realtor first.

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February 15, 2013 at 10:02 am 2 comments


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