New home builders and their staff are good people by and large. However, they are the seller and you are the buyer. Sellers and buyers always have different objectives and agendas.
It is smart to have someone equally skilled as the builder’s representatives to help look out for your best interests. Because they won’t.
The Agent is Paid by the Builder. The builder pays the fee due to your agent with no increase to the purchase price of the property. And conversely, the buyer gets no break in cost if they don’t have an agent representing them.
Negotiation Expertise. Builders, like every seller, may be negotiable on the sales price. An agent can help you determine a market analysis and when a reduced sales price might be achieved with a builder in given situations.
Contract Review. Unlike Colorado Real Estate Commission approved contract forms that heavily favor the buyers of resale homes, new home contracts are drafted by a builder’s attorney and are extremely biased towards protection for the builder.
An agent helps you understand these differences and suggests legal review as needed. There are key differences where builder contracts may put you at a disadvantage. You’ll be more informed about the risks/rewards of a new home purchase and, in some cases, proactive steps can then be taken to minimize contractual disadvantages.
Inspection Guidance. Many new build buyers do not consider having an inspection on a new home. However, almost every new home probably has some construction details that are not to code or that were not done properly. This is true even though city/county building inspectors have conducted numerous on-site inspections.
An agent can help you decide on the need for your own inspector to accompany you on your pre-closing walk-through to make sure you end up with a complete punch list of items for the builder to correct.
Selection of Options and Upgrades. You may not need a particular option but it might be best to include it to enhance resale advantages. For example, you may not need a 3-car garage but you’d probably want to include one if 70% of the homes in the area have this feature.
The same applies to upgrades to flooring, countertops, plumbing, lighting and so forth. Some of these items can have broad appeal to a wide range of future buyers if selected thoughtfully.
At The Closing Table. You’d think that closings are pretty standardized. However, papers that are missed or filled out incorrectly at closings constantly amaze. A good agent can review the key closing documents and make sure that you get what is required by contract.
I offer a 17-point checklist to every new home buyer that identifies key differences where builder contracts may put you at a disadvantage. Contact me for your checklist.